Cutting-edge research in Africa: the ongoing story of ICTP-EAIFR
On 18th October 2018, we inaugurated the ICTP East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR), a category 2 UNESCO Institute in Rwanda, Africa, set up by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, and the University of Rwanda (UR). The focus of the ICTP-EAIFR Institute is to "advance, strengthen, and promote fundamental science and education for African development through research, scientific discoveries, and by building a critical mass of innovative and highly skilled researchers". We also carry out strategic science outreaches at different levels.
Our activities are modeled after those of the ICTP: we organize short courses/schools, workshops, conferences in Rwanda to which we bring participants from all parts of Africa. We also have Master’s and PhD programs in Physics which we run for UR. We have had over 400 visitors at the Institute from more than 10 African countries in more than 15 short courses/workshops. Over half of our Master of Science students have gone on to PhD positions in the USA and Europe and others to teaching positions in Africa. Although we have not yet graduated PhD students, our doctoral students are carrying out cutting-edge research in important areas such as quantum dynamics, catalysts for photocatalytic water splitting, other aspects of renewable energy, high energy physics phenomenology, Grand Unification Theory beyond the Standard Model and topological field theories. We also have a blossoming geophysics group working on volcanoes and related areas, particularly for activities in the East African region.
Although we have few researchers on ground, we welcome excellent researchers from all over the world to visit and work with us and our students, while we train African researchers to carry out research and make discoveries for African development and advancement. We hope you can visit us – you may write to: firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about visits and collaboration.
ICTP-EAIFR envisions a future Africa where science and education are inclusive and of highest quality, with ICTP-EAIFR being a world class center for fundamental research. With continued support from the Government of Rwanda, the ICTP, and world class researchers from all over the world, we believe we can achieve such a future for Africa. You can join us in making this a reality.
Omololu Akin-Ojo – Current Director of the East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR), he received his PhD from the University of Delaware (USA) having received his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria). He took postdoctoral positions at Boston University and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy before returning to Africa. His main research interest is in condensed matter physics and its applications for African development and advancement.