President of Benin and His Cabinet host LAAAMP

Dr Thierry D’Almeida has presented the LAAAMP project and new initiatives to the President of Benin and His Cabinet.

Following the successful LAAAMP Colloquium delivered in Cotonou, Benin in the period 2 to 5 May 2018, Dr Thierry D’Almeida was invited to spend two weeks in his home country of Benin meeting with President Patrice Talon, his Cabinet and numerous other dignitaries to discuss both LAAAMP and the newly proposed crystallography lab and training program called XTech-SD (X-Ray Techniques for Sustainable Development).

Such program, coordinated by the Institut de Mathématiques et de Sciences Physiques (IMSP), is being implemented in collaboration with LAAAMP and within the framework of the IUCr-UNESCO OpenLab and the Crystallography in Africa initiatives. It is aimed at training over a hundred Master and Ph.D. students from Benin and neighbouring countries, such as Nigeria, Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso every year, and at establishing a permanent user research facility with experienced, permanent staff to act as a hub for the region.

President Talon stated that he was already aware of the LAAAMP project, and he will spread the word among his fellow Presidents at the next meeting of African Heads of State in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His government is ready to support XTech-SD, which is expected to occupy temporary quarters in Cotonou, but will subsequently relocate to Sèmè City, which is located between Cotonou and Porto-Novo and is currently being established as a high-tech hub for Benin.

Among his several meetings, he was also able to discuss at length with Dr Marie Odile Attanasso, Benin’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Dr Attanasso remarked that these were just the type of programs that they have been waiting for. Thierry’s meetings received extensive press coverage, including television news.

ORTB News "Le20H", 16 September 2018

See the photo gallery at the Presidency of the Republic of Benin Flickr page | Read the article on Beninese newspaper Boulevard des Infos

The LAAAMP Executive Committtee congratulates Thierry on such big achievements and look forward to continuing collaborating with him on these initiatives. Plans are being put in place for highlighting the XTech-SD project at the joint conference of the African Light Source Conference 2 (AfLS2) and the Pan African Crystallography Conference 2 (PCCr2) in Ghana in January-February 2019, and emphasizing the need for Feeder Facilities that allow the preparation of samples to be studied at world advanced light sources. The XTech-SD will serve as a model of such a Feeder Facility.

Posted 27 Sep 2018