The idea to create a network for solar energy in Africa emerged from an encounter between Pr Dr Daniel A. M. Egbe (Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria), Pr Dr Samir Romdhane
(University of Bizerte, Tunisia) and Pr Dr Teketel Yohannes (University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) during the International Conference on Conducting Material- ICOCOM 2010, which was
held from the 3rd to the 7th of November 2010 in Sousse, Tunisia.
The Sousse meeting on 04.11.2010
The first constituting meeting of the network was held on the 4th of November 2010 in Sousse, Tunisia, between 10 pm and midnight, witnessing the attendance of 9 persons,
most of them (7) from North Africa. As a by-product of ICOCOM 2010, the network was named "African Network on Conducting Materials for Solar Energy -ANCMSE" by the participants
of the first meeting, who defined the main goal of the network, which is to foster research activities in the field of solar energy among African scientists working within and
out of Africa. It was decided that the network should not be a political but a success oriented entity.
The desire to get ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics), a United Nations institution based in Trieste Italy, involved in the activities of the network was
expressed by most of the attendees, due to ICTP's long time experience working with African scientists. Prof. Teketel Yohannes was assigned to contact ICTP and seek its support to the objectives of the network.
The participants were requested to act as ambassadors by informing other concerned scientists all over Africa and abroad about the network. As one of the initiators, Pr Dr. Daniel A. M. Egbe was appointed to
coordinate the network´s activities in the early stage.
The Linz meeting on 04.02.2011
Exactly three month later, on the 4th of February 2011, a second meeting in the form of a mini-symposium was held at
the Linz Institute of Organic Solar Cells (LIOS, lios.at) of the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
(jku.at). This second gathering was possible thanks to Professor Serdar Sariciftci, director of LIOS, who secured
funding to cover the travel and accommodation expenses of most of the African attendees. Lesley Tobin of ICPC-Nanonet
(icpc-nanonet.org) was critical to the success of the mini-symposium. With the information she provided, we were
able to invite participants coming from different African regions, such that the decisions taken during the symposium
were binding. She was moreover very helpful in a practical sense by writing down the minutes, by purchasing the web
domain ansole.org and by designing the logo of the network. Following countries were directly or indirectly
represented at the symposium: Algeria, Austria, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Great Britain,
Italy, Morocco, Nigeria, Scotland, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey and USA. The attendance of ICTP which was represented
by Dr. Ralph Gebauer and Dr. Joseph Niemela, was greatly welcome by all. ICTP promised to support the network in
Changing the focus and name
The Appellation “African Network on Conducting Materials for Solar Energy -ANMCSE” was found to be too restrictive (exclusive) during the second meeting and was therefore changed.
A more inclusive appellation "African Network for Solar Energy-ANSOLE" was chosen instead. The goals and objectives as defined by the Sousse meeting were reiterated and extended.
It was agreed that ANSOLE should not be limited on research activities only, but it should also include economic aspects in its activities.
In addition, the attendees of the Linz meeting made an undersigned Binding declaration of the following content:
- We the undersigned agree to formally establish and affiliate ourselves with the “African Network for Solar Energy” as initially
founded in Sousse, Tunisia on November 4th 2010.We adopt the acronym “ANSOLE”.
- We the undersigned unanimously agree that Prof. Dr. Daniel Ayuk Mbi Egbe is coordinator of ANSOLE for the next two years (2011-2013).
- We the undersigned agree that the African participants of this symposium constitute the advisory board for the next two years (2011-2013).
The Structure of ANSOLE
The present structure of ANSOLE consists of a coordination office, an advisory board made up of the African attendees of the
Linz meeting, regional and national representatives of ANSOLE appointed by the coordinator.
The following ANSOLE logo has been adopted:
It has the three main colors found in the flags of most African countries: green, red and yellow. The O of ANSOLE is
represented by the Sun, which has been positioned in the middle of the Sahara desert, the area with the highest solar
energy in Africa. The Network is reflected by the net on the Sun, which, through its shape, reminds one of graphene
(representing the research effort).
4.11.2011: ANSOLE is an ICTP Network
Exactly 1 year after the Sousse meeting, ANSOLE obtained the status of an ICTP network bringing a series of advantages to the network scientists. For instance,
ICTP will offer fellowships to the two main ANSOLE students exchange programs within the next three years:
The ANEX program is a knowledge acquisition (knowledge transfer) program geared at training African students and researchers in experienced and well-equipped research
laboratories in Europe, North America and Asia.
- Africa-North Exchange-Program (ANEX-Program).
- Intra-African Exchange-Program (INEX-Program).
The INEX program whose primary aim is to strengthen intra-African research activcities, offers the possibility to conduct joint Masters or joint Ph.D programs among
African institutions. Within the INEX program exists a special program called "OVERcome the HEAt of the Desert" program or OVERHEAD-Program. This special program, which
will be strongly favored, is geared at bridging research activities between Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.