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Academic directors and other representatives of the five RISE networks gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 6-7 to share information about their groups’ research, plans and goals. Participants also heard from private sector representatives from East and South Africa about entrepreneurial opportunities for academic scientists, and they explored potential partnerships with representatives from university consortia outside of Africa.

Two leaders of the Chilean MSI have won major national science prizes: Dr. Pablo Valenzuela, director of the MSI Institute in Fundamental and Applied Biology (Santiago), was awarded the National Prize in Applied Science and Technology. Dr. Ramon Latorre of the Center for Scientific Studies (Valdivia) won the National Prize in Natural Science.

Professor Stephen Gitahi Kiama, leader of RISE-AFNNET's University of Nairobi node, was recently appointed the Acting Director of the new Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi.

AMSEN will focus on improving education in material sciences. SABINA will concentrate on studies related to improving food security and public health. WIO-RISE will use research and training to promote the sustainable development, utilization and protection of the coastal and marine environment. "The RISE initiative is a welcome shot in the arm for science and technology training in African universities. The timing is really spot on at this time when the continent has to adapt to a dynamic and rapidly changing world. The best coping mechanism is well-trained human capital," Egwang said.

From Chapter 3: Under-resourced and poorly targeted higher education systems bring dissatisfaction amongst both students and trained scientists. For this reason, bright students and researchers leave to study and pursue careers in developed countries. This “brain drain” denies national science innovation systems some of their most skilled and motivated individuals.

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