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Science: Gambia’s Tumani Corrah Hailed As One of the Greatest Scientists in Africa

The Vice Chancellor and founding patron of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, has named Gambian Professor Tumani Corrah, a research scientist, as one of the top two scientists in Africa.

Gambian Professor Tumani Corrah and the CBE MRG Director

Sir Borysiewicz, who was speaking at the Senegalese capital, Dakar in the inaugural meeting of the NEF Global Gathering 2016, an international conference focused on the development of science and technology in Africa, urged Africans to commit to finding another Tumani Corrah and Uganda’s respected virologists, Nelson Sewankambo.

"What we should be doing is trying to find the next Nelson Sewankambo, or the next Tumani Corrah. We are too quick to invoke Einstein. I say that not because our aspirations are too low, but because they should be much higher. They revolve around a new generation of African scientists, working on African solutions to some of Africa’s most pressing issues," he said.

He went on: "What African science needs is not a new Einstein or even a hundred new Einsteins. Africa needs scientists who are confident and able to harness the power of global partnerships. African scientists need to respond to the imperative of strategic alliances.

African scientists need to set the agenda of closer collaboration between academia, policymakers and the private sector. We are all here because we want to work alongside these scientists to contribute to that collective effort."

Professor Tumani Corrah, Regional Advisor for Africa, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, is the Director, Africa Research Development of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and has over twenty years of progressively senior-level work experience in the leading research institution in Africa.

He also has nineteen years of active research experience on Tropical and Infectious Diseases, with special interest in Tuberculosis (early diagnosis; diagnosis of TB in difficult situations, such as in patients with HIV and low CD4 counts; shortening the duration of treatment for TB).

Speaking further at the event, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz emphasised the importance of partnership and the need for collaboration to develop the capacity for excellent research across the continent.

"The challenges we face today - from food security and climate change to sustainable energy - are global. So, too, are the solutions we seek. The complexity, the scale, and the urgency of the challenges demand that we work together," he added.

The NEF Global Gathering is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, a pan-African higher education and research institution with campuses in South Africa, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania and Rwanda.

By Robert Muriisa.

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