Reports from PCCr2 – Ghana

The ECA executive committee awarded three travel grant to young researchers to attend the 2nd Pan African Conference on Crystallography, PCCr2, from January 28th to February 2nd 2018. Their travel reports follow alphabetically below.

Seham Kamal Abdel-Aaal, Cairo University, Egypt

Thanks to ECA for the travel grant provided to me to participate to PCCr2 in Accra, Ghana 28 Jan- 2 Feb 2019. This is to emphasis role of ECA to supporting young African scientists and spread out Crystallography in Africa. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my information and knowledge during my oral presentation in organic and industrial materials symposium.

The presentation titled” Crystal, electronic structure, optical and electrical studies of new 2D hybrid perovskite promising for photovoltaic applications”

Outlines of my presentation are

  • Progress of perovskite solar cell based on(CH3NH3PbX3, X = Cl, Br,I)
  • Structure of 2D organic –inorganic hybrid perovskite of the formula [NH3(CH2)nNH3]MX4, n = 4-9, M = Co, Mn, Cu, X= Cl, Br
  • Optical properties, band gap energy and electrical properties of 2D Hybrid perovskite.

Thanks to ECA for giving me the opportunity to present my research work and share ideas with colleagues, build up new research cooperation and friends. It gives me a great pleasure to met members of AFCA-SC and put together the road map towards African crystallographic Association.

This is my first time to travel to Ghana, I’m happy to built some new friends and know some information about Ghanaian culture. The theme of the conference was Crystallography, a tool for sustainable development in Africa, and it was jointly organized with the 2nd African Light Source Meeting AFLS 2. The organization is good and LOC did a good job.

Thanks to ECA travel grant to participate to PCCr2. When we speak about Crystallographic conference, this is to speak about Art in Science.

Rim Benali-Cherif, Abbes Laghrour Khenchela University, Algeria

(PCCr2), which was held in Accra (Ghana), from January 28th till February 02nd, 2019. This initiative was supported by the European Crystallography Association (ECA). This conference brought together the different geniuses of crystallography, with researchers, post-doctoral and doctoral students from African, European and American laboratories.

First of all, I would like to highlight the importance of this conference. Since the sessions proposed at the Conference were numerous and varied, I had the opportunity to attend presentations given by researchers working in my field, as well as sessions on other various subjects. This Conference was an opportunity to discover the hot topics in areas of crystallography, such as the study of powder diffraction geometry or powder neutron
diffraction or…..etc. These topics have aroused my curiosity and encouraged interesting scientific discussions with people who are specialized in these fields of research.

In addition, I was given the opportunity to present my work through a “poster presentation”, which allowed me to discuss and exchange work, and to talk about progression in the field with other young researchers. The scientific discussions that have been given proved to be varied not only on subjects close to my research but also on more distant topics as well as on the existing and possible research pathways.

Finally, this conference has been a great opportunity for me to represent my country Algeria. I was able to meet great people, and share ideas concerning my research field, thus encouraging future collaborations. So, I am very grateful to have had this opportunity, and I would like to thank the ECA for granting me the chance to participate in this Conference. It was a wonderful experience. The level and diversity of discussion were outstanding. It was
very well organized, both logistically and in terms of its content.

Please accept my sincere congratulations on such a successful event. You have just the right mix of subjects, people and time.

Gift Mehlana, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe

I am very grateful for the financial support I received from ECA which enabled to be part of the conference proceedings at the PCCr2 and Afls2. The first day of the conference was very refreshing as we were subjected to a series of lectures in Morden diffraction techniques. This gave an insight on different techniques that can be used to understand the properties of the materials we prepare in our laboratories. I found the lectures presented to resonate well with my research. The open lab session which ran for the whole duration of the conference gave an opportunity for several young scientists to appreciate how to configure the instrumental parameters of the D2 powder X-ray diffractometer to get the best resolution and intensity from their samples. On the second day, the official opening ceremony was graced by the minister of state security and the minister of environment, science, technology and innovation. The latter delivered the message on behalf of the President of Ghana which highlighted that the poverty faced by Africa is   a result of the technological gap. In that regard, the government of Ghana pledged to increase the research budget from 0.5 to 2.5% of its GDP in future. This shows that the joint PCcr2 and Afls2 had a huge influence on the government of Ghana’s policy towards funding research.

The Pan African Conference on Crystallography had very interesting talks both by young and renowned scientists. Of particular interest to note was the plenary lecture by Professor Tom Blundell who presented a lecture on ‘Structure-guided fragment -based drug discovery for cancer and tuberculosis. During his presentation he highlighted the need to develop tuberculosis drugs that can treat tuberculosis effectively within a short period of time. Furthermore, he gave praised the contributions that were made by African scientist towards drug development.

The CCDC workshop which was presented by Dr S. Ward and Amy Serjeant proved to be a fruitful event at the joint PCCr2 and Als2. The workshop was very helpful as it highlighted some of the new features that can be used by crystallographers to analyses and describe their crystal structures. This workshop was mainly attended by young scientists.

I had an opportunity to share my research with the crystallographic community. During my presentation, I presented a new class of materials called metal-organic frameworks for carbon dioxide capture and conversion. My work is expected to generate new technologies that can be implemented to mitigate the effects that are caused by the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The joint PCCr2 and Als2 was a successful event which was characterised by presentations which I believe will benefit all the young scientists who attended the conference.