Global Science Forum to support young African scientists


The inaugural Global Science Forum in Africa concluded this Thursday with pledge to bring young African scientists out of the shadows, invest in basic sciences so as to best drive development through science, technology and innovation across the continent.

The Next Einstein Forum’s Global Gathering, Africa’s premiere global science and technology forum was held in Dakar, Senegal, March 10, 2016, and convened by the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The first-ever global science forum on African soil gathered more than 800 global scientific and industry thought-leaders, political leaders and young scientists uniting to chart a new course for science-led development in Africa.

Thierry Zomahoun, NEF Chairperson, and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) said that the forum was a transformational moment for Africa.

By Taking our African scientists out of the shadows and giving them the exposure on a global level, we’re creating a youth-driven pan-African scientific community that must be sustained and expanded starting with our NEF Fellows and Ambassadors.” Zomahoun said.

Alongside Neil Turok, AIMS Founder and Chairman and current Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, NEF President Thierry Zomahoun, signed a letter of intent with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to open an AIMS center in Nigeria.

Several initiatives, were announced at the forum including- the launch of the AIMS Women in STEM Initiative (AIMSWIS), a collaborative industry effort to prioritize African women in STEM as IBM Research and the NEF announced the launch of a visiting scientist program, joining forces to promote the future of African scientific talent and advance the continent’s knowledge economy.

The visiting scientists program includes selected NEF Fellows, who are already accomplished scientists in their own right and the program will allow them to further their research and global standing.

Dr. Solomon Assefa, Director of IBM’s South Africa Research Lab said that African economies have experienced tremendous growth in the last few decades and there was a need for sustainability.

“To sustain this growth into the future, it is imperative to support the development of Africa’s knowledge economy and drive science in Africa, for Africa and the world,” said Assefa.

“The Next Einstein Forum is particularly pleased to partner with IBM Research on this program which demonstrates concretely what we are trying to do – bridge brilliant scientists from Africa to global opportunities for research and mentorship, both to receive and give mentorship,” said Arun Sharma, Managing Director, NEF.

The next NEF Global gathering will be held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2018. Rwanda is home to the AIMS headquarters, Africa’s first quantum research centre Quantum Leap Africa and the NEF secretariat.