The third edition of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering, the largest science and innovation gathering in Africa, has been put on hold due to the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID -19) outbreak.
The 2020 edition of the biennial global event was scheduled to be held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) from March 10 to 13 with 2500 delegates from 80 countries around the world expected to attend.
The Government of Kenya on 6th March announced a ban on all international gatherings in the country for 30 days.
In a statement, Nathalie Munyampenda, Managing Director of the Kigali-based initiative said; “We have taken the difficult decision to postpone NEF Global Gathering 2020 to a date later this year as the safety and health of delegates and the wider public are our highest concern." She promised to announce the new date in the next few weeks.
The cancellation of the meeting came after the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning that the risk of getting infected with the respiratory illness that tends to be fatal among older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions such as chronic respiratory disease and diabetes is very high anywhere across the globe.
The meeting of scientists from across the globe that happens once in every two years was embarked on as a way of encouraging innovation in areas of Africa’s greatest need like health and environment, revamping use of technology already in place and copying best practices from world leaders in the industry considering Africa still lags behind in terms of science and innovation foresight and policy.
The previous NEF meeting that happened in 2018 in Kigali attracted 1500 participants from 80 countries.
Photo courtesy / Google
Article by RB correspondent