At the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering, African and world leaders came together to call for increased investment and support in Africa for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
"The NEF Global Gathering is providing a platform to nurture African talent so the continent can return to its roots as the cradle of innovation," Macky Sall, president of Senegal, said. "Africa has a rich history of science as does Senegal and we're creating a 'city of knowledge' as proof of our commitment to investing in the education of our youth. Science must better our society. I would like to especially salute our women scientists because a future without diversity is not representative of our society.”
More than 800 influencers, policy makers, business leaders, civil society members and advocates discussed ways to grow a stronger STEM culture across the continent.
"Many local challenges have global consequences and finding sustainable solutions will require transformative thinking, strong leadership, significant investment and deeper engagement,” Thierry Zomahoun, NEF chairperson and president and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, said. “We're thrilled to welcome the world to Dakar to witness Africa's emergence on the global scientific stage.”
According to research, a lack of investment in STEM fields has hurt economic growth in Africa. At the conference, leaders talked about how the continent can change that by building on its wealth of human capital to become a leader in the global scientific community.