A team of 11 RAWISE members attended the second Next Einstein Forum (NEF) global gathering that was held in Kigali, Rwanda, on 26-28th March 2018. The NEF global gathering (NEFGG2018) was preluded by several pre-events that included the second African Gender Summit (14th worldwide) and the official Launch of the Rwandan Association for Women in Science and Engineering (RAWISE) and the OWSD Rwandan National Chapter.
The NEFGG2018 was attended by more than 1600 delegates from Africa, Europe, Asia, and America, where around 50% of the participants are under 42 years, from whom at least 40% were women. The main theme was ‘Connecting Science to Humanity’ which was addressed through plenary sessions and side events. A special session and a breakfast event were dedicated to discuss how to bridge the gap for women in science and technology which was led by political and technology leaders. Another highlight of the event was the Launch of the “Scientific African”, which is a new open-access science journal owned by the Next Einstein Forum. Participant were graced by the presence of Senegal’s president Macky Sall and Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame, who held a presidential panel on “Laying the groundwork for knowledge-led economies : Policy and practice”. Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Theresia Bauer the German Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg State, and, Thierry Zomahoun AIMS president and CEO, chair and founder of chair of the NEF, also sat in the presidential panel.
RAWISE members together with OWSD fellows had the opportunity to meet with Prof Romain Murenzi, Director of TWAS, during a private meeting at Radisson Blue. Prof Murenzi spoke about the different opportunities available for women scientists on graduate level. His talk was followed by a discussion session where participants shared challenges they face and got advices from fellow participants and Prof Murenzi. According to RAWISE members, attending the NEF was a fantastic experience as it allowed them to meet with potential future collaborators, and build fruitful connections.