Whom do you think about when you hear of the word genius? Most people will think of Sir Albert Einstein first. A genius is a person who is exceptionally intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect. Albert Einstein was a well-known genius. His specialization was on Theoretical Physicist.

Einstein developed the theory of relativity, which is one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is known for its influence on the philosophy of science.  Almost everyone remembers Einstein on his contribution to science.

In 1921, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”, a pivotal step in the evolution of quantum theory.

Can Africa have and nurture the next Einstein?

African Media Agency (AMA), The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, on 27th June 2017 announced the launch of NEF Africa Science Week in Nairobi, Kenya. Sylvia Mukasa, NEF Ambassador, ICT & Telecommunications Consultant and entrepreneur with a special focus on emerging enterprise technologies and Cloud Computing, together with local academic, science and technology champions, lead the event.

The aim of the event is to recalibrate innovation in Kenya with the right investments and incubator environment can lead to real economic dividends. The goal is to raise public awareness on the importance of science and technology (school age kids, general public, gatekeepers are most targeted). As well as to foster collaboration among various research actors and initiatives so that there is coordinated public engagement around science and tech in Africa.

While speaking at the launch, Sylvia Mukasa, NEF Ambassador said, “We want to provide that platform for relevant discussions and monetary commitments towards research and development in   Kenya”.

Sylvia Mukasa believes no country has ever developed without heavy long-term investment in science   research and development. Most African countries haven’t committed more than 1% of their GDP to research and development except South Africa, which has committed to reach 1% by 2020. This hampers Africa’s ability to sustainable transform itself on a socio-economic level and compete globally.

The Africa Science Week in Kenya, the first of a 13 – country series, will witness exciting sessions such as hackathons, a Women in Science Day, hands-on demos but also panels on Agriculture, Technology, and entrepreneurships with mentoring on financial planning.

The NEF hopes to extend Africa Science Week to at least 30 countries in 2018 and all 54 by 2020. It is the hope that building strong partnerships with existing science organisations and pooling resources, to create a truly meaningful and sustainable program that encourages entry and retention in STEM fields.

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