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Update - 2012 Africa-wide Science Competitions

Published: 2012-07-17

The Women in Science and the Young Professionals in Science Competitions received 131 and 185 abstract submissions respectively. Fifty semi-finalists will be selected in July.

Preliminary screening of the abstracts received is now complete and 72 abstracts for Women in Science and 115 for Young Professionals in Science are being evaluated by the expert committee. The top fifty semi-finalists will be selected when the expert panel meets at FARA Headquarters, Ghana, 12-14 July, 2012.

As previously reported, in 2012 IFS joined a consortium of African organizations and international development partners that administer and host “The Africa-Wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competition and Awards”.

At their January meeting in Wageningen, The Netherlands, the consortium partners discussed all necessary planning, including the theme for the 2012/2013 competition; "Feeding 1 billion in Africa in a changing world" to promote excellence in science and innovation in agriculture, with a focus on socio-economic impact, and to attract investment to support young women and men to engage in agricultural research.

The competition identifies and recognizes outstanding researchers who are engaged in communicating knowledge, technologies and new approaches to farmers and other key agricultural stakeholders, as well as advocating for policy change to optimize the benefits from scientific and technological developments.

From their Ghana meeting  this month the consortium partners report that they have received an overwhelming number of abstracts which covered a cross section of thematic issues. A total of 316 extended abstracts were received for both competitions 131 for the Women in Science and 185 for the Young Professionals in Science Competition respectively.  Preliminary screening to ensure abstracts met the set guide lines of the competitions resulted in 72 for Women in Science and 115 for Young Professionals in Science progressing for technical evaluation by the Expert Committee.

The committee members are: Judith Ann Francis (CTA), Myra Wopereis-Pura (FARA), Prof. Mary Oyiela Abukutsa-Onyango (Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology), Dr Maurice Ochieng Bolo (The Scinnovent Centre), Dr Sebastian Chakeredza (ANAFE), Chimwemwe Chamdimba (NEPAD), Dr Wellington Ekaya (RUFORUM), Dr Aster Gebrekirstos Afwork (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Dr Nighisty Ghezae (IFS), Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, (CEPHYR) and Dr Margaret M. Kroma (AGRA). The top fifty semi-finalists will be selected when the committee meets at FARA Headquarters, Ghana, 12-14 July, 2012.

Through this competition it is hoped that the recognition and promotion of the achievements of women and young men scientists will motivate them to undertake more pioneering research to provide answers to the continent’s pressing problems.

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