In honour of International Women’s Day, the Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering 2016 hosted a dynamic panel discussion reflecting on progress to date promoting African Women in STEM, ongoing innovative initiatives and future opportunities.
The panel, “Driving the Agenda for African Women in STEM,” featured a formidable roster of women leaders and influencers in science including France Cordova, Director, US National Science Foundation, Aminata Sall Diallo, Professor and Special Advisor in the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and H. E. Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa.
“As a woman with a science background working in a STEM-related field, the value of mentorship and support from other women cannot be overstated,” said Seema Kumar, Vice President, Innovation, Global Public Health and Science Policy Communication, Johnson & Johnson, who also participated on the panel.
“The Next Einstein Forum provides a place for women in the sciences from all over Africa to connect with each other and with leaders in the sciences from across the globe. Working together, we are better able to break down barriers to success and push the boundaries of science and technology.”
Notably, women make up 40 percent of the inaugural NEF Fellow class, 15 of Africa’s best and the brightest scientists, rigorously selected for their groundbreaking, contributions to science.
Representing the continent’s rising class of STEM talent, these trailblazers include:
- Alta Schutte – South Africa
- Evelyn Gitau – Kenya
- Wilfred Ndifon – Cameroon
- Amanda Weltman – South Africa
- Assane Gueye – Senegal
- Tolu Oni – Nigeria
- Axel Ngonga-Nomo – Cameroon
- Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala – South Africa
- Hallowed Olaoluwa – Nigeria/Central African Republic
- Joseph Ben Geloun – Senegal
- Mouhamed Moustapha Fall – Senegal
- Sherien Elagroudy – Egypt
- Noble Banadda – Uganda
- Kommunist Weldemariam – Ethiopia
- Ghada Bassioni – Egypt
The diversity of the group punctuates the NEF’s concerted efforts to build an inclusive, globally competitive scientific community. Also unique to the NEF is a youth-focused and driven agenda with least 50 percent of the NEF Global Gathering participants aged 42 or younger.
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Watch NEF’s “Game Changers”
- The Next Einstein Forum begins (ted.com)