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Safe water is theme of African science academies conference in Senegal
Date:11/9/2007

DAKAR, Senegal -- The National Academy of Sciences and Technologies of Senegal is hosting the third annual conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI), a 10-year effort to boost the ability of African academies to provide their nations with evidence-based advice. The conference, which runs from Nov. 12-15, will focus on the value of this advice in informing decisions about how to improve access to usable water. ASADI is administered by the U.S. National Academies and funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"We are proud and honored to host the third annual ASADI conference, which we hope will build on the earlier conferences to provide a new point of departure in the strengthening of the capacity of science academies in Africa," said Souleymane Niang, president of the Senegalese academy, announcing the conference.

Several science academies have been established in sub-Saharan Africa in recent decades, although many do not have the capacity to significantly influence public policy and discourse. "The lack of progress in many developing countries can be traced back to the limited and ineffective use of science and technology to prompt and guide economic development," stated Niang, who added, "Senegal is no exception."

Among its goals, ASADI seeks to bolster the relationship between the African academies and their respective governments and media, and to strengthen the infrastructure of individual academies so that they can hold events such as symposia and workshops and produce the type of independent, peer-reviewed reports that are the cornerstone of science academies around the world. Indeed, with ASADI support, the science academies of Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa have held workshops and issued -- or are about to issue -- reports on such subjects as malaria, blood safety, child mortality, and the relationship between nutrition and HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

The Senegal
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Contact: Bill Kearney
news@nas.edu
202-334-2138
The National Academies
Source:Eurekalert

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