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Kenya will host the third Next Einstein Forum (NEF), one of the largest African scientific conferences, in March 2020, an official disclosed in Nairobi on Thursday.

The conference, an initiative of Africa Institute for Mathematical Sciences, will bring together more than 2,500 delegates including four Nobel Laureates in Nairobi to chart the future of science and research on the continent, AIMS chief executive Thierry Zomahoun said.

Zomahoun, who has met President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi to brief him about the upcoming conference said that Kenya was chosen because of its robust innovation ecosystem and strong academia-industry linkages.

Kenyatta's office said in a statement issued after the meeting that the biannual conference which brings together leading scientists, policy makers, business leaders, journalists, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists, was first held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2016 while the second meeting was hosted in Kigali, Rwanda, in March 2018.

"The third NEF will therefore provide a platform for Kenya to showcase its ambitious science and innovation programs as well as draw the world's attention to the country's immense potential as investment destination in science and technology," it said.

The president welcomed the conference, saying it came at an opportune time when Kenya had embarked on an aggressive program of enhancing the uptake of science at all levels of education, through the rollout of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.

He said Kenya recognized that knowledge and skills in the STEM subjects were enablers of industrial growth as the country journeyed towards the realization of the Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030 development blueprints.

NEF is a network of centers of excellence in science and research structured to enable talented African young scientists to become innovators thereby driving the continent's scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.

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