Circulating the call to its Africa network and providing evaluators for the applications the GYA helped in recruiting the first cohort of young scientists to benefit from the training. The first call already attracted some of the best academics from all over Africa in basic and applied science, engineering, social sciences, arts and the humanities and will prepare them to become research leaders with eye for societal impact. The program will run annually for an initial period of 3 years and commenced with the first group of 20 people – among them 7 from the GYA–at an inaugural meeting held between 7 and 12 June 2015 in Pretoria, and judging from feedback from the fellows and organizers, it was very successful
The program will create a lasting network of science leaders on the continent, spanning not only across countries, but also across disciplinary boundaries. Over time, it will develop an awareness and curriculum for leadership development in academia that can be applied in other institutions in Africa and beyond, and will create a focal point for connection with science leadership training programs in other parts of the world.