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With science taking center stage, the Next Einstein Forum’s Global Gathering, Africa’s premiere global science and technology forum, wrapped up today with a clear path forward on how best to drive development through science, technology and innovation across the continent.

Moving forward, the NEF is committed to a holistic, action-oriented roadmap aimed at enabling science-driven development by forging strategic partnerships, securing increased investment, developing research capacity, encouraging education, empowering young African scientists and promoting diversity and women in STEM.

Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between AIMS and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), both organizations announced the establishment of five research chairs to strengthen research and support scientific exchange. The first chair has already been set up at AIMS Senegal with NEF Fellow Moustapha Fall with others chairs in South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon and Tanzania to follow. In total, the program is valued at nine million euros.

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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.

The NEF also announced the launch of the AIMS Women in STEM Initiative (AIMSWIS), a collaborative industry effort to prioritize African women in STEM supported by the African Union Commission, the Government of Senegal, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa, Forum for African Women Educationalists, Johnson & Johnson, International Development Research Centre and others.

Also today, 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 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 selected NEF Fellows are already accomplished scientists in their own right and the program will allow them to further their research and global standing.”

Through the collaborative agreement, five NEF Fellows will become visiting IBM scientists at IBM’s global network of research labs in countries such as Kenya, US, Switzerland, China, India, Brazil, Israel, and Australia. The program is designed to give a boost to Africa’s most promising young scientists and help set the pace and direction for the continent’s cutting edge scientific research. For more on the partnership please visit:

“African economies have experienced tremendous growth in the last few decades. 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 Dr. Solomon Assefa, Director of IBM’s South Africa Research Lab.

“This initiative from IBM Research and the Next Einstein Forum is designed to support some of Africa’s most promising young scientists and equip them with the skills and professional networks they need to make a difference in Africa and beyond.”

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

Join the movement

Visit IAmEinstein.org to join the movement to place science and technology at the center of Africa’s transformation and call on African governments, leaders, and youth to embrace and support a new era in science, technology, and innovation. Watch NEF’s “Game Changers”

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