Report from AfricaArray Workshop 13-14 July 2006
On Thursday and Friday 13-14 July, 2006, with financial support from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), and the National Science Foundation (USA), AfricaArray organised its first scientific workshop in Johannesburg at the School of Geosciences, Wits University. The workshop was attended by 75 delegates including students from Wits and Penn State Universities.
The AfricaArray workshop at Wits was convened with the following aims in mind:
- Provide a forum in which to present the first results of AfricaArray training and research activities.
- Conduct an AfricaArray business meeting during which to present and approve a governance model for the AfricaArray programme.
- Present and discuss new AfricaArray initiatives including the e-learning initiative and the AfricaArray field course.
- Discuss progress on the establishment of the AfricaArray seismic network on the continent.
- Provide a forum for geophysicists from Africa to meet and discuss their research and data gathering activities.
- Provide a forum for representatives from Industry, Academia and government organizations to meet and promote future collaborations.
- Provide a forum during which to present other geophysics initiatives currently taking place in Africa.
The 2-day workshop was preceded by a 1 day workshop at the Council for Geoscience in Pretoria to discuss the establishment of an Indian Ocean Tsunami early warning system along the east African seaboard. Both these workshops were organised in tandem, and arrangements were made for delegates that had been invited to the AfricaArray workshop to also attend the Tsunami workshop and vice versa.
More than 20 countries from a wide variety of organisations with interests in geophysics training and research were represented at the AfricaArray workshop as follows:
- Geological surveys and/or Universities from the following countries were represented: Angola, Belgium, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Ireland, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe ( Namibia, Netherlands, France, DRC sent apologies).
- From industry representatives included: BHPBilliton, DeBeers, Earthworks, Geosoft, RioTinto, Schlumberger, Total.
- Other organisations that sent official representatives included: Africa Museum, Tervuren; Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), Geoforschungscentrum Potzdam; International Council for Science; United States Geological Survey (USGS); US Consulate, Pretoria.
A full list of delegates is included below.
The first AA newsletter was prepared for the meeting and has been included with this report. This newsletter provides an update of AA activities to date.
AfricaArray in brief
AfricaArray is a pan-African initiative to promote geophysical research and capacity building, and was launched as a long-term (10 year) programme in July 2004 by the University of the Witwatersrand, the Council for Geoscience and Penn State University, USA. The programme was officially started on 1 January 2005, with the geophysics honours programme at Wits University, and the allocation of 11 seismic stations of the SA national seismic network to the AA network by the Council for Geoscience. The primary goal of AfricaArray is to address the problem of limited human capacity in Africa in geosciences with a special focus on geophysics. AfricaArray is an intervention designed to strengthen geophysics education and research programmes in the region and help build an Africa-to-Africa training and research support system. Training and research programmes will be linked to the establishment of geophysical observational networks that can be used in support of scientific and applied project work. More details on AfricaArray are provided on: www.africaarray.psu.edu.
Report of activities
The workshop agenda is given below:
|Thursday. July 13, 2006|
|9:00 - 9:15am||Welcome and opening remarks|
|9:15 - 9:45||Andy Nyblade: review of AA research and network activities|
|9:45-10:15||Paul Dirks: review of AA educational activities|
|10:15-10:30||Questions and answers|
|2:00-2:45||Alan Jones: Keynote address on SAMTEX and AfricaArray|
|2:45-3:05||Martin Brandt: Upper mantle structure beneath S.Africa for modeling regional seismic waves|
|3:05-3:25||Damien Delvaux: Tectonic setting of the recent earthquakes in eastern Tanzania|
|3:25-3:45||Andrzej Kijko: Contribution of the SANSN to AfricaArray|
|4:15-4:30||Atalay Ayele: 2005 magmato-tectonic activity in Afar, Ethiopia|
|4:30-4:45||Daniel Lombe: The Zambian Seismic network and AfricaArray|
|4:45-5:00||Jane Gore: AfricaArray activities in Zimbabwe|
|5:00-5:15||Report of proceedings from the July 12 meeting at the Council for Geoscience on the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System|
Friday, July 14, 2006
|9:00-9:40am||Ray Durrheim: Keynote address on mine seismology|
|9:40-10:00||Eldridge Kgaswane: Crustal and upper mantle studies of the Kaapvaal Craton and surrounding regions|
|10:00-10:30||Berd Schurr: CTBTO presentation|
|11:00-11:15||Student report from the AfricaArray field course|
|11:15-11:30||Mark Hamilton: Preliminary MT results for lithospheric structure in southern Africa|
|11:30-11:45||Shawn Letts: Paleomagnetism of the Bushveld Complex|
|11:55-12:05||Steve Coomber: Imaging Wits Basin structure using GOCAD|
|1:30-3:00pm||Additional talks on national networks: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda|
|3:00- 3:30||AfricaArray e-education initiative|
|4:00-5:30||Business meeting - approval of new AfricaArray organizational structure|
A summary of all talks is available on CD which will be sent to delegates.
What follows are comments on the business meetings, observations made and resolutions reached.
Report of AfricaArray business meeting
The Aims for the business meeting were defined as:
- Review the existing management structure
- Review the need for a new management structure
- Present some possible models for management structures
- Propose a favored model
The existing organizational structure of AfricaArray is as follows:
From consensus reached during July 2004 workshop (Johannesburg, SA) it was decided that:
- Co-Directors: Nyblade and Dirks
- General MoU: to establish partnership arrangements between AA partner institutions
Subsequent additions to the AfricaArray structure include:
- Feb 2005 workshop (Triest, Italy): it was decided to establish regional working groups with a chair that becomes part of a Board of Directors of AfricaArray
- Staff Assistants have been appointed at Penn State and Wits to assist in the day-to-day management of AfricaArray
- A roving engineer has been appointed at the Council for Geosciences (with a 70% appointment to AA) whose task it is to assist with the establishment and maintenance of AA stations in southern Africa.
Funding: AA is currently funded through research proposals led by participating Principal Investigators. The following parameters guide this structure:
- PI’s are directly responsible to funding agencies
- PI-institutions provide financial and legal backing for the projects, and in that manner assist/subsidize AfricaArray.
The explicit aim of AA is to: “Increase the pool of knowledge in Geophysics in Africa”. With this purpose in mind a more rigorous AfricaArray management structure is proposed bearing in mind that:
- The roles of the founding members vs normal members must be explained
- Ownership arrangements of AfricaArray equipment must be clearly defined
- Ownership arrangements of AfricaArray data (IP) must be clearly defined
- The structure must address representation(by region; by discipline; by organisation type)
- The day-to-day management structure of AA activities and research must be defined
- Future growth capabilities must be taken into account
- In establishing a management structure it is important to ensure that the AA Endeavour is a credible enterprise.
Two general management models were presented, each making the underlying assumption that the AA structure will be based in South Africa:
- A centre based within an existing legal entity
- A section 21 company (a non-profit company constituted in terms of the SA companies act).
The option of a section 21 company was quickly discarded on the grounds that:
- It has limited controls on governance(to who is the company answerable ?)
- It has no track record, is unknown and therefore has limited credibility.
- As an independent entity it will be expensive to establish and run.
Thus, it was proposed that a centre be established based at Wits university, and that the model presented below be used as a guideline in drawing up founding documents.
In discussing this model a number of concerns were raised and suggestions made specifically can control of the founding partners be limited so that they will not enjoy majority in the Board
- The Board reserves the right to review the founding document and revise the composition of the board. It was suggested that the management structure can be reviewed after 3 years.
- The Board should be limited in size to prevent lack of quorum in meetings
- A mechanism must be found to constitute regional groups with representation in the AA Board (individuals in various regions were urged to take the lead in this)
- It was suggested that certain constituencies (e.g. organizations outside of Africa) could have a non-voting seat on the board.
- The importance of stability and credibility of the management team/structure was stressed
- The issue of acknowledgement and co-authorship in publications was raised, considering that a large number of people will be involved in establishing and contributing to the AA network. A suggestion was made to consult the latest international policies on this issue, devised by journals such as Science and Nature.
- With regards funding several suggestions were made including: taxing AA projects on a project-by-project basis; ask participants outside Africa to pay an annual membership fee; there is need for central fund raising with governmental organizations in participating countries.
- When applications are made to AA, do students apply in their individual capacity or should man-power development projects be centralized in countries.
- In terms of capacity development, how well are the needs of participating countries known.
- There is a need for a scientific coordinator within the AfricaArray structure
- The shared AfricaArray facilities may have to be defined as a separate organizational entity within the management structure.
- Equipment contributed by member countries must remain under the control of these countries. AA can not assume ownership/control in such instances.
- It is the UN endorsed “year of planet earth”, and this may be an excellent opportunity to use AA as a means to upgrade country networks by asking member country governments to contribute to AA stations.
The various suggestions and comments were made within the context of lively debate. On Day 2 the business meeting was continued and proposals for the establishment of an e-learning course were discussed. These proposals were very positively received and there was a general expression of willingness to participate in the establishment of a comprehensive e-learning course.
At the end of the business meeting on day two, the proposed establishment of an AfricaArray structure was endorsed and Dirks and Nyblade were given the go ahead to move ahead in developing a legal entity. Everyone was invited to put any further comments or suggestions in writing to Dirks/Nyblade.
Brief Summary of country presentations
- Botswana:Has pool of trained people in the UB(6 in the physics department of which 4 have PhD’s; 2 in the geology department both with PhD’s). Has equipment to install a number of stations. Would like to obtain real-time capabilities for Okavango stations, where vaults are already in place.
- Malawi: Two new AA stations have been installed. Since all stations in Malawi are aligned along the N-S axis of the country, Malawi is seeking regional collaboration and data exchange to better determine earthquake focal points. Malawi would like to receive training.
- Ethiopia: (See presentation on disk distributed to attendees)
- Madagascar: (See presentation on disk distributed to attendees)
- Cameroon: (See presentation on disk distributed to attendees) Aims to set up network of 6 bb stations. Hopes to acquire at least 1 AA station after the current AA temporary deployment comes to an end in 2007.
- Mozambique: One new AA station has been established. Will be able to rehabilitate a further vault to accommodate a station.
- Ghana: Currently has infrastructure to accommodate 9 stations. However, only one station is now operational. Ghana would like to work with AA to upgrade stations
- Kenya: Has 5 stations (including one CTBTO station) plus one that is vandalised and not working. Experience problems with down-time and maintenance and have a need for training programmes.
- Uganda: Currently maintain 4 stations. They plan to upgrade the existing stations and set up 6 more stations. Already Uganda participates in the AA training programmes with 1 Hons student at Wits and 1 PhD student at Penn State. Uganda contributes staff wages, space and can arrange tax exemptions on AA equipment.
- Angola: The Metorological institute (INAMET) is currently installing 3 new real-time stations to be expanded to 8 stations by the end of 2007. Want to participate in training and research.
- Tanzania: (See presentation on disk distributed to attendees)
- South Africa: (See presentation on disk distributed to attendees)
|Company/University/ Organization||First name||Surname|
|To be completed by AA staff|