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Africa and Its First Synchrotron Light Source



Africa Light Source

The Africa Light Source project is a registered foundation aiming to lead the development of the first light source in Africa. The group was established in 2015. So what is a light source? A light source as referred to here is a synchrotron.

A synchrotron is a facility for producing high-power EM radiation for research. Electrons are circulated around a storage ring by a series of magnets separated by straight sections. The electrons are deflected through a magnetic field created by the magnets. The electrons give off electromagnetic radiation, so that at each bending magnet a beam of synchrotron light is produced

The African Light Source (AfLS) Foundation is mandated to drive the progress along the Roadmap towards the establishment of an Advanced Light Source on the African Continent. 

The group has been advocating for a Pan-African light source for the past 20 years, via EBASI in 2000 (, Edward Bouchet-Abdus Salam Institute), ALC in 2001 (, African Laser Centre),  There was a SA-NRF Strategic Plan Study commissioned by Khotso Mokhele, and also Anthony Joel’s papers at Necsa in SA. There have been many years of efforts in South Africa via SRRIC and S@S 

The group first met for a workshop/conference on 16 – ­20 November, 2015 at the ESRF in Grenoble. At the AfLS1 Conference, Grenoble Resolutions and Roadmap were created. Since then, Ghana’s President offered in February 2019 to champion the project to the AU and ECOWAS. The group has helped increase the number of light source users by partnering with LAAAMP. It has also established some regional crystallography training programs through X-TechLab.

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