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Next Einstein Forum Begins Africa Science Week in Nigeria

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, on Thursday announced the launch of NEF Africa Science Week in Abeokuta and Lagos.

NEF Ambassador, Dr Sojinu Olatunbosun Samuel, who specializes in petroleum and environmental geochemistry of oil basins, will lead the event.

Thierry Zomahoun, AIMS President and CEO and NEF Chair, said:  “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. 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 sciences.”

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Africa Science Week in Nigeria will witness exciting sessions such as engaging students in active learning of STEM using interactive experiments but also a Cancer/Hepatitis awareness walks on the streets of Ikeja, Lagos.

“The weeklong 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 Mr Zomahoun.

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Africa Science Week in Nigeria 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.

“Africa Science Week is the only platform bringing together actors passionate about science and technology. This is the best opportunity for the Nigerian youth to learn more about what science can achieve and how it changes life. I am proud to be part of this first edition,” said Dr Sojinu Olatunbosun Samuel.

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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 President of Rwanda, Mr Paul Kagame.

Africa Science Week is funded by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Google and local sponsors in each country.

Find out more on Africa Science Week in Nigeria at http://nef.org/asw/Nigeria

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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