President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement on Thursday when he met with the chief executive officer of AIMS Thierry Zomahoun. Mr. Zomahoun informed President Kenyatta that the country was chosen because of its robust innovation ecosystem and strong academia-industry linkages.
President Kenyatta welcomed the conference saying it comes at an opportune time when Kenya has embarked on an aggressive programme of enhancing the uptake of science at all levels of education, through the rollout of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme.
The conference, an initiative of Africa Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) will gather over 2,500 delegates including four Nobel Laureates in Nairobi to chart the future of science and research on the continent.
“We are excited to begin the countdown to the NEF Global Gathering 2020 that will be held in Nairobi. The NEF Global Gathering 2018 was the largest scientific event held in Africa with over 1500 people attending from 91 countries. We expect 2500 delegates for the 2020 edition in Kenya. We will host special events such as the NEF Innovation Salon where start-ups from all over Africa, and the world, will showcase their solutions, the Gender Summit Africa and an exciting Arts and Science Festival for all ages,” Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, AIMS President/CEO and NEF Chair was quoted saying last year.
NEF is a network of centres of excellence in science and research structured to enable talented African young scientists to become innovators thereby driving the continent’s scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.
It is inspired by the belief that the next Albert Einstein, the great German physicist who developed the theory of relativity, will be from the African continent.
The third NEF will therefore provide a platform for Kenya to showcase its ambitious science and innovation programmes as well as draws the world’s attention to the country’s immense potential as an investment destination in science and technology.
The biannual conference which brings together leading scientists, policy makers, business leaders, journalists, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists was first held in Dakar, Senegal in 2016 while the second edition was hosted by President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2018.