The Materials Research Department (MRD) and the University of South Africa (UNISA), under the framework of the UNISA-UNESCO chair, hosted the Inaugural NANOSMAT-AFRICA conference at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West during 19 – 23 November 2018. Amongst those who presented plenary talks are the Nobel Laureate Prof J M Lehn, Prof CNR Rao, Prof Hanns-Ulrich Habermeier, Prof David Cahen, Prof Uzi Landman, Prof Alfred Msezane, Prof Pablo Esquinazi, Prof Norbert Kucerka, Prof Ron Naama, Prof AK Tyagi, Prof Suprakas Sinha Ray, Prof Federico Rosei, Prof Roberta Ramponi, Prof Mohamed Chaker and Prof Jean-Pierre Massue. The conference was attended by 247 participants from around the globe. There was 1 Nobel Laureate contribution by Prof J M Lehn, 10 plenary oral contributions, 26 invited oral contributions, 64 standard contributions, including junior and postdoctoral oral contributions and 103 poster contributions. There were 9 awards presented during the gala dinner. Five of the awards were from Springer Nature for Women in Science and four from the Nanosmat Society in the UK. Miss Siphokazi Panya Panya, a DST-NRF Innovation Scholarship PhD student based at the MRD, was awarded the “Springer-Nature Award” for outstanding research work presented at the conference. This was the first time a prize of this nature was presented at a conference and it included a trophy, a certificate of recognition and also an access to Nanoscience prestigious database for a period of one year. The full title of Miss Panya Panya’s presentation is: Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) on Geological Samples: Hardness Differentiation. Mrs Touria Khamliche won the prize of the best poster in the PhD category. The title of her poster presentation is: Thermal Conductivity Enhancement in Laser Liquid Solid Interaction Fabricated Cu Nanoparticles Ethylene Glycol Based Nanofluids.