By Haruna Gimba
Global Science Forum has announces a new initiative to strengthen Africa’s STEM research opportunities and pledged to invest in basic sciences to bring young African scientists out of the shadows.
Rising from a meeting in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, Next Einstein’s Forum (NEF) Global Gathering, Africa’s premiere global science and technology forum, wrapped up with a clear path forward on how best to drive development through science, technology and innovation across the continent.
According to a statement issued at the end of the meeting, the event was convened by the NEF, an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
The three-day STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) summit, which is the first-ever global science forum on African soil, brought together more than 800 global scientific and industry thought-leaders, political leaders and young scientists to chart a new course for science-led development in Africa.
NEF Chairperson and President, CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Thierry Zomahoun said African scientists have showed the world that given the opportunity, they are able to do extraordinary things.
He said: “This is a transformational moment for Africa to take scientists out of the shadows and give them the exposure on a global level; we are creating a youth-driven pan-African scientific community that must be sustained and expanded starting with our NEF Fellows and Ambassadors.”
Health Reporters gathered that the participants discussed the need for regional collaboration and investment in basic and applied sciences.
Speaking at the event, Senegal’s Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mary Teuw Niane said Senegal have shown precedent that Africa can become a global scientific hub if the continent can create sustainable funding and support infrastructure critical to building scientific capital.
Founder of Rokel Delivery Services (RDS), Mr. Moses Bangura, won the NEF Global Challenge of Invention to Innovation competition (Ci2i).
RDS is an African led start-up that leverages advances in drone technology and network mapping to deliver urgent life-saving health care solutions.
Mr. Bangura said: “With our business idea, we seek to raise money to develop an advanced prototype for testing and install a few ground stations, run pilot studies in at least two African countries and participate in the development of legal infrastructures in the use of drones for service delivery in Africa.
“This we believe will be the first of its kind in the world. In the end, RDS will ensure that health care products are able to reach people in emergencies and those who are in the furthest regions from connected roads.“
Senior VP of Strategy, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Wünning Tschol said science is key to the evolution and NEF is a critical platform to realize the potential.
“This week, we have gotten a sneak preview of the future of an Africa that is young and rapidly transforming. We all agree that a strong scientific community on this continent will also revolutionize the global scientific community,” he said.
The next NEF Global Gathering will be held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2018, which is now home to the AIMS headquarters.obal Science Forum unveils plan on invest on Africa Young Scientist