AGM 2023 Ticker #1 - Time to register

The Ticker is the newsletter format reserved for bringing you the latest, important and overall necessary information for preparing your participation in the upcoming GYA Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Visit the AGM Website

Remember what it is like to have a GYA AGM as an in-person meeting?

You never had the chance, you say? Because ever since you joined the GYA, there have only been online AGMs? Yes, we hear you. Which is why the introduction of this first 2023 AGM Ticker shall be the great promotional video that you can find on our YouTube channel, made by the amazing Nerina Finetto of Traces-Dreams. The video was created during the 2019 AGM in Germany, and truly captures the inspirational spirit of GYA AGMs.

Global Young Academy - Who we are and what we do

So, without much further ado, let us head right into the run-up to the 2023 AGM and conference.

Preparation to begin now: registration & more

The 2023 AGM and International Conference of Young Scientists will take place 6-9 June in Kigali, Rwanda this year. This means that now is the time to register (mandatory for participation).

Member & Alumni register here

Remember that the GYA Office is here to assist you in any way we can if anything is unclear or you require help in terms of personal invitation letters and so forth. Just e-mail us at

The GYA AGM and Conference in 2023 will take place in person. Therefore, registering means that you are expected to travel to Rwanda in order to participate. While some sessions may be recorded or available online, there will not be a truly hybrid AGM.

If you didn't have a chance to raise your travel budget from other sources, GYA Co-funding may be an option for you. Please take a moment to read all the information provided on this site: Co-funding. Do read carefully, as there are regulations in place that need to be adhered to in order to be eligible to receive funds.

Venue and travel information can be found on this page: Venue & Travel. Please make sure to check vaccination requirements for the country you regularly reside in or are traveling to Rwanda from.

  • Yellow Fever vaccination might be mandatory for you.

  • You might need to look into Malaria prevention matters.

  • There might be more vaccinations you should have when travelling to Rwanda. Check your government’s information pages or consult a general practitioner soon (as some vaccinations will take time to administer and take effect).

The call to create a Lightning Talk for the AGM is still open and waiting for your entry. Call for Abstracts for Lightning Talks - 2023 Annual General Meeting and International Conference (

A better future: the common goal of the GYA

Passion, challenges that become opportunities, young voices to be heard, things that connect us … these are all key words ringing out from work within the GYA. Watch these videos from past in-person AGMs to get an idea of the hope and willpower and energy that blossoms when GYA members and alumni get together in person.

The Global Health Working Group at the AGM 2018

Get to know the Global Health Working Group and its members at the AGM 2018 in Pataya, Thailand.

Global Health Working Group | AGM 2018

GYA Activities Fair at the AGM 2019

As part of its 2019 Annual General Meeting, the GYA held an Activities Fair showing the breadth of our members’ activities – 30 posters provided information on working groups from “Biodiversity” and “Global Health” to “Open Science” and “Science Education”. Members discussed new project ideas, and new GYA members could find out about the different activities and decide which one to join.

AGM 2019: GYA Activities introducing themselves

The Co-Chairs of 2019: AGM Closing message

Meet Connie and Koen, who served as GYA Co-Chairs in the year following the anniversary AGM in Halle, Germany in 2019.

AGM 2019: Co-Chairs' Closing Message

Head on over to our YouTube channel to view more of our videos.

The GYA: it all began in person

As every year, we have reached out to several of you for quotes for the Ticker. Those personal messages are from current or former members to you – the participants of this year’s AGM. This year we have reached out to some participants of the 2018 and 2019 AGMs. The response was great –including a recount from GYA founding member Wibool Piyawattanametha (KMITL, Thailand) who shared his experience as a GYA member of its very first days and years:

Image of Wibool Piyawattanametha

“I would like to share the first AGM I helped draft the constitution as a cofounder. Sometime in 2010, I was invited to Berlin to join the constitution drafting team. It was my first trip to Germany ever. I remembered it snowed very heavily during my stay there. The weather was so gloomy. Surprisingly, our hotel (Hotel Aquino) is located next to the cemetery, and I had a perfect view of the cemetery every day going to the conference room in the hotel. I think we had around 50-60 ppl (from around the world). We were there for three days to finish our first draft. We worked very late until the night (like 10:00 PM-ish) every night. I remembered everyone was so eager to help contribute to the constitution. I have never met so many diverse groups of people from different disciplines, ethnicities, backgrounds, and languages working toward the same goal of establishing the GYA, and we did it on the last day. After my return, I got an email from our first Co-chairs to help design our GYA logo. I did a quick drawing on a piece of paper (3-4 designs) and asked my student assistant to sketch them digitally for me. The committee decided on the current logo that we have now. I am very delighted to see our organization still flourishing today! Keep doing great work, shall we?”

Image of the gallery of photos

The 101: about the AGM, the GYA and you as a part of it

Find an overview of quick and to-the-point information about five aspects about the GYA and its AGM on this page:

Content of the 101 GYA and AGM post (backgrounds (c) Markus Scholz)

Ticker Travel Tips: Rwanda Edition pt 1

For our in-person AGM in 2023, we are back to bringing you the Ticker Travel Tips much like in 2018 and 2019. Please note that this is, by no means, exhaustive information. More in-depth details can be obtained through this online resource: Practical Information – Visit Rwanda

Time zone

Central Africa Time (GMT/UTC + 2 hours)

Business hours

Public offices are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Business hours are typically 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On weekends, businesses are open from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Some supermarkets and shopping malls work 24 hours. Banking hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Certain branches are open on Sundays.


The Rwandan franc (Rwf) is the principal currency, although US dollars are widely accepted. For local services, you will need to have some cash in Rwandan franc on you.

Cash can be exchanged at banks and private forex bureaux (bureau de change; both are closed on Sundays and public holidays). Western Union facilities are common. However, it may be impossible to exchange traveller’s cheques away from the capital.

ATMs can be found in Kigali and nearly all major cities and work 24 hours and 7 days. However, if you travel to other provinces, ATMs are generally found at the banks. Many banks feature cash dispensers that take Visa and MasterCard.

A growing number of places accept credit and debit cards, with Visa being more widely accepted than Mastercard. It’s best to check when making a booking.


In Rwanda, three official languages are spoken: Kinyarwanda, French and English. However, some people speak Swahili. Most of the people speak Kinyarwanda. However, at the hotels and big shopping malls, there are people who can help in both English and French.

  • Murakaza neza: You are welcome.

  • Muraho (formal) or Bite (informal): Hello (General greeting)

  • Murakoze: Thanks

  • Mwiriwe: Good day (kind of greeting)

  • Mwaramutse: Good morning

Do’s and don’ts

Tipping in the hotel? Tipping in general. Tipping is discretionary and appreciated. Cash is usually preferred. As a rough guide, tip professional guides and drivers 10 USD per day, trekking porters 2 USD.

DON’T use disposable plastics. DO bring reusable things instead – a water bottle for example.

Plastic bags have been outlawed in Rwanda since 2008 as part of its environmental policy. Plastic bags must be discarded by passengers entering the country. They will be given a cost-effective, ecologically friendly alternative. More information can be found at Practical Information – Visit Rwanda.

Dress codes are informal yet respectful. Men tend to wear trousers, but shorts are fine, although walking around without a shirt is frowned upon. Women will feel more comfortable in knee-length clothes, or longer.

For those who wear contact lenses, cleaning fluid is not readily available, and dust or sun could prove an irritation, so it’s best to bring a pair of glasses along for peace of mind.

Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is prohibited indoors and in public places including transportation.

To fly drones recreationally or commercially a permit is required in Rwanda. Permits are issued by the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority. It’s best to leave them at home.

Inspirational Words: Why attend an AGM

Together with members and alumni who attended the 2018 and / or 2019 AGMs, let us reminisce a little and be inspired by what an in person AGM is like.

These are excerpts, and the full quotes can be found here:

Inspirational Quotes - 2023 Annual General Meeting and International Conference (

Members at the  2019 AGM / (c) Markus Scholz

Anna Harris

“Arriving at a GYA AGM is like no other conference. First, you are highly likely to be either sitting next to a GYA member on the plane, bumping into them when collecting your luggage or sharing a taxi/bus ride from the airport. Here some of the most fascinating (and at times life-changing) conversations you would have had all year start.” Anna’s quote is here

Sabrina Wurzba

“We felt like part of a big family, a circle of support that we could count on during that journey as a fellowship. This experience was essential to maintain my motivation and inspired me to pursue further steps in my career giving me the courage and attitude to take global action in my research field.“ Sabrina’s quote is here.

Robert Lepenies

“Interculturality, brilliance, making friends from around the world, connecting to brilliant scientists, young and old. Do it.” Robert’s quote is here.

Eva Alisic

“The power of the GYA is really in the in-person meeting. The buzz when you're in the same room together is what starts great collaborations and impact on the real world.” Eva’s quote is here.

And thus, the first regular Ticker of 2023 comes to a close. Our gratitude goes out to Innocent Nkurikiyimfura (Member of the Rwanda Young Academy of Science) who so kindly helped us with a world of information about Rwanda to help us all prepare for our trip.

Now, remember to look into your funding options – create a Lightning Talk (Call for Abstracts for Lightning Talks - 2023 Annual General Meeting and International Conference (, let your institution know. They might be able to help if you bring your research to the 2023 GYA AGM and Conference. Remember to register, and keep your inbox open for the next Ticker with more in-depth information about the conference topic of 2023. It is scheduled for 24 March 2023.

Until then, take good care. Stay healthy and let us know whether you are coming or not. We would love to hear from you.

Kirsten, for and with the GYA Office sending our very best from Halle, Germany