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With the aim of analyzing the state of innovation in our country, scientists and academics from Mexico, the United States and Canada convened a meeting on May 24 and 25 with business and government leaders at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, under the auspices of the National Council on Science and Technology and the Science Initiative Group, with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Makerere University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine hopes to set up a platform where farmers can have their problems resolved faster. The platform, the Africa Institute for Strategic Animal Resource Services and Development (AFRISA), is a public-private academic partnership, aimed at helping farmers access solutions to farming problems.

An idea for international scientific collaboration, called the Global Science Corps (GSC), has been put forward by Harold E. Varmus, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He envisions a program of fellowships that places established scientists from developed countries in universities and research institutions in developing countries. Momentum is building to put his idea--originally put forward in a 2001 speech at the Nobel Foundation in Sweden--into action.

African leaders are becoming more aware of the role of science and technology in development. The key challenge, however, remains the formulation of STI policies and their implementation at national and local level. This came to the fore [at the] first African Forum on STI hosted by the Government of Kenya in Nairobi from April 1 to 3. Article here.

The University of Botswana, together with a group of four other universities in sub-Saharan Africa, has been awarded US$800,000 collectively as funding for the African Materials Science and Engineering Network (AMSEN) project. AMSEN members include the University of Botswana, University of Namibia, Federal University of Technology, Akure, University of Nairobi and the University of Witwatersrand. These institutions will use the funds to assist each other in research and training in order to enhance manpower and facilities development in material science and engineering.

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