The Cameroon Academy of Young Scientists (CAYS) in collaboration with the GYA organised as part of their outreach programme the fifth in a series of CAYS webinars, entitled “The role of the Young Academies in the development of Africa’’. This important thematic scope was discussed by panelists, composed of members of National Young Academies from Northern, Western, Southern, Eastern and Central Africa on these sub-themes:

  • Young academy: leadership, career development – GYA member Roula Inglesi-Lotz, (Co-Chair, South African Young Academy of Science)
  • Young Academy and policy making – GYA member Victorien Tamègnon Dougnon (President, Academy of Young Scientists of Benin)
  • Young academy and partnerships with regional and international organizations (UN, UA etc.) – GYA member Binyam Sisay Mendisu (Secretary, Ethiopian Young Academy of Sciences)
  • Young Academy: Building a sustainable research systems – GYA member Lahcen El Youssfi (GYA Executive Committee member)
  • Young Academy: Research Ethics – Godswill Ntsomboh Ntsefong (Fellow, Cameroon Academy of Young Scientists)

The webinar saw participation from almost 80 participants, and was moderated by CAYS President and GYA member Justine Germo Nzweundji. Discussions highlighted the role, importance, and impact that young academies can have in helping Africa take another step forward. The quality of the career, which can have an impact through the leadership we provide and the work that follows. The place of the members of the young academies and their impact will depend on their total commitment and the seriousness of their work. It should be noted that collegiality or learning to work together in teams is an asset that will go a long way to overcoming barriers. Membership in scholarly societies such as the national young academies of sciences is an asset for individual development and creates friendship and impact that goes beyond science. In addition, it was noted that Science is a tool for information and development, young academies are scientific expertise to the society, translating scientific data to the decision making at the local, national, regional and global levels, while holistically implementing the SDGs of the UN. Thus, it critically important to work together to share knowledge, mentor the next generation of science leaders who will inspire future generations with the potential to make a difference. The webinar therefore was an opportunity for the different national young academies to come together and discuss issues and ideas that would enhance their being involved in the conceptualization and development of national strategic plans. Knowing also that ethics matters centrally in the research framework of all nations, thus transparency, honesty, accountability and the institutionalization of a policy of ethics is a prerequisite for success.