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The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, today announces the launch of NEF Africa Science Week in 13 African countries throughout June 2017. NEF Ambassadors, local science and technology champions, together with support of local academic, public and private sector stakeholders and sponsors, will lead the three to five days of events in their countries.

“The NEF Africa Science Week is the first coordinated science week across Africa. Our primary objective is to develop tomorrow’s scientists and technologists by engaging children and young people in scientific activities like science caravans and hackathons. Our activities will also demonstrate the critical impact of science to daily life. In the long term, we hope to catalyse investment in research and development and popularize science,” said Thierry Zomahoun, AIMS President and CEO and NEF Chair.

June 2017 will witness exciting sessions in Sudan, Rwanda, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, South Africa and Tanzania. Each country will have specific activities, designed to enable citizens to engage with everyday science and scientists. In the line-up are exciting events like hackathons, technology discovery through coding, focus on entrepreneurship through the lens of science and mathematics, science knowledge street trivia, a caravan of science and events which focus on women scientists.

“The weeklong signature event will highlight best practices for attracting and retaining young people, especially girls and women, in the sciences, and on the academic side, strengthen research networks and communities of scientists across Africa. We expect that the next few editions will see technology facilitate coordinated regional activities. We would like to thank our partners in the public, academic and private sector for supporting this initiative. Africa will only compete globally if there are coordinated sustainable investments in building the pipeline of researchers and innovators,” said Mr. Zomahoun.

NEF Ambassadors and Judges at the NEF Global Gatherings 2016

Looking to the future, the NEF will expand the reach of its Africa Science Week to 30 countries in 2018 and all 54 by 2020. Beyond numbers, the NEF hopes that Africa Science Week will grow to include major activities in schools and universities, and result in concrete collaboration between the research community and private sector.

In line with the NEF’s Dakar Declaration, issued at the first biennial NEF Global Gathering 2016, held in in Dakar, Senegal, Africa Science Week will place public engagement at the heart of advancing Africa’s scientific agenda. The next edition of the NEF Global Gathering will be held in Kigali in March 2018 under the patronage of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.

Africa Science Week is made possible by support from Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Google and local sponsors in the each country. Find out how to participate and support Africa Science Week at www.nef.org/asw

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the Next Einstein Forum.