Immediate release 15 August 2017
AAS announces appointment of new Executive Director
Nairobi, Kenya, 15 August 2017
The African Academy of Sciences Governing Council is today announcing the appointment of Prof Nelson Torto, a prolific analytical chemist, as its Executive Director with effect from 14 August 2017.
Torto, who was appointed after a continental search process, replaces Prof Berhanu Abegaz whose two-term contract ended in March. Dr Tom Kariuki, Director of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) has been Interim Executive Director since the departure of Prof Abegaz.
“This is a befitting appointment,” says AAS President Prof Felix Dapare Dakora. “As an AAS Fellow, Prof Torto has been actively involved in the activities of the Academy, demonstrating his commitment to the organisation and has served in fundraising and various programmes at executive and leadership levels that will be useful to propel the Academy to greater heights.”
Until his appointment at the AAS, Prof Torto was the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation. He holds a PhD in analytical chemistry from Lund University in Sweden. He started his career as a method development chemist at the BCL Mine in Selebi Phikwe and joined the University of Botswana’s Chemistry Department as a staff development fellow in 1993 where he rose to the rank of Associate Professor. In 2008, Prof Torto joined Rhodes University as a Professor in analytical chemistry and subsequently led the Chemistry Department for 3 years.
Prof Torto is a renowned researcher who has received various awards, given invited plenary lectures at international conferences as well as published more than 130 papers, graduated 19 PhDs and has several registered patents.
“The Academy is playing a significant role in promoting the development of science, technology and innovation on the continent. I am dedicated to pushing this agenda forward to ensure science adequately plays its role to improve the lives of African people,” Prof Torto said.
The AAS is a Pan-African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation. It has a tripartite mandate of pursuing excellence by recognising scholars and achievers; providing advisory and think-tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implementing key science, technology and innovation programmes that impact on developmental challenges through the new agenda setting and funding platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA). AESA was created by AAS and the NEPAD Agency in partnership with global partners.
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