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Forty promising African early career researchers recognised


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Forty promising African early career researchers recognised

Nairobi, Kenya, Friday 19 March 2021 - The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has selected 40 promising researchers for its sixth cohort of the Affiliates Membership Programme designed to recognise, mentor and develop early career researchers into world class research leaders.

By recognising emerging scientists who demonstrate excellence in their work, the AAS seeks to create a platform through which younger researchers are motivated to pursue a rewarding career in science. Ultimately, the Affiliates programme seeks to produce all-rounded scientists embodying the AAS’ values of excellence, empathy, diversity and integrity.

This group of 21 females and 19 males from 16 countries (Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Benin, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Mauritius) were selected through a rigorous process based on their demonstrated excellence in the development and application of science in Africa. The selection not only reflects the Academy’s commitment to gender balance but also diversity in scientific disciplines.

Prof Catherine Ngila, Acting Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), said “The Affiliates programme provides opportunities for mentorship to support Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and acts as platform for building networks and partnership opportunities. The affiliate fellowship is a platform for the AAS to grow a critical mass of researchers who work towards being recognized for nomination and election as AAS Fellows. The programme’s initiative is in line with our tripartite mandate of recognising excellence.”

The 40 Affiliates were selected from over 200 competitive applicants who responded to the 2020 Call for AAS Affiliates. They join an existing network of 127 Affiliates drawn from various African countries and across several scientific disciplines. 

AAS Affiliates are zealous researchers who strengthen and build the scientific community by being innovators, reviewers, supervisors, mentors, lecturers, volunteers, policy advisors, and members of professional associations. During their five-year membership, they will receive professional development support in grant writing, publishing, science communication, collaborative research, scientific leadership, and entrepreneurship, mentoring and networking.

Newly selected Affiliate, Delwendé Innocent Kiba from Burkina Faso said: “Science is a key pathway for Africa to achieve its Agenda 2063. As a soil scientist, I hope, through my affiliation with the AAS for the next five years, to develop research initiatives and partnerships that can provide innovation to limit soil degradation and eradicate poverty and food insecurity in Africa. I want to be a leader in the development of good science policy in Africa and become a mentor for the next generation of young African scientists.”

The sixth cohort of AAS Affiliates are: 

Agricultural and Nutrition Sciences
1. NseAbasi Etim   - Nigeria
2. Emeline Sessi Pelagie Assede - Benin
3. Emmanuel Opolot - Uganda
4. Olaniyi Fawole – Nigeria
5. Delwendé Innocent Kiba – Burkina Faso
6. Nusirat Elelu - Nigeria

7. Menattallah Elserafy - Egypt
8. Rencia Van der Sluis – South Africa
9. Olamide Adebiyi - Nigeria
10. Amy Bei - Senegal
11. Chika Ejikeugwu - Nigeria
12. Christopher Larbie - Ghana
13. Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah - Ghana
14. Eric Djomo Nana - Cameroon

Chemical Sciences
15. Cynthia Ibeto - Nigeria
16. Bridget Mutuma – Kenya
17. Prinessa Chellan – South Africa
18. Lydia Rhyman – Mauritius 
19. Armelle Tsamo Tontsa - Cameroon

Cultural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences
20. Oluwafemi Adeagbo – Nigeria
21. Chahir Zaki – Egypt 
22. Pedi Obani - Nigeria

Geological, Environmental, Earth and Space Sciences
23. Nicholas Simpson – Zimbabwe
24. Olumuyiwa Adegun - Nigeria
25. Behailu Berehanu - Ethiopia
26. Charlotte Ndiribe - Nigeria
27. Binyam Tesfaw Hailu - Ethiopia
28. Oluwatoyin Fatunsin - Nigeria

Medical and Health Sciences
29. Motunrayo Akande - Nigeria
30. Petra Nnamani - Nigeria
31. Francis Wafula - Kenya
32. Franklin Kenechukwu - Nigeria
33. Eleanor Ochodo Opondo – Kenya
34. Constance Shumba - Zimbabwe
35. Mohamed Jemaà- Tunisia
36. Luciano Tantely - Madagascar
37. Dickson Wilson Lwetoijera - Tanzania
38. Omamuyovwi Ijomone - Nigeria
39. Mona Abdelmottaleb - Egypt

Physical Sciences
40. Ossénatou Mamadou - Benin

For more information on the sixth cohort, visit the Affiliates page to access their full bios.