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New national academy of sciences for Ethiopia

09 April 2010

A national academy of sciences is being launched in Ethiopia on Saturday 10th April 2010, making it the world’s youngest science academy.  The Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS) will be the first independent, merit-based academy of science in Ethiopia and will be launched at a one-day conference for 300 international scientists and politicians.   The launch will include speeches by the new President of the EAS, Professor Demissie Habte, the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Girma Wolde-Giorgis and the Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, Professor Lorna Casselton.

Professor Casselton said: "Although the concept of science has changed profoundly since the foundation of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest national academy of science, 350 years ago, the importance of science and academies of science has remained irrefutable.  National academies of science offer many great advantages, both to their country and internationally, from providing independent evidence-based advice to acting as a coherent voice for the scientific community and encouraging more young scientists.  The Royal Society is delighted to be supporting the newly formed Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and is looking forward to sharing their vision of a positive scientific future for Ethiopia.”

Plans for a national academy of science in Ethiopia have been developed by Ethiopian scientists since 2008. Over the past eighteen months, the Royal Society has been working through its African Academies Programme to support the development of the strategic aims and structure of the Academy.  Following the launch, the following priorities have been identified for the Academy:

  • To provide the Government with evidence-based scientific advice;
  • To encourage the development of science and technology in Ethiopia;
  • To help with science education.

The Royal Society will continue to support the EAS until the end of 2011, helping them to raise their profile, develop strategic objectives and build policy links in-country and internationally, as part of the Royal Society Pfizer African Academies Programme, which we run in partnership with the Network of African Science Academies.  This programme currently supports academies in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania.