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26 MAR 2018

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19 – 20 March 2018

The Gender Summit Africa (GS14)

Lead: AIMS Women in STEM Initiative in partnership with Portia Ltd and the Government of Rwanda
Contact person: Karen Craggs-Milne

The AIMS Women in STEM (AIMSWIS) Initiative, in partnership with Portia Ltd, the Government of Rwanda, the Government of South Africa and the African Union Commission are pleased to bring the Gender Summit 14 (GS#14) – Africa to Kigali Rwanda. The Gender Summit is a platform for dialogue where scientists, gender scholars and policy makers, as well as leading stakeholders in science endeavours, jointly examine evidence showing when, why and how male-female biological characteristics (not only in humans but also in other species), and sociocultural differences between women and men, impact on research, innovation and development outcomes. The platform was established in Europe in 2011 but has since migrated also to other regions: North America, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Arab World, attracting more than 1000 influential speakers, and creating a 6000-strong global and diverse community of experts and practitioners.

The Gender Summit in Kigali is 14th in the series but the second in Africa. It is led by African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, in partnership with science institutions across Africa. It builds on the discussions and recommendations from the first Gender Summit –Africa in Cape Town in 2015 and advances the institutional collaborations started then, and in particular the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Networks and the Next Einstein Forum.

GS#14 will focus on gender issues in the context of climate change, with a focus on Africa. Whilst the topic of “climate change” has generated great deal of interest and research, gender issues have been generally overlooked and this means that understanding the impact of climate change effects and design of mitigation strategies and interventions may not be as effective as needed.  Research studies have shown that increased temperatures will affect women’s health more negatively than that of men but also impact on sexual reproduction and maturation of plants, fish and animals grown for food because the physiology of reproduction in plants and fish, for example, is very sensitive to high temperatures. At the same time, good research and development practice is emerging showing how interdisciplinary approaches to problems solving that adopt the gender lens, e.g. in selection of resilient seeds or monitoring of the emergence of new diseases, can produce fresh and innovative solutions to many societal and environmental challenges.

The 2-day programme theme is: “Climate Change through the Gender Lens: Focus on Africa”, and includes a mixture of plenary and parallel sessions, as well as a poster exhibition, professional networking activities, and interlinked public engagement side-events.  It is scheduled (19-20 March) to take place in during the week before the Next Einstein Forum (26-28 March) to leverage the participation of the international community and young scientists, travelling to the NEF from across Africa. Speakers will include leading researchers from African countries, and international experts, leaders in innovation, influential policy makers, and champions of evidence-led sustainable, socio-economic development. Instances of the covered topics that will be examined using the ‘gender lens’, to identify gaps in knowledge and opportunities for new research and applications, include:

  • Opportunities and methodologies for interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaborations, e.g. for more effective vaccination design and use; development of resilient and nutritious food crops; improved mobility and safety of transport infrastructures; better models of human activity and impact in relation to climate change effects.
  • Measuring and monitoring research performance, quality, and impact, e.g. better statistics, indicators and benchmarks; systematic and systemic development of human scientific capital and research-led capacity for socio-economic development.
  • Integrating the values of inclusion and sustainability into research and innovation agendas and projects, e.g. to support the UN call “leave no one behind”; to ensure ecosystem-level awareness of impact; to advance technologies and interventions that produce positive spill-over effects.
  • Strengthening co-operation between key actors in and outside the science landscape in Africa, e.g. between science publishers and research funding agencies to improve peer review process; between universities, policy makers, research funders and development agencies to improve working conditions and career opportunities for researchers and innovators; between research and development communities to achieve SDG targets and the targets of Africa 2063 agenda; and between technology experts and Civil Society to improve understanding of what society expects from innovation and what it needs.
  • Connecting the reality of the UN Sustainable Development targets with the vision of the 4th Industrial Revolution to prevent growing digital inequality between the Global North and the Global South, and as an opportunity to advance practical approaches to ‘open science’ and ‘open innovation’; to establish knowledge and expertise in Africa on cyber-physical systems suited to local contexts.
  • Science knowledge making and application in the context of political and policy drivers, e.g. international scientific collaborations and mobility of researchers; societal expectations, responsibility and relevance of research and innovation; protecting the wellbeing of natural environment as part of economic progress; focusing innovation on the needs of the poorest and most overlooked groups in society.
For more information please visit:

22 – 24 March 2018

Women in Science Leadership workshop

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), in partnership with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Global Young Academy (GYA), and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) are co-organizing a leadership workshop to support the development of the next generation of female researchers. This interactive workshop aims to bring together emerging early career researchers from across the globe with exceptional mentors from various sectors. Participants will gain practical tools, new connections, and coaching to increase their personal leadership capacity and ability to mentor others.

Thank you very much for your interest. The workshop is at now full capacity and registration is closed.
For more information contact:
 Pamela Kanellis

24 – 25 March 2018

Interdisciplinary Solutions Conference - Intersol 2018

Societies living in underserved areas face multifactorial problems — energy, water, climate, food, health, education, transportation, social development, economic growth, etc. — that are not amenable to separate single-discipline investigation, but require collaboration between many types of expertise. Today, there is a consensus that the solutions of the problems facing people in underserved areas lie at the intersections of traditional disciplines. This is the essence behind Interdisciplinary Solutions (InterSol); an international conference dedicated to the advancement of interdisciplinary researches that address people’s needs in underserved areas. It is intended (1) to encourage innovative interdisciplinary research, development and education that focus on solving problems in underserved areas, and (2) to create an international research and development community around “interdisciplinary solutions”. InterSol meets annually in Africa and aims at bringing together technical experts and researchers from academia, industry, and government all around the world to discuss novel research results related to Innovations and Interdisciplinary Solutions for Underserved Areas. The meetings will offer a unique opportunity for participants to share their experiences with peers around the world, but notably with students and communities from the host country’s universities.

The second edition of the conference will be held on March 24-25, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. We invite unpublished contributions and innovations that address, via an interdisciplinary approach, the issues of energy, water, climate, food, health, education, transportation, social development, economic growth, etc.

For more info:

Contact Person: Prof. Assane Gueye

25 – 28 March 2018

Pan-African Robotics Competition

For more info:

Contact Person: Sadibou Sylla

25 March 2018

NEF Science Leadership Workshop

Connecting Networks to Co-Design Transformative Science Leadership Programs for Africa

Lead: Robert Bosch Stiftung

Date: 25 March 2018

The intention of the Science Leadership Workshop is to expose a broad group of scientists and researchers to the potentials of science leadership development in Africa, and to define key success factors of transformative science leadership programs by harnessing the group’s experiences and expertise. The workshop will build on a selected number of “seed / provocation ideas” from the organizing partners, including the African Science Leadership Programme (ASLP). By building on these “seed / provocation ideas”, the workshop’s participants will be guided through a structured process to identify key success factors and to co-design responsive science leadership projects for early- and mid-career academics.

The anticipated outcomes of the workshop include a better understanding of the needs and potential impacts of science leadership programs for academics, universities, science bodies and science funders, as well as raising awareness and stimulating discussions during the NEF Global Gathering. The workshop will be open to up to 30 participants (individual researchers, representatives of universities and other research institutions, science bodies, science funders, etc.).

For more information contact:  Smeetha Singh

25 March 2018

Script: A model for dialogue between scientists and the media

Lead: SciDev.Net with the support of Robert Bosch Stiftung

A collaboration between and Robert Bosch Stiftung, this workshop is an opportunity for NEF Fellows and Ambassadors to network with key science journalists from Africa and Europe while learning about the media. It will be an interactive skills-building workshop on communicating research to the media, accompanied by a discussion on how to improve interactions between researchers and the media.

By the end researchers will have improved their capacity to communicate their work through the media, whilst science journalists will have connected with researchers at the forefront of African science.

This training is part of Script, a training and networking platform for scientists and journalists. The initiative, implemented by SciDev.Net and funded by the support of Robert Bosch Stiftung, aims to improve the communication of science in sub-Saharan Africa.

For further information, email Sarah Hebbes at

25 March 2018

Science Africa Workshop on Pan-African Initiatives for Research Capacity Building

Lead: German Research Foundation (DFG), the Rwanda’s National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), and the Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI)

Date: 25 March 2018

This high-level workshop explores the links between basic research and development challenges in Africa. Perspectives from research performers and funders, as well as industry and civil society focus on the importance of sound research capacity as a facilitator for sustainable development.

According to the AU Agenda 2063, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) are key enablers for achieving continental development goals. The Agenda accentuates that Africa’s sustained growth, competitiveness and economic transformation requires sustained investment in new technologies and continuous innovation in priority areas. While it is necessary to improve STI readiness in Africa in terms of infrastructure, professional and technical competence, entrepreneurial capacity, and STI policies and programs addressing societal needs (STISA-2024), such transformations need to be implemented in ways that allow sustainable impact. Key for such sustainability is a sound and balanced innovation value chain that often originates in basic research.

Science granting councils play a key role as intermediaries in the disbursement of public financing for basic and applied research. Convened through a partnership of science granting councils, this workshop gathers insights and experiences from relevant stakeholders regarding the ongoing investments in basic research and its linkages to development.

High-level participation from decision-makers in national ministries and research funding agencies, as well as senior STI experts in knowledge ecosystems will provide a powerful forum to share good practices on developing competitive knowledge ecosystems. This may include national and, particularly, Pan-African paradigms. The forum will contribute to ongoing discussions on the importance of a strong science-policy nexus to strengthen and support basic research. Workshop results will be presented to a range of African ministers in the Next Einstein Forum’s Ministerial Meeting on 26 March 2018.

This workshop is a follow-up to the Science Africa conference and workshop in Königswinter, Germany, in 2016 that brought together science granting councils from Africa, America, Asia, and Europe to further discuss research management topics. Co-hosts of the 2018 Science Africa workshop are the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Rwanda’s National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), and the Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI).

For more information contact:  Julia Neubert

Learning Science through Theatre – Jet Propulsion Theatre

Jet Propulsion Theatre (JPT), a project carried by the Arditodesìo Theatre Company in Italy, aims to develop a sense of curiosity and wonder around science, a thirst for knowledge, a better understanding of the scientific world, the people that live it, and the impacts of science. Since the launch of JPT in 2012, performed theatre productions about science have been performed throughout Europe, dealing with issues such as quantum mechanics, the notion of time, climate change and space travel, and a new production launched early 2018 on artificial intelligence. All theatre productions are created in close partnership with spearheading researchers from universities, and the scientific content is integrated in truly profound and engaging artistic performances. To achieve its mission of bringing together science and society, JPT also hosts other performances and runs various workshops to build capacity of science communicators and artists to better communicate science.

JPT will be performing one of its theatre productions, The Principle of Uncertainty, on the theme of quantum mechanics, both during the pre-event and the main event of the NEF Global Gathering 2018. Performances during the pre-event will take place in an “unplugged” version throughout Kigali, targeting particularly young adults and students, and during the NEG Global Gathering, the full performance will be staged.

For more information contact: Pierre Echard