Top African scientists recognised at NEF meet

Senegal President Macky Sall (L) gives an award to Professor Abdoulaye Banire Diallo from Guinea. (Timothy Kisambira)

UP TO 17 leading African scientists were yesterday recognised for their work in advancing learning.

The award event was part of the ongoing Next Einstein Forum (NEF) meeting in Kigali.

“These top-rated researchers and emerging leaders have the opportunity to advance their scientific career by presenting their work at unique NEF Spotlight Sessions at NEF Global Gatherings,” said Nathalie Munyampenda, the managing-director of NEF.

About 40 per cent of the scientists recognised are women.

They will now join the NEF Community of Scientists, a network that offers members a variety of opportunities, including consulting gigs, access to grants, research collaborations and speaking opportunities.

“In return, members participate in national and continental policy formulation, cross-cutting research and innovation activities, lead public engagement around science and technology in Africa, and provide mentorship to early-career scientists and students,” Munyampenda noted.

One of the recognised scientists is Yves Mugabo. He is a postdoctoral research scientist at Centre de Recherche Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal in Canada. He has worked on research targeting the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease.

Mugabo, a Rwandan, recently discovered a new anti-diabetic enzyme and successfully patented Glycerol-3-Phosphate Phosphatase Activators.

 Aminata Garba is one of the women scientists who were recognised. She is an assistant professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kigali-based Carnegie Mellon University Africa. She is also the director of the Kigali Collaborative Research Centre.

Garba, from Niger, was recognised for her research projects, including those that are related to ICT infrastructure, technologies and policies, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, cyber-security, ICT4D, high data rate transmission and higher education.

 Others recognised are from Mali, South Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Ghana, Guinea, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

 Their works are in numerous fields, including geology, chemistry, engineering, physics, mathematics, biological sciences and health.

According to NEF, all the fellows are under 42 and hold African citizenship, although they may live and work elsewhere in the world. They also hold a PhD in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) or social science fields with outstanding academic and research qualifications, as well as maturity measured by publication record or patents, prizes, and leadership in independent research groups.

The scientists also demonstrated that their research has an impact in both their field of research and for wider society.

President Paul Kagame and Macky Sall of Senegal handed the awards to the scientists.


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