Side event- Global Young Academy GloSy
- Sara Baptista
- NEF GG2018
- 0 Comments
On the last day of Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering (GG) 2018 in Kigali, an almost completely full room was ready to assist the Global young ‘Global State of Young Scientist’ (GYA GloSYS) Africa working group presenting its preliminary data about early-carrier researchers questionnaire from 14 African countries, their challenges, and motivations that shape their carrier trajectories to enter research. Yet lacking African science-driven policy decisions, the general aim of the study was to get comparable data among all African regions towards evidence-based policy recommendations in Science-related fields of research.
Lead by Abdeslam Badre, the former NEF Ambassador to Morocco 2015-2017, during this interactive side-event session, all the participants had the opportunity to actively engage in a debate about the main constraints in support mechanisms, access to mentoring, scientific productivity and challenges faced as well as funding, brain drain, mobility, gender inequities and outside reach within the research environment in African scientists. From governance issues, corruption and lack of trust by funding agencies, to poor infrastructures and unbalanced resources distributions; these general and intersectional factors were pinpointed by the audience as major barriers to better scientifically support career development in Africa.
Although Africa produces just 2% of the world’s research output, as science and research are pivotal to the development innovation, and economic growth of any nation, Africa region is not an exception. With the ambition of posing African countries among the best performers in global quality of life indicators, attained through, besides other measures, investments in science, technology, research and innovation, gender equality, and youth empowerment; this year NEF GG in Kigali serves again as proof of principle of the continent-wide efforts and desire to promote this goal across countries. The Champions of Science Women Leadership Forum, the Bridging the Gap for Women in Science and Technology, the NEF Fellows Spotlight Sessions, the launch of The Scientific African magazine, the Ci2i Pitching Sessions, and the Global Young Academy side-event are examples on how best to support the next generation of scientists on the African continent.
Moreover, adding towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy, during GYA GloSYS session several were the suggestions and further ideas collected for the dissemination of the questionnaire, which involved target measures such as (1) enhance the room for innovations in supporting STEM activities, (2) economic benefits for African researchers, (3) professional association career exposure, (4) support to infrastructures improvements, (5) cross-national collaborations, (6) experience related-opportunities and (7) mentorship as solution in baseline networking.
However, this list of suggestions and constraints did not end at the 2018 NEF Global Gathering. Since Africa’s current generation of scientists, both in the continent and all through the diaspora, is indeed a valuable asset, time to act is now. The GYA GloSYS Africa working team initiate, calls to every worldwide African early-career research, master or PhD candidate to fully access the questionnaire online and join efforts to evidence-based policies recommendations in Science in Africa, by Africans to Africans.
NEF Ambassador for Cape Verde 2017-2019