Coronavirus: Africa science gathering postponed

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[NAIROBI] The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) which was set to take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 10-13 March 2020, has been postponed due to concerns over the growing risk of the spread and impact of COVID-19 globally.

According to latest reports from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 95,512 cases of COVID-19 globally, with 3,286 deaths while 53,695 patients were reported to have recovered from the disease that has also been confirmed in some African countries.

The NEF was expected to gather over 2,500 delegates from all over the world, including four Nobel Laureates to chart the future of science and research on the continent.

The NEF Managing Director Nathalie Munyampenda said the organizers have been engaged in intensive consultations with the government of Kenya on whether or not to proceed with the conference, considering the heightened global concern over COVID-19.

“The safety and health of delegates and of the wider public are our highest concern,’’ said Munyampenda in a statement, adding that a date would be announced later this year.

The conference, an initiative of African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), brings together leading scientists, policy makers, business leaders, journalists, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists.

It was first held in 2016 in Dakar, Senegal. The second edition of the conference was hosted by President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2018.

The President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta was to host the continental scientific summit because of the country’s robust innovation ecosystem and strong academia-industry linkages, organizers say.

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