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27th TWAS General Meeting to begin

November 14, 2016

Kigali, 27 October 2016 - The Government of Rwanda in partnership with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) will host the 27th TWAS General Meeting from 12 to 17 November 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.

The meeting, which is a showcase for scientific excellence in the developing world, will attract around 300 participants from over 50 nations. These include Science Ministers and other high-level policymakers from across the globe, elite researchers, and leaders from science associations, funding agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Commenting on the event, Rwanda's Minister of Education, Dr Papias Musafiri Malimba, said that Rwanda's collaboration with TWAS presents great opportunities that will strengthen the country's research capacity. This will help the country stay in touch with all the current global developments in support of the African continent's needs for innovation, creativity and youth employment.

"Developing our capacity in Science, Technology and Research will help us strengthen many sectors, including health, agriculture, trade and industry, infrastructure, environment, and ICT, all of which are key sectors in our development. I am delighted that Rwanda is hosting the 27th TWAS General Meeting and I welcome all our distinguished delegates to Rwanda," Minister Musafiri said.

TWAS President Bai Chunli expressed great respect for Rwanda's efforts to pursue development through science, engineering and education. With Rwanda as an emerging capital of African innovation, Kigali is an important site for the Academy's annual meeting.

"Rwanda embodies the values of TWAS," said Bai. "Under the leadership of President Kagame, it has made a clear commitment to invest in science for sustainable development and economic growth. That creates a natural partnership between Rwanda and TWAS, with significant potential benefits. This meeting presents an opportunity to deepen the bonds and to explore future cooperation."

The meeting will include symposia and lectures on chemistry, global epidemics, and the role of social sciences in achieving a more just world. A symposium on astronomy will feature a presentation on the Square Kilometre Array, the world's largest radio telescope, being planned for South Africa and Australia. In addition, Minister Musafiri and other high-level policymakers will speak at session on "Innovation for Sustainability".

Rwanda will use this opportunity to showcase achievements registered over the last ten years in promoting science, technology, research and innovation, which has positively impacted the lives of millions of Rwandans. These range from school children using the Internet to scientists conducting research using the latest technologies.

It will also highlight the country's determination to promote science, technology, research and innovation in finding solutions to the challenges facing our society.

These include the use of alternative sources of energy, promoting local indigenous knowledge and biodiversity conservation for sustainable development.

The meeting also will feature the announcement of TWAS-Lenovo Prize, one of the world's most prestigious honours for science in the developing world, as well as other TWAS honours. In addition, the Academy will announce newly elected Fellows and Young Affiliates.

Founded in 1983, The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS) supports sustainable prosperity through research, education, policy and diplomacy. It has nearly 1,200 members - including 15 Nobel Prize laureates - who represent the highest ranks of scientific excellence in the South.
-end-
Notes to the Editors:
    - TWAS was founded in 1983 by a group of scientists from the developing world, under the leadership of Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel Laureate. They shared a belief that developing nations, by building strength in science and engineering, could build the knowledge and skill to address such challenges as hunger, disease and poverty.

    - It marks the fourth time the meeting is being held in sub-Saharan Africa, following Nigeria in 1995, Senegal in 1999 and South Africa in 2009.

    - TWAS objectives are to support and promote excellence in scientific research in the developing world, including: addressing the needs of young scientists; building networks for South-South and South-North cooperation; and encouraging scientific research and sharing of experiences in solving major challenges facing developing countries.

    - TWAS has nearly 1,200 elected Fellows from 90 countries; 15 of them are Nobel laureates. About 85% come from developing nations, and the rest are scientists and engineers from the developed world whose work has had a significant impact in the South.

For Media enquiries:

Juliette Nyiraneza: Public relations officer, Ministry of Education on +250 786 352 320 or at jnyiraneza@mineduc.gov.rw

Edward Lempinen: Public Information Officer, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), on +39 348 920 1915 or at lempinen@twas.org

TWAS

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