IEEE Africon 2015 Workshop

Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia

International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015):

 Photonics Research for African Development

Co-organized by Yanne K. Chembo and Andrew Forbes

Abstract: The year 2015 has been proclaimed “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies” by the United Nations (IYL 2015). Light-based technologies have already achieved large-scale presence in Africa. The greatest share in the continent is certainly related to multimedia and telecommunication applications, even though the solar energy sector is currently benefiting from a genuinely exponential growth, along with other applications in agriculture, healthcare, etc. However, the involvement of African scientists in photonics research remains marginal. IYL 2015 provides an ideal platform to discuss the strategic roadmap that can help light-based technology to have an even higher social and economic impact in African society. This workshop therefore intends to achieve a fourfold objective: assess the current impact of photonics in Africa, identify relevant research topics, discuss funding opportunities, and finally, strengthen the existing research networks.



                                     Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
14:30 15:00 Andrew Forbes (U. Witwatersrand, South Africa) Photonics innovations: from science to technology
15:00 15:20 Ronald Rop, (U. Egerton, Kenya) Photonics research in Kenya
15:20 15:40 Nicolette Houreld (U. Johannesburg, South-Africa) Photonics for health
15:40 16:00 Alix Dehayem (U. Nairobi, Kenya) Medical optics research for Africa
 16:00  16:30  Coffee break
16:30 16:50 Patricia Forbes (U. Pretoria, South Africa) A low-cost spectrophotometer for Africa
16:50 17:10 Peter Baricholo (Nat. Inst. Sci. & Tech., Zimbabwe) Photonics research in Zimbabwe
17:10 17:30 Arnaud Notue (U. Yaounde I, Cameroon) Photonics student chapters in Africa
17:30 18:00 Hardus Greyling (CSIR, South-Africa) The African Laser Centre



International Year of Light 


On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the UN has recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society.

IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.

This International Year will bring together many different stakeholders including scientific societies and unions, educational institutions, technology platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners.