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Science at the US-Africa Leaders Summit, Washington, DC, 12-15 December 2022

ISC and partners will organise a series of side events focussing on the contribution of science to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and its outcomes taking place in Washington on 12-15 December 2022. The US-Africa Summit is intended to demonstrate the United States enduring commitment to Africa and underscore the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities. White House Announcement

                       The programme is in development, so please monitor it for updates

The Summit will build on shared values to better foster new economic engagement; reinforce the U.S.-Africa commitment to democracy and human rights; mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics; work collaboratively to strengthen regional and global health; promote food security; advance peace and security; respond to the climate crisis, and amplify diaspora ties.

ISC will organise a series of events designed to highlight the role and contribution of science to the US-Africa relationship under the heading of Science at the US-Africa Leaders Summit 2022. ISC organised a similar series of meetings during the last US-African Leaders Summit, which took place in 2014. The objectives of the meetings will be to highlight the importance of science in Africa, to foster greater collaboration between African nations and the US, and to increase investment in science for Global Health, Digital Transition, Space, Biological Diversity, Education and Skills, among other areas and to support an enabling policy and regulatory environment for science collaboration to flourish between Africa and the US.
avatar for Michael Backes

Michael Backes

University of Namibia
Associate Professor & Co-PI Africa Millimetre Telescope
Windhoek, Namibia

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Prof. Michael Backes is Associate Professor, Head of the Namibian H.E.S.S. group, and of astrophysics at the University of Namibia (UNAM), as well as Extraordinary Associate Professor at North-West University (South Africa) and Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford (UK). He received his PhD and MSc in gamma-ray astronomy from TU Dortmund University (D). He got appointed a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA) and elected to their Executive Committee. He is recipient of a UNAM Meritorious Award for Best Academic Performance in the Faculty of Science, and of a GfKl Application Award by the German Data Science Society (GfKl). He was rated an Established Researcher by the South African National Research Foundation, indicative of him belonging to the highest rated 1.5% of researchers in his age group. He is the Namibian lead for a Global Challenges Research Fund project and he also serves as the founding head of the Virtual Institute for Scientific Computing and Artificial Intelligence at UNAM. His research focuses on gamma-ray loud Active Galaxies, their multi-wavelength and multi-messenger emission, as well as their long-term behaviour, centred around observations with the H.E.S.S. gamma-ray telescopes. Besides that, he is active in the fields of advanced data analysis methods for very high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, and site-testing for future observatories. He is Co-PI of the Africa Millimetre Telescope (AMT) and actively works on its establishment and its science program. Besides this hard science research, he pursues societal impact-driven activities on astro-tourism and archaeoastronomy in Namibia.