Monday, 21 March 2016

NEF Ambassadors Share on Expectations and Experiences - #NEF2016

The Next Einstein Forum, hosted by Senegal in Dakar, brought together various stakeholders including presidents, scientists,technologists, policymakers, entrepreneurs and activists to deliberate on the future of African science and how it can be applied to benefit society. During the global gathering held from 8th to 10th March, some NEF ambassadors took time to share on their expectations and experiences. Find out more in the video below.

Also, fellow ambassador Yassine Harzallah from Tunisia made a brilliant video that captured how the ambassadors interacted with the event. His video evoked the sense of friendship, cooperation, happiness and positivity that pervaded the NEF ambience. 

We look forward to support the work of NEF in order to raise the profile of African science and encourage more young Africans to enter into the sciences. We are all keen to work with the fellows, volunteers, and mentors within the NEF network, as well as colleagues in our own countries and all over the world, to realise the above objectives.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

NEF Chronicles: Arrival in Dakar, Senegal

Last time, I blogged about the Next Einstein Forum and it's drive to promote STEM in Africa. One of the most important aspects of the initiative is the Ambassador programme, which I happen to be part of. Yesterday, I arrived in Dakar, the capital of Senegal yesterday, to begin my NEF experience. The main event, dubbed Global Gathering, is slated for 8th to 10th March 2016. This blog summarises my NEF experience so far.

Journey to Dakar
I got to Kotoka International Airport in Accra at around 8:40 am, checked in and took a one hour flight to Abidjan. From Abidjan I transferred to another flight to Dakar which lasted 2 hours 45 minutes. I was so amazed by the duration of the journey; it made me realise that West Africa was much bigger than I imagined. Immigration and security procedures at all airports were pretty smooth and efficient. NEF volunteers were on hand to wish all arrivals a warm welcome to Senegal, promising us a time of our lives. We were then transported to our hotels by bus. In the bus to the hotel I met my room mate from Guinea Bissau. Our interactions revealed why we were paired together: we have international development, education, and civic participation in common. Throughout the ride I couldn't help but notice how Dakar was different from Ghana's capital Accra: there was little traffic, hardly any street vendors, cleaner streets, and the buildings had this stylistic essence.

Orientation/briefing with NEF
After checking in to the hotel and getting acquainted with our room, we stepped out to explore our surroundings. In the hotel lobby, we met the NEF Ambassador from Gambia who is also one of the cluster leaders. He used his Wolof skills to help navigate our way into town to get some food. Back from our outing, we had a brief meeting with NEF content lead Janny who oriented us on activities lined up for ambassadors and provided us with all we need for a successful stay in Senegal. I had a taste of Senegalese bissap a.k.a sobolo and it was good!
Day 1 in Senegal ended really well. I already like the city of Dakar. The vibe around the NEF is infectious, and I'm bracing myself for an experience of a lifetime. On y vas!