African Science and Education Ministers meet in Kigali to accelerate Collaborative Research Networks and Funding Mechanisms

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) ( and the Government of Rwanda yesterday hosted the second NEF Ministerial Meeting to leverage research networks and funding mechanisms to drive Africa’s long term progress. Under the theme, “Collaborative Global Research Networks: Implementing Essential Actions”, the meeting reviewed three important themes arising from the first ministerial meeting held in Dakar, Senegal in March 2016.“After a successful first meeting in Dakar earlier this year, this meeting sought to develop concrete proposals around three initiatives: Increasing the number of PhDs, creating and structuring the Africa Research Chair Initiative (ARCI) and developing mechanisms to harness research mobility within Africa. We want to thank the delegations from Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and hosts Rwanda for participating in these important discussions. The NEF will review recommendations arising from this meeting and propose a concrete road map. We believe innovation led transformation in Africa cannot be sustainable outside of research, and we’re working with African governments, learning institutions and the private sector to accelerate research collaboration and funding in critical scientific and technological fields,” said Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, NEF Chair and President and CEO of AIMS.Honorable Dr. Papias Musafiri, Rwanda’s Minister of Education said: “Rwanda is happy to have hosted this important meeting that seeks to concretize Rwanda’s and Africa’s ambitions to leverage research and development to improve people’s lives. Some of the initiatives proposed will increase research collaboration & improve funding mechanisms making it possible to improve the pipeline of researchers and globally competitive innovations coming from Africa. We look forward to seeing concrete outcomes implemented.”The meeting participants agreed to the following:• On increasing the annual rate of PhD holders: Each African country must roll out a comprehensive evaluation and analysis of the number of PhDs in every field – identifying strengths and weaknesses of national PhD systems including design and mobility. Participants also called for the establishment of a pan-African pool of researchers. Finally, delegates insisted that while increasing the number of STEM doctorates is critical for innovation, social sciences and humanities must not be overlooked.• On the establishment of an African Research Chair Initiative: The process establishing research chair initiatives must be managed country by country, cognizant of each country's capabilities and progress. In addition, research chair initiatives must build a pipeline of young researchers benefiting from such initiatives. The next meeting will review this further, identifying collaboration mechanisms for existing initiatives, as well as filling gaps with new national and regional initiatives.• On increasing continental research mobility: There is a need to form a consortium that includes various African and global institutions, especially the private sector that would design and fund mechanisms to increase mobility among African researchers living in Africa and the diaspora. This consortium would also work to highlight opportunities in each country, as well as foster international research collaborations. Delegates also asked the NEF to further investigate the creation of industry led research initiatives that foster mobility and collaboration. The NEF Ministerial Meeting is held every six months to review progress from recommendations arising at each meeting and propose concrete initiatives developed from global best practices and local contextual experiences and challenges. Learn more about the three themes of discussion by reading the NEF Ministerial Meeting Quick Facts Sheet (  Distributed by APO on behalf of Next Einstein Forum (NEF).Editors Notes: Please review the quick facts sheet ( for more information about the meeting and the three policy initiatives. This facts sheet provides contextual statistics and background research.Media Contacts: Mimi Kalinda Director of Communications, AIMS Global Network  E: [email protected]  T: +250 789 907525Juliette Nyiraneza  Public relations Officer Ministry of Education, Rwanda E: [email protected]    T: +250 786352320Social Media: Follow us on Twitter: @NextEinsteinFor and Facebook: NextEinsteinForum.About the Next Einstein Forum: Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) (, an African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS) initiative in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, hosts biennial NEF Global Gatherings where hundreds of outstanding thinkers and distinguished stakeholders from around the world, gather together in Africa, to leverage science for global development. The next NEF Global Gathering 2018 will be held in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018 under the patronage of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. The NEF has been endorsed by the African Union Commission, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Governments of Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and a growing number of private sector and civil society partners from across the world who are passionate about positioning Africa’s scientific community as an influential member in the global scientific community, which will ensure sustainable human development in Africa and other parts of the world.In addition to the NEF Global Gathering, the NEF runs the NEF Fellows Programme and the NEF Ambassadors Programme (which brings together 54 young Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Social Sciences Ambassadors, passionate about demonstrating the impact of science on daily life in their respective countries). The NEF hosts policy initiatives including Science/Education Ministerial Meetings and publishes a Declaration at each NEF Global Gathering with concrete measures to increase Africa’s scientific and innovation output. Further, in 2017, the NEF will begin hosting science-industry-policy roundtables to encourage stakeholder collaboration. The goal is to raise $100 million USD by 2020 towards scientific research and public engagement in Africa and engage 100 million young people around science and technology on the continent. We believe the next Einstein will be African. More at Media filesDownload logoMultimedia contentImage: The Next Einstein Forum (NEF)Image: NEF Ministerial Meeting in Kigali, 29 November