Africa Science Week will be led by Pelly Malebe, NEF Ambassador and PhD candidate in biotechnology at the University of Pretoria, whose current research focuses on identifying and developing genetic markers for drought tolerance and yield in crop.
“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 the general public,” says Thierry Zomahoun, AIMS President and CEO and NEF Chair. “By bringing together key stakeholders from all sectors, we hope to catalyse investment in research and development and discuss best practices for attracting and retaining young people, especially girls and women, in the science.”
Africa Science Week in South Africa will witness exciting sessions such as engaging students in active learning of Chemistry, Technology and Engineering using interactive science kits. Students will also participate in physical activities and science projects competition followed by an award ceremony.
“The week-long signature event will also strengthen research networks and communities of scientists across Africa, and we hope 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 Zomahoun.
Africa Science Week in South Africa is the first of a 13-country series. 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, held in in Dakar, Senegal in March 2016, 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 funded by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Google and local sponsors in the each country.
Find out more on Africa Science Week in South Africa at nef.org/asw/SouthAfrica/