UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Academy, it is appropriate to affirm that the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), established in December 1985 as an autonomous Africa- wide professional, non-political and non- profit organization celebrates a decade of dedication to the promotion of science and technology for development in Africa. The efforts of the Academy have been recognized in the pan- African research and scientific arena as an organization that offers a wide range of capacity- building programmes; an avenue for publishing and disseminating information relevant to the African scientist; and a medium and forum for exchange of ideas and information.
The AAS is first and foremost an honorific society which honours and recognizes scientists who have made significant contribution to science in Africa and secondly, it is a programmatic organization, which develops, articulates, and implements definite strategies, programmes and projects with tangible results in pursuit of its objectives.
During its first decade AAS is proud to have achieved most of its objectives and to have carved out a niche for itself as a forum for intellectual and scientific discourse in Africa. These achievements have not been easy in a continent which is primarily an agrarian society and with many difficult conditions, resulting in drastic reduction of budgets in support of science and technology.
The officers and staff of the Academy have worked tirelessly to develop programmes that cater for the needs of not only the scientists in the natural sciences but also those of the social sciences and which address among other issues, food security, regional integration and conflict resolution in Africa.
The Academy's vision as it heads towards the 21st Century will incorporate new programmes that can stir up a rural scientific revolution in Africa.
On the African scene, the Academy has been recognized by the umbrella organization of Africa, the Organization of african Unity (OAU) which has granted it an Observer Status. Beyond Africa AAS has established links and collaboration with leading international organizations, private Foundations and Academies all over the world. Such relationships help the Academy to keep a tag on global trends.
The Academy has indeed moved forward in leaps and bounds and we owe a great deal to the support of donors who have shared our vision and have given the means to turn our ideas into realities.
The Founding President of the AAS, Prof. Thomas R. Odhiambo, forecasts a bright future for the AAS. He comments: "A clear message from the Academy should be conveyed duringing these 10th Anniversary celebrations. The Academy should tell Africa that the continent needs to be on the path of Science and Technology (S&T) moving from a purely agrarian society to an industrial society with a strong agricultural base for the 21st century."
Compiled by: Dr Alex Tindimubona (firstname.lastname@example.org), ASTEXPRESS, African Science and Technology Exchange (ASTEX), P.O. Box 10382 Kampala, Uganda. Fax:256-41-245597.
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