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Change the world


Scores of physics scholars from around Africa and the world have descended on Nelson Mandela University’s George Campus for the third biennial African Conference on Fundamental and Applied Physics (ACP2023) from 25-30 September 2023.


The ACP2023 is a gathering of physics scholars, collaborators and policy influencers who, through a series of talks, panel discussions and lectures, foreground the importance of science in efforts to address some of the grand challenges of our time.

It is aimed at building capacity in physics in Africa, towards sustainable development within the continent.

Mandela University is hosting the conference jointly with the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) and the African School of Physics (ASP).

The ACP2023 follows a year after the commemoration of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD) and months after a successfully executed African School of Fundamental and Applied Physics (ASP2022) summer programme at Mandela University’s Gqeberha campuses in November.

“Through science we are looking at the future and contributing positively to the protection of our complex natural environment and physical systems for the benefit of all life, including humankind. It gives us hope for a better world, and what we can achieve,” said Professor Azwinndini Muronga, who is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at the host institution Mandela University.

Welcoming delegates to the conference at the Protea Hotel King George, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa said the University was honoured to co-host this Africa-focused international conference.

“As the only University named after the world-renowned statesman, Rholihlala Nelson Mandela, we are cognizant of the responsibility that this places on us to continuously live up to the ideals and principles that he worked to achieve throughout his life. We are mindful of our namesake’s words when he said ‘it is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it’,” Prof Muthwa said.

“This is particularly relevant during these times, as all of our lives are increasingly impacted upon by global sustainability challenges. It is a rallying call to scientists, researchers, academics and intellectuals to strive to pioneer and discover new ways to contribute to the sustainability of communities across the world.”

Prof Muthwa said the University was pleased to be hosting the conference at its George Campus as it is known for its sustainability academic programmes such as Nature Conservation, Forestry and Agriculture.

“Taking a physics conference to George is a demonstration of how our Science Faculty lives it’s philosophy of ‘strength in diversity and inclusion in science’, as well as living it’s vision of becoming a 21st century African Faculty that responds to socio-economic and environmental changes facing our society and communities across our African continent,” said Prof Muthwa.

The conference will see a host of topics being unpacked, ranging from medical and radiation physics; diversity, equity and inclusion in physics; physics for sustainable development and 100 years of physics in Africa for the future. This, through plenary talks, oral and poster presentations and discussions on various topics.

Conference programme highlights include a “Beauty of Physics” panel discussion organised by early career physicists on Monday evening, and the CERN’s ATLAS experiment masterclass for high school learners from around George at the Inkcubeko Youth and Science Centre I’m Thembalethu township. 

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777