Immediate release 6 March 2017

African Academy of Sciences recognises exceptional young African scientists

Nairobi, Kenya, 6 March 2017

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) announced today that it has selected 22 early career scientists through a merit based review process for the second cohort of the AAS Affiliates Programme that recognises exceptional young scholars.

The 22 were selected from the five regions of Africa to be AAS Affiliates from 2017 to 2021.

“These young scholars have shown promise in their fields and are deserving of the recognition,” said AAS Executive Director Prof Berhanu Abegaz. “We will work with their institutions to provide them with opportunities to develop their careers and to leverage their skills and passion to contribute to Africa’s development.”

The 22, who are PhD holders and below the age 40, were selected from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia, after a rigorous review process by eminent senior scientists who are AAS Fellows in the respective Academy’s regional offices. They work in fields that include engineering, biosciences and heath research.

The AAS set up the Affiliates programme in 2015 to recognise, mentor and help early career professionals develop into world class research leaders. Through a donation from AAS Fellow and Senior Advisor Kevin Marsh, the Academy has set up a fund to promote the professional development of Affiliates and other early career scientists to help attract and retain them on the continent.

Africa loses an average of about 20,000 professionals a year to countries outside the continent most of whom are young people who leave because of lack of infrastructure and opportunities to grow their scientific careers.

The Affiliates will be supported to attend conferences, symposia and workshops and other activities that will improve their skills in proposal development, grant writing and pitching innovations to help them win more grants, improve their publication records and ensure that their research impacts their communities.

AAS Affiliates will also be mentored by senior scientists, some of whom will be drawn from AAS Fellows.

“It’s encouraging to see organisations such as the AAS recognising the work that we do as young scientists and committing to our development by providing mentorship opportunities and tools which we can use for our careers to thrive and for us to contribute to the continued growth of our continent,” said Dr Melissa Kapulu, a Zambia-born postdoctoral fellow at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme. KEMRI is the Kenya Medical Research Institute.


About the African Academy of Sciences 

The African Academy of Sciences is a pan African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science technology and innovation. It has a tripartite mandate of pursuing excellence by recognising scholars and achievers; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implementing key science, technology and innovation programmes that impact on developmental challenges through the new agenda setting and funding platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA). AESA was created by AAS and the NEPAD Agency. 

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