AIMS-Senegal, Special Guest at the President of the Republic Award Ceremony for Science, in Dakar, Senegal

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, fifty members of the AIMS-Senegal community including students, tutors and staff, were officially invited by the Minister of Higher Education and Research to attend the President’s Award Ceremony for Science in Dakar, Senegal.

The ceremony was presided over by His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal.

Dr Amadou Alpha Sall , specialist in virology and public health, was selected by the Scientific Committee, for his work on “arbovirus and haemorrhagic fever viruses” such as yellow fever, out of nine finalists in 2011.

This year, the Scientific Committee decided that of the 19 finalists, Professor Omar Gaye, a specialist in parasitic biology epidemiology, merited an Encouragement Award for his work on the development of new strategic tools to be used in the fight against the malaria.

The 2011 laureate, Dr. Amadou Alpha Sall , received the Award of Excellence with a prize of 50 million FCFA, whilst the 2012 laureate, Prof. Omar Gaye received an Encouragement Award with a prize of 25 million FCFA, both presented by the President of the Republic of Senegal.

In his speech, the President said that “science has always been at the forefront for concrete answers to the concerns of our time.” He listed a number of key initiatives for which he offered support:

  • Equipment and upgrading of laboratories;
  • Involvement of the private sector in order to better fund and promote academic research findings for institutions;
  • Protection of intellectual property.

The President also said that the shortage of science vocations was an issue and will be the subject of the next national conference on education, which will focus on three key issues:

  • Program quality;
  • Level of knowledge transfer;
  • Teaching methodology.

The President outlined three key priority research areas of the Senegalese government, namely agriculture, infrastructure and energy, and expressed his support for the following initiatives in order to drive progress in these areas:

  • Building basic infrastructure in the region of Kaolack;
  • Promoting research in the private sector and the job market;
  • Implementing reforms to promote applied research;
  • Writing a strategic document on innovation for a better orientation of the research;
  • Strengthening the capacity of researchers.
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