By Irene Gaitirira
Published March 3, 2016
A three-day meeting bringing together all 54 African countries to drum up global support for science and technology on the mother continent is scheduled for Dakar, Senegal, March 8-10, 2016.
Touted as being ‘Africaâ€™s premier global science and technology forum’, The Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering 2016, brings together leaders in industry, policy, science, and technology. The first edition of this biennial event is expected to set the stage for a vibrant conversation on transforming Africa and the world through a renewed and increased focus on science, technology and innovation.
â€œWith more than 700 participants from 80 countries already registered, 52% of them young people and 40% women, we are expecting a truly global forum that discusses opportunities, innovations, and solutions,” says Thierry Zomahoun, Chair of Next Einsten Forum. “The NEF Global Gathering will unveil Africaâ€™s global contributions to science and technology and as the forum opens on International Womenâ€™s Day, we will specifically acknowledge the contributions and address the challenges faced by female scientists.â€
The NEF Global Gathering 2016 is expected to showcase what NEF terms “the innovations and contributions of the NEFâ€™s 15 Fellows â€“some of Africaâ€™s brightest young scientists who are on the front-line of Africaâ€™s science renaissance.”
NEF says these scientists have been tackling some the continent’s most urgent technological and development challenges â€“ from big data and cyber-security to hypertension, heart disease, immunology and public health.”
Seema Kumar, Vice President in charge of Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy with Johnson & Johnson and a Member of the NEF International Steering Committee, says, â€œThe scientific talent in Africa is outstanding with the potential to produce the next Einstein, Pasteur or Madame Curie. The world needs the best science from across the globe to solve the medical challenges of our lifetime like HIV, TB, and other infectious diseases like Ebola and Zika virus, and non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes.â€
The organisers say the meeting that will be “live-streamed to a global audience from 8 March 2016 starting at 10:10 am UTC ,” will focus on advances in basic and applied science and technology, innovation pitching competition, a panel with Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal and Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Meet and Greets with ground-breaking scientists and inventors.
According to a media statement sent through African Press Organisation, NEF was launched in 2013 by African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
The statement says NEF has been endorsed by the African Union Commission; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the Governments of Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa; and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).