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Members and Supporters

NEF is supported by the following valued partners and supporters.

The Next Einstein Forum’s (NEF) mission is to foster a strong African scientific community as an influential member of the global scientific community, which will ensure sustainable human development in Africa and the rest of the world. Contributions from our supporters and members is critical to sustaining our work.

NEF is supported by the following valued partners and supporters.

The African Union Commission (AUC)  will collaborate with the Next Einstein Forum on strengthening linkages between STEM education and research with industry. In a 28 June 2015 statement, the AUC said, “NEF is an initiative that is intended to provide a platform to foster a strong African scientific community as an influential member of the global scientific community, through strengthened tripartite engagement between the scientific and higher education community; the industrial and corporate sector, and high level policy makers. This initiative will celebrate African science and scientists, while building global competitiveness.

It is expected that through the NEF, there will be enhanced contribution of Africa’s youth to scientific entrepreneurship, innovation and inventiveness, including creation of next ‘Einstein’ level of emerging scientists. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are powerful forces for the achievement of progress in the global economy. For Africa to fully benefit from these forces to address continental challenges and opportunities, it must build a strong indigenous capacity in these disciplines.”

The NEF is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Germany to support the critical role of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) research and partnership to influence policy while advancing the frontiers of basic scientific knowledge. The NEF mission is aligned with DFG’s aim to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of collaboration within the African scientific community.

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health and technology professionals. The NEF promotes the critical role of using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research and partnerships to influence policy while advancing the frontiers of basic scientific knowledge. Its mission is aligned with Elsevier’s aims to provide visibility to African scientific research. The proposed Membership and additional programs of Elsevier are compatible and complementary to NEF’s vision and values and preserve the trust of the stakeholders and Members we hold.

The NEF responds to the mission of the government of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to promote “knowledge, innovation and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world” by creating the first global platform to showcase science and scientists from Africa. The NEF will fulfill IDRC’s first strategic objective by extending its reach beyond the 500 people attending the NEF Global Gathering to include the broad community across Africa and globally. The NEF will respond to IDRC’s second objective by making the event youth-focused and focused on the 15x NEF Fellows and 54x NEF Ambassadors, creating the African leaders of tomorrow.

Johnson & Johnson and the NEF have demonstrated excellent alignment in vision. Key areas of engagement include healthcare, talent and training and entrepreneurship. As the largest and most diverse health care company in the world, Johnson & Johnson is truly putting into practice its mission to help billions of people around the world live longer, healthier and happier lives. A strong scientific foundation underscores this mission. By supporting the NEF, Johnson & Johnson has transformed this powerful vision into a reality. We are all that much closer to improving the health and well-being of people in this world, especially in Africa.

The Government of Rwanda is an important institutional partner and supporter of the NEF. The NEF Secretariat will be hosted in Kigali and Rwanda will host the NEF Global Gathering 2018.


The Government of Senegal is an important institutional partner and supporter of the NEF. Senegal hosted the first ever NEF Global Gathering in Dakar on 8-10 March 2016 under the patronage of H.E. President Macky Sall.


The Government of South Africa is an important institutional partner and supporter of the NEF.



The MasterCard Foundation believes that every person has the potential to transform their lives and improve the lives of their families and communities. The NEF closely aligns to the MasterCard Foundation’s work in Education & Learning, Youth Livelihoods as well as the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme. The NEF will showcase the world-class work being undertaken by young African scientists and emphasize how this work can impact African communities, as well as highlight the value of ‘giving back’.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) strives to build networks among nations that enable solidarity by mobilizing education so that every child, boy or girl has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development. In late 2014, UNESCO endorsed the NEF “for its vision to reinforce capacities and policies in the basic and applied sciences, particularly as they pertain to young people. The International Basic sciences Programme (IBSP) of UNESCO – the Organization’s main tool for triggering scientific innovation and harnessing international cooperation for capacity building in the basic sciences and science education – is therefore  taking an active role in the fulfilment of the objectives of the NEF. Indeed, the platform could serve as a significant building block towards the emergence of Africa as one of the next hubs for global science, technology, innovation and youth entrepreneurship. At the NEF Global Gatherings, UNESCO looks to reinforce the need for a holistic and participatory approach that links science to Africa’s emerging development trajectory.”

Learn more about how to become a supporter here



The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) will become Africa’s central meeting place for science, knowledge-based enterprise and policy. Members, who are selected by application only, play an essential role by functioning as critical cabinet of advisors. In this role, they will help select and direct critical issues that shape the scientific and related agendas in Africa.

The following organizations are NEF members.

 The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a pan-African organization of senior scientists and science policy experts, senior academics and science managers with strong partnerships with the AU and TWAS. The Academy prizes institutions that are “bold in their conceptual framework and nimble in their response to opportunities and challenges.” As a Member of the NEF, the AAS is positioned as a key development player on the continent through the use of science.  The NEF supports the AAS in this endeavour. The AAS and the NEF work collaboratively to achieve bold outcomes and impact on sustainable development in Africa through the use of science for Africa’s renaissance and rapid development.


IBM is leading the way to improving business by offering a wide variety of solutions. IBM offers a wide range of technology and consulting services; a broad portfolio of middleware for collaboration, predictive analytics, software development and systems management; and the world’s most advanced servers and supercomputers. The NEF is a platform for IBM to leverage critical trends such as cloud, big data & analytics, mobile, social business and security, especially in Africa. Together, the NEF and IBM “power growth…while making the world work better.” The NEF and IBM launched the IBM-NEF Visiting Scientist Programme at the NEF Global Gathering 2016 that will see five NEF Fellows visit five IBM research labs across the world. The programme is expected to launch in October/November 2016.


The NEF appreciates the interactive ways that IMAGINARY promotes mathematics. IMAGINARY is a prize-winning mathematics outreach project, initiated by the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach (MFO) in 2007 that aims to communicate modern mathematics to a broad public in an aesthetic, interactive and collaborative way. It offers an open source platform and live exhibit that features content which can be used in schools, at homes, museums, and other contexts to engage people in math subjects. The content will help engage our audiences at the Global Gathering event and beyond. Working together, the NEF and IMAGINARY can literally and figuratively transcend the boundaries of mathematics. By working collaboratively to reach the masses, we can make mathematics more accessible to the average person through interactive programs and galleries and in doing so, enlarge our communities. We see the NEF and IMAGINARY engaging in a long-term partnership with strong outcomes.


Norrag_NEFSouth Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), with the generous support of South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology, joins the NEF’s scientific community of practice, becoming an integral part of growing the NEF’s scientific impact on the continent. The NRF is South Africa’s research and science development agency; it funds research, the development of high-end human capacity and critical research infrastructure to promote knowledge production across all disciplinary fields. The NEF and NRF intersect on multiple goals including working to create innovative funding instruments, advance research career development, increase public science engagement and to establish leading-edge research platforms that will transform the scientific landscape and inspire a representative research community to aspire to global competitiveness.


Royal Philips is a diversified health and well-being company, with an emphasis on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in Healthcare, Consumer, Lifestyle and Lighting. Royal Philips established the Africa Innovation Hub, which will do application-focused scientific and user studies to address key challenges like improving access to lighting and affordable healthcare and create innovations to meet the needs of the rising middle class in Africa. Philips’ Innovation Hub’s vision to support the drive for research and innovation in Africa is well aligned with the commitment of the NEF to nurture scientific talent on the continent to make meaningful change. Philips is committed to invent, apply technology and partner to help people succeed, and the NEF will be the platform to help Philips achieve this goal. Both NEF and Philips are dedicated to contributing to creating partnerships to provide innovations that make an impact.

Learn more about how to become a member here