Countdown To Africa's First Ever Global Forum For Science And Technology Begins

-- More than 500 Global Scientific and Industry Thought-Leaders as well as Political Leaders Unite to Chart a New Course for Science-Led Development in Africa

-- Dedicated IAmEinstein.org Portal Launched to Build Global Support for Africa's Science and Technology Renaissance #AfricasEinsteins

Feb 18, 2016, 06:00 ET from Next Einstein Forum

DAKAR, Senegal, Feb. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In less than a month, Africa and the world's leading minds and influencers will congregate in Dakar, Senegal at the NEF Global Gathering (GG2016), the continent's premiere global science and technology forum. Convened by the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), a global platform that brings together leaders in industry, policy, science, and technology, the first edition of this biennial event will set the stage for a vibrant conversation on transforming Africa and the world through a renewed and increased focus on science, technology and innovation. The NEF is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The NEF Global Gathering provides a collaborative platform to accelerate research and development in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in Africa by showcasing its young, accomplished talent pool and uniting key decision makers and leaders in a common commitment to elevate Africa's profile as an influential member of the global scientific community. More than just a conference, the three-day forum (March 8 – 10) hosted by H.E President Macky Sall will represent a turning point for Africa's contribution to scientific research, which today only accounts for 1% of global output.

"Africa's challenges in science infrastructure, funding and collaboration are why we urgently need initiatives like the NEF that focus on leveraging Africa's immensely talented young people, which are its competitive advantage," said Thierry Zomahoun, NEF Chairperson and President and CEO of AIMS. "Increased investment in research and development in STEM fields is critical to meeting the continent's development trajectory and creating an enabling environment for discovery. We firmly believe the world's next Einsteins will come from Africa."

The NEF Global Gathering 2016 will showcase the innovations and contributions of the NEF's 15 Fellows – some of Africa's brightest young scientists who are on the frontline of Africa's science renaissance. Usually flying under the global radar, these scientists have been tackling some the continent's most urgent technological and development challenges – from, big data and cybersecurity to hypertension, heart disease, immunology and public health. In addition, NEF Fellows are looking to the future by working on gravitational waves and quantum research. Combined, their research has the potential to unearth game-changing solutions that impact not just their local communities but the world at large. Please see an overview of the NEF fellows' bios and projects.

"Scientific research, discoveries and technological innovation are directly linked to economic growth and social inclusion and we're working to demonstrate the transformative potential globally that science in Africa can have at the NEF Global Gathering in Dakar," said Arun Sharma, NEF Managing Director. "Governments, academia, industry leaders and civil society all have an essential role to play in building a strong African scientific community that can address local challenges with globally relevant solutions."

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
As global leaders and influencers address issues that can be advanced by basic and applied science and technology, the NEF Global Gathering will issue a strong call to action for investment in science in Africa and government policies to fuel research and innovation. Participant discussions will be encouraged to move beyond potential to practice.

Unique to the NEF Global Gathering, fifty percent of attendees will be young (under age 42 years) representing a truly pan-African audience. At least 40 percent of participants will be women, with an important panel to discuss how to leverage the contributions of female scientists. A bilingual event, simultaneous English and French translations will be available at all plenaries, workshops and panel discussions See the complete conference agenda.

Confirmed NEF GG2016 attendees include H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal (host); H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; H.E. Martial de Paul Ikounga Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Africa Union, Michaëlle Jean Secretary General, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie;, Johanna Wanka Minister of Education and Research; Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa; Leymah Gbowee Noble Peace Prize 2011; Flavia Schlegel Assistant Director General, Natural Sciences, UNESCO; Aaron Ciechanover Nobel Prize, Chemistry (2004); Cedric Villani Mathematician and Fields Medalist (2010); France Neil Turok, Director, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics & AIMS Board Chair; Solomon Assefa Director, IBM Africa; Joachim Rogall President & CEO, Robert Bosch Foundation; Paul Stoffels Chief Scientist at Johnson & Johnson and Phillip Clay Former Chancellor of MIT, USA. See NEF's supporters and join the movement.

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. Meet the NEF's "Game Changers": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR8TClNe9Ts

Weekly Twitter chats will begin on Thursday February 18 at 10 am ET / 3 pm UTC/GMT using the official hashtags for NEF GG2016 #AfricasEinsteins and #NEF2016. Follow us on Twitter @NextEinsteinFor and www.facebook.com/NextEinsteinForum

The NEF GG2016 will be live-streamed to a global audience from 8 March 2016 starting at 10:10 am UTC/ GMT (5:10 am ET) at www.nef.org.

ABOUT THE NEXT EINSTEIN FORUM
Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS) initiative in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, will unite more than 500 outstanding thinkers and distinguished stakeholders from around the world together in Africa for the first ever NEF Global Gathering on 8-10 March 2016 under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal. Held every two years, NEF Global Gatherings will showcase Africa's top young scientists and connect them with leaders from Africa and the rest of the world in high-profile, invitation-only forums that touch on the three pillars of science, society and policy.

The NEF has been endorsed by the African Union Commission as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Governments of Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and a growing number of private sector and civil society partners from across the world who are passionate about positioning Africa's scientific community as an influential member in the global scientific community, which will ensure sustainable human development in Africa and other parts of the world.

 

MEDIA PARTICIPATION
Complimentary meeting registration is available to members of the media who provide appropriate press credentials and identification via the conference registration system. If you would like more information, contact us at media@nef.org

MEDIA CONTACTS
Nathalie Munyampenda 
T: +221 777967234 
E: nmunyampenda@nef.org

Tola St. Matthew-Daniel
T: +1 9178186196
E: NEF@thatcherandco.com

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SOURCE Next Einstein Forum