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Scientists raise the bar on pan-African research, launch online journal

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Chairman, Next Einstein Forum, Thierry Zomahoun(L) and the CEO of Elsevier, Ron Mobed, at the launching of the Scientific African journal in Kigali, Rwanda on Monday, March 26, 2018. PHOTO: TWITTER/NEF

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The Next Einstein Forum, NEF, has launched the Scientific African, an open access multi-disciplinary journal to boost the global reach of research from Africa. Details of plans to unveil the online journal was given Monday evening at the ongoing second NEF global gathering of scientists at the Kigali Conference Centre in Rwanda.

NEF is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung .

President of AIMs and Founder of NEF, Mr Thierry Zomahoun said NEF was partnering with Elsevier, an information analytics business specializing in science and health, to “see the creation of a new pan-African, peer reviewed, open access publishing journal, dedicated to boosting the global reach and impact of research by Africans.” The journal, he said, would be published at least once in 2018 and then quarterly in the coming years.

Chief Executive Officer at Elsevier, Ron Mobed, in response to The Guardian inquiry said the journal would provide a modern, highly visible platform for publishing Pan-African research and welcomes submissions from all scientific disciplines with a particular focus on research supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Benji Gyampoh of the Kwame Nkurumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana will serve as its first Editor.

“Global collaboration is what makes science successful; we do not want African science to operate in a vacuum, Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda told a group of 1600 participants at the Kigali conference centre on Monday.

The Rwandan president observed gender gap in science in Africa. He described it as “ a global phenomenon” and called on African institutions to dedicate themselves to closing the gaps instead of “ filling the heads with information and passing examinations.”

President Kagame warned that a sense of confusion and anxiety among young Africans” could harm development.

“We need to forge partnerships as countries to support and encourage the next African scientists as they are the ones that will lead the upward scientific trajectory of African innovation,” said Rwanda’s Minister of Education, Hon Dr. Eugene Mutimura.

The community of scientists at the forum agreed that the NEF partnership with Elsevier would provide editorial expertise, infrastructure and a capacity building engine for the next generation of African researchers.

Mobed said that Elsevier would also share its expertise in publishing, data sharing, marketing, editorial organization and information analytics, to help build a freely accessible flagship journal for African researchers.

Headed by Fellows from NEF’s Community of Scientists, the journal will allow authors to publish their articles Open Access at a low cost, enabling African researchers to share their work to an international audience on a highly-visible, prestigious publishing outlet that utilizes Elsevier’s market leading technology.


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