June 29, 2016
The 10th AAS General Assembly Fosters Commitment to STI
Stakeholders attending the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) 10th General Assembly explored ways in which to bridge the gap between academies and policymakers for the advancement of Africa and the world.
In his official address, His Excellency the President of Botswana, Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama set the tone and he touched on a number of initiatives that the Government of Botswana has established in order to advance the Research in Science and Technology Innovation (RSTI) agenda. These initiatives include the revised RSTI policy which is intended to ensure systemic approach to RSTI with a clear vision, programmes, incentives, measures, roles, targets and monitoring indicators.
Various speakers during presentations and panel discussions focused on pertinent topics that are of relevance to specific African countries and those that cut across board. The Botswana Science Academy (BAS) was also inaugurated at the gathering. The BITRI Chief Executive Officer, Prof Nelson Torto, BIUST Vice Chancellor, Prof Otlogetswe Totolo and Dr Mpuchane were inducted as Fellows of the BAS.
The AAS inducted and awarded Fellows and as well as Affiliates. The latter group is made up of eminent young professionals below the age of forty (40) that the Academy is mentoring and working with in their respective institutions to develop them to be research leaders. Also during the gathering, Prof Philippe Rasoanaivo from Madagascar, was awarded the Olusegun Obasanjo Prize for using traditional medicine to improve efficacy of existing drugs for brain disorders and also treating sexual dysfunction among men.
Prof Torto during his presentation titled ‘Exploring the Nanotechnology Advantage for Growth’ used several examples to elucidate how Africa countries, most of which have resource-based economies can apply nanotechnology to manipulate its minerals and other resources to be able to develop a wide range of applications for such, consequently, creating business opportunities and industries.
The General Assembly was also graced by AAS President Prof. Aderemi Kuku, BITRI Board Members Dr Ditshupo Ecco Maje and Mr Edwin Elias, Prof. Colleen Masimirembwa, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, Zimbabwe among others and was coordinated by BITRI in collaboration with BIUST.