African Physics Newsletter

Building Quantum Skills and Community for Africa

Anybody interested can become part of the African quantum physics and quantum computing community.

Quantum physics, which governs the behaviour of matter on an atomic scale, brings new capabilities that lead to a wave of new technologies that will create new businesses and help solve many of today's global challenges. After delivering ground-breaking technologies such as the transistor, solid-state lighting and lasers, and GPS, we are now entering the second quantum revolution.

Africa's competitive advantage is its talented young population. It simply cannot afford to be left out of the quantum revolution, which will sit at the core of building new enterprises, future careers, and workforces, as well as driving accessible innovation.

Why quantum matters

Talking of innovation, here are three reasons why quantum deserves attention in Africa:

  1. Quantum devices will become essential tools in many industries. They could help to improve health (model new drugs and vaccines), food security (finding new catalysts for fertilizer production), combat climate change (carbon capture, weather forecasting), optimization (logistics, land-use, production), improved sensing for exploration and imaging, secure and faster communication systems among others.
  2. Timing is everything: This game-changing technology is now emerging from the lab and steadily getting into the hands of users.
  3. Even if you are new to this field, you are never alone. Open access and an accessible and vibrant community make it easy to get started and find support.

A solid and inclusive community

Now that we have entered an era where quantum computers have finally developed enough that anyone can program one, it is time to build a solid and inclusive community where people can ask questions of one another, share their observations, suggest new approaches, manage expectations, and discover quantum computing’s full potential. Having unlimited access to a diverse group of experts helps to develop and improve crucial skills, stay on top of the latest trends in quantum computing, keep a pulse on opportunities, meet prospective mentors and collaborators, make friends, and gain access to important resources that are bound to make one successful in the field.

Quantum computing is a relatively young field and needs all of us to make it work. I encourage all interested and active in quantum tech to seriously consider participating in the various communities as this can be a catalyst for producing new ideas and starting new collaborations. Getting to a future where quantum computers break new ground will require the collective talent and contributions of many brilliant people like you.

African Quantum Summit & Career fair

Whether or not you know it, you have something important to contribute. Efforts to make Africa quantum ready should not be limited to applications alone but have to be extended throughout the quantum computing stack.

At OneQuantum Africa, we are building a global quantum tech community organization focused on education, mentoring, careers, and the implementation of transformative projects in quantum tech that will improve the lives of all Africans. To make it happen, we hosted the first African Quantum Summit & Career Fair on May 12-13, 2021.

You can sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with quantum tech news in the continent. You can learn more about our community efforts.

Farai Mazhandu, President, OneQuantum Africa

Yhis article has first been published by the African Physics Newsletter - © American Physical Society, 2021.


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