Words from Prof. Leonard Wantchekon, Founder and President of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that scientific research is a vital human survival strategy. Indeed, research by laboratories and public health institutes from around the world has been crucial in enabling an emergency response to the pandemic. In parallel, the pandemic has also laid the foundations for stronger and longer-term response to health crises.
Africa has tremendous research potential but it is unfortunately scattered, under-promoted and poorly funded. There is a dire need to mobilize and engage with the many world-class African researchers to address current health, environmental, and social crises on the continent. This is the raison d’être of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council (PASRC). Our goal is to strengthen the African research community by highlighting and amplifying its achievements. We will showcase African excellence while breaking down geographic and disciplinary boundaries. Rooted in African traditions, PASRC will provide a platform for career development, where the more experienced mentor and open doors for the next generation.
Importantly, the Council will be a platform where research findings contribute to the development and resilience of the African continent. For this reason, the Council has made policy and public engagement part of its core mission, by including some of most influential policymakers on the continent.
Eight months after its inaugural conference, with the tireless energy of our organization committees, and the generous support of Open Society Foundations and Princeton University, PASRC is now up and running with solid institutional foundations. We have more than 520 inaugural members representing 62 countries, out of which 38 are African, and have set up a research committee, an editorial board for our journal, the Pan African Scientist, a career development committee, and a policy and public engagement committee.
Together, we are determined to make Africa a nest for culturally sensitive and policy-relevant frontier research and cutting-edge innovation. I welcome you to get acquainted with our committees and members, and please reach out if you would like to join us on this journey.
Prof. Leonard Wantchekon
President and Founder, Pan-African Scientific Research Council
President and Founder, African School of Economics
Professor of Politics and International Affairs and Associated Faculty in Economics, Princeton University