The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, a Europe-based charitable foundation, has announced the beginning of NEF Africa Science Week in 35 African countries throughout the months of September, October and December 2018.
NEF Africa Science Week events are led by NEF Ambassadors, local science and technology champions, together with the support of local academic, public and private sector stakeholders and sponsors, who organize three to seven days of events in their countries to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“Last year, we had Africa Science Week in 13 countries,” noted Mrs Nathalie Munyampenda, Managing Director of the Next Einstein Forum.
“We’ve expanded to 35 countries this year and we are truly excited about how fun and relevant the activities will be for all ages,” she said.
Activities include science expos and caravans, coding workshops, hackathons, robotics competitions, Science and Cocktails for the business community, innovative academic conferences, celebrating Women in STEM events, movie nights, and industry visits among others.
“We are grateful to Johnson & Johnson Innovation as well as all of our local supporters, for working with us to make STEM education and careers cool and we look forward to seeing the impact of NEF Africa Science Week over the next few years,” Mrs Munyampenda added.
NEF events connect scientists and policymakers in Africa and the rest of the world with the goal to leverage science for human development globally. The NEF believes that Africa’s contributions to the global scientific economy are critical for the sake of global progress.
The latest NEF event began this week in Zambia. Other regional editions of the event will also begin in Sudan, Benin, Angola, Uganda, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Swaziland, The Gambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Tanzania and Burundi.
Similar events are due to take place in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde, Republic of Congo, Mali, Togo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, Guinea, Cameroon, Niger, Tunisia, Senegal and Mauritania. Each country will have specific activities, designed to enable citizens to engage with everyday science and scientists over three to five days.
“At NEF, we believe in science-driven innovation, which also makes room for social innovation and indigenous innovation. We have to do better to connect science-driven research to the innovation we see every day and that improves our well-being. We have to start young,” said Mrs Munyampenda.
Looking to the future, the NEF will expand the reach of its Africa Science Week to 54 countries 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 the private sector.