Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • South Africa enters the nanotech race


Nanotechnology — the burgeoning science of super-small construction — has so far eluded Africa. But this looks set to change. An African Materials Forum, to be held next month at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, could kickstart the continent straight into the nanotech race.

Many believe that Southern Africa has great potential in the field, as a team of researchers at the University of Zululand (UniZul) in South Africa is already showing. The team is currently investigating applications for nanomaterials in water treatment and energy storage. Then there is the continent’s mineral riches — including gold, titanium and platinum — which will also provide the raw material for the manufacture of high-quality semiconductor nanoparticles.

The team at UniZul offers a level of nanotech expertise that is hard to find in the continent. But some say that unless South Africa establishes itself fast in the field, it will miss the chance to compete globally as nanotechnology gathers pace.

Link to full Science in Africa article

We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.