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About Us

The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally.

Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung. The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy 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 community are critical for global progress. At the centre of NEF efforts are Africa’s young people, the driving force for Africa’s scientific renaissance.

“We believe the next Einstein will be African. We are working to make Africa a global hub for science and technology.”

The NEF is a unique forum because it:

  • Is youth driven. At least 50 percent of participants are age 42 or younger. The NEF will also showcase the contributions of Africa’s brilliant youth to Africa’s scientific emergence through its class of NEF Fellows who are Africa’s top scientists and technologists, all under the age of 42.
  • Tells untold stories. The NEF will highlight innovation and scientific advancement that has often been overlooked by the media and global scientific community.
  • Builds an African scientific identity. By bringing together key stakeholders, the NEF hopes to drive the discussion from policy to implementation by leveraging buy in and best practice results from Africa and the world.

The NEF has four programmes that work together hand-in-hand:

  1. NEF Global Gatherings: These biennial gatherings are the NEF’s marquee event. Far from an ordinary science forum, the NEF Global Gatherings position science at the centre of global development efforts. In the presence of political and industry leaders, and with a strong focus on youth and women, the voices of global science leaders’ have the opportunity to be heard and to have major impact on Africa’s scientific future. The inaugural NEF Global Gathering 2016 was hosted by H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal in Dakar, Senegal on March 8-10, 2016. The next NEF Global Gathering will be held in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2018 under the patronage of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda.
  2. NEF Communities of Scientists: The NEF Communities of Scientists include the NEF Fellows and Ambassadors. The NEF Fellows Programme showcases 15 of Africa’s best young scientists on the global stage. NEF Ambassadors are the NEF’s young science and technology champions, one from each African country.
  3. NEF Policy Work: The Dakar Declaration, the NEF Global Gathering 2016 final declaration, set forward looking targets in regards to commitments for investment, research and partnerships for the development of Africa’s science and technology landscape. NEF Policy Work will include continental wide benchmarking activities to track the progress of the Dakar Declaration as well as looking into global best practices and upcoming trends. Particularly, the NEF has committed to promoting scientific excellence and gender equity.
  4. NEF Platform: The NEF Platform is the NEF’s public engagement platform, focusing on content disseminated online and on social media. The NEF Platform will run multi-layered campaigns and programs to engage young people, gatekeepers and ordinary citizens across Africa and the rest of the world on the importance of science and technology and how they can be involved. The NEF platform will also include government-university-industry research roundtables that will bring together leaders in all three sectors to foster collaboration, establish priorities and solve both short term and long term challenges. The NEF Platform also includes the annual meeting of the NEF Scientific Programme Committee which sets the scientific direction of the NEF as well as selecting the Fellows and Ambassador Classes.