Two research centres will open their doors in Cape Town, South Africa, this month in a bid to bolster theoretical physics and mathematical sciences across the continent.

A pan-African centre of the existing African Institute for Mathematical Sciences will be launched on 12 May, followed the next day by the National Institute for Theoretical Physics, to be headquartered at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.

The two institutes are funded mainly by the South African Department of Science and Technology. The pair will work closely with each other, using mainly local scientific talent to contribute to regional cosmology and astrophysics programmes such as SALT (the Southern Africa Large Telescope) in Sutherland and MeerKAT, a radio-telescope facility under construction in the Karoo desert.