Physics in Africa Survey

Physics in Africa

Physics in Africa is a co-operative project among the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, and the European Physical Society, with additional participation by members of the International Center for Theoretical Physics. The South African Institute for Physics is coordinating the project's activities. As listed below, physics leaders from six African nations are members of the project’s steering committee.

The purpose of the project is to develop a comprehensive picture of the state of physics in Africa and from this picture identify prioritized needs common among different African nations. It has an asking, listening, and acting phase. In the asking phase, we will use a questionnaire, obtained from this website, to gather information about the state of physical societies, graduate student education, and physics research in different African nations. We would like participation from as many African nations as possible. After this information is assembled, we will enter the listening phase. 

In the listening phase, with the questionnaires painting the landscape of African physics, we would then listen to what African physics leaders see as their multiple but common needs and ask them to prioritize these needs in terms of several initiatives in research and education that would impact groups of countries.  In this phase, we will be asking our African colleagues to be retrospective about what has and has not worked, plus being introspective about what has been unaddressed. Many of you who participate in the asking phase will be asked to participate in the listening phase.

Finally, together, we will enter the acting phase where we strategize priorities, find resources, and implement programs that will resolve the identified issues.

In the proposed approach, non-Africans will not be imposing programs or initiating ones that duplicate or might have less impact than expected. Instead, the non-Africans plan to ascertain programs that respond to the challenges identified in discussion with African colleagues and to play a facilitating role, for example, by running pilot programs. The vision is to help organizations within Africa address the challenges and seize the opportunities for enriching physics within their country and the African community more generally, by taking ownership of these programs. In many, if not all, cases, outreach to agencies of various governments and professional associations in an individual country or among multiple African countries will be needed to glean the necessary resources. In asking for resources, documentation will exist for the need identified and the request being made.

Below is a link that will allow you to download the questionnaire. When completed please email it, plus any supporting attachments, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We ask that you try to complete it by the end of May. Supporting attachments could include any recent surveys of the state of physics and science in your country, national vision plans for the future of science, assessments of the state of education, etc.

The questionnaire asks for a lot of information. Please use your best judgment with respect to the level of detail in your response. The more detail the better, but the intent of the questionnaire is not to be onerous. The intent is to gather an informative picture of the state of physics in individual countries. Below, there is also a link from which you can download the completed questionnaire on the state of physics in Kenya. It is an example for the type and detail of information requested.


Important Links:

Questionnaire: (ENGLISH VERSION) Please Download and Complete the Questionnaire Here


Questionnaire: (FRENCH VERSION) Questionnaire sur la Physique en Afrique


Example: Download Example of Completed Questionnaire


Important Email addresses:

Questionnaire Return: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Questions about the project and questionnaire Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steering Committee:

  1. Prof. George Amolo, Technical University of Kenya, Kenya
  2. Dr. Ketevi Assamagan, Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA
  3. Dr. Amy Flatten, American Physical Society, USA
  4. Prof. Collince Fouokeng, Institut Universitaire de la Côte, Cameroon
  5. Prof. Eric Garfunkel, Rutgers University, USA
  6. Dr. James E. Gubernatis, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA
  7. Prof. Oumar Ka, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal
  8. Dr. David Lee, European Physical Society
  9. Mr. Brian Masara, South African Institute for Physics, South Africa
  10. Dr. Joe Niemela, European Physical Society
  11. Mr. Tajinder Panesor, Institute of Physics, UK
  12. Dr. Hery Tiana Rakotondramanana, University of Antananarivo, Madagascar
  13. Dr. Sandro Scandolo, International Center for Theoretical Physics, Italy
  14. Prof. Adel Trabelsi, Tunis University, Tunis


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