16 October, 2018. A first ever African Science Week has taken place across 7 Somali cities this month, giving young people in each city the chance to gain first-hand experience of some of the key methods and practices in the sciences.
African Science Week is a 7-day celebration to raise youth awareness of the benefits of science and scientific training, held each year in over thirteen different countries throughout Africa.
The theme of this year’s events was ‘Igniting the Power of STEM Education’, aimed at promoting the value of scientific studies amongst young people, as well as a platform for sharing knowledge and skills related to STEM, i.e. science, technology, mathematics and engineering.
Through numerous workshops and interactive events throughout the week, over a thousand Somali pupils and students had the opportunity for hands-on training in STEM subjects, including computer coding, mechanical engineering and electronics, and robot programming.
African Science Week was organised by the Somali STEM Society in partnership with the Next Einstein Forum and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The events were held in the cities of Hargeisa, Bossaso, Kismayo, Baidoa, Beledweyne, Gaalkayo and Mogadishu.
“We organized Africa Science Week in 7 Somali Cities in 7 Days with the aim of reaching out to all Somalis,” says Dr. Sadiyo Siad, the NEF Ambassador, Founder of Somali STEM Society, and the Chancellor of HANO Academy. “This is our time to improve our education standards, to prepare our students to become future innovators ad provide solutions to the challenges facing Somali people.”
Sherif El Tokali of UNDP, says the popularity of the event is a promising sign for the country’s future. ‘I was delighted to see so many young people involved in the week,” he said. “It shows Somalia is on the rise, with a vibrant youth committed to rebuilding their country.”
UNDP works in partnership with the Somali Government to develop innovative social and economic ventures which create employment, build agriculture industries, assist early recovery and crisis response, and improve the lives of marginalised and at risk communities in Somalia.
Sandra Ismanovski, Communications Specialist, Innovation Project, United Nations Development Programme. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherif El Tokali, Innovation Specialist, United Nations Development Programme. Email: email@example.com.