African Academy of Sciences
African Academy of Science logo.png
Formation1985; 37 years ago (1985)
HeadquartersNairobi, Kenya
Region served
Felix Dapare Dakora

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit, pan-African learned society formed in 1985.[1]

The AAS elects AAS fellows and affiliates. The AAS also awards the Obasanjo Prize for Scientific Discovery and Technological Innovation[2] every two years to an outstanding scientist who contributes to the development of the continent.


The Academy was founded in 1985 following a proposal presented by entomologist Thomas Odhiambo at the inaugural meeting of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), in Trieste, Italy. Odhiambo led a taskforce on the creation of The Academy, which presented its recommendations at a meeting convened on 10 December 1985. Participants at the meeting unanimously adopted the recommendations, turned the gathering into a General Assembly, and drafted and adopted the Academy's founding constitution, which has since been updated. The 33 participants who attended the General Assembly also became the founding fellows of the Academy.

The Academy also developed and implemented four strategies between 1989 and 2005 that focused on forestry research, biotechnology, soil and water management, improved food production and policy and advocacy. In 1988 the AAS launched the journal Discovery and Innovation, which focused on all areas of science and ran until 2012.

At first the Academy was largely unfunded and run by volunteers. Between 1993 and 1996 Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Rockefeller Foundation helped the organization establish efficient institutional and financial systems.[3] In May 2005 the Kenyan government gave official recognition to the Academy and extended to it diplomatic privileges given to international non governmental organisations headquartered in Kenya. It also authorized construction of its headquarters on a 2 hectares (4.9 acres) site that it owns in the Karen area of Nairobi. A US$5 million endowment from the Nigerian government was used to cover the cost of construction.[4] As of 2017 the AAS had 396 fellows from 59 African countries.

On 28 February 2011 Ahmadou Lamine Ndiaye of Senegal was appointed President of the AAS for a three-year term replacing Mohamed Hassan of Sudan. He was the first francophone to hold this position since the AAS was founded. Ndiaye said he wanted to rejuvenate the AAS, and felt that conditions were favorable. He aimed to open up centers of excellence on the continent where French and English speakers could work on joint research programs.[5]


The AAS is governed by:

Members of the Governing Council

As of 2022, the governing council of the academy has the following members:[6]

Fellows and affiliates

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The African Academy of Sciences fellows are Africans who may live in or outside the continent and working on science in Africa are elected by previously elected AAS fellows based on achievements that include their publication record, innovations, leadership roles and contribution to policy. Fellows form a community of scientists formed to engage with governments and policy makers to enable wise investment in the future of the continent.

Currently,[when?] the AAS has 62 affiliates.


  1. ^ "Home | The AAS".
  2. ^ "All Prizes | The AAS".
  3. ^ "AAS History: Inauguration and establishment: Phase 1 (1985–1988)". AAS. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  4. ^ David Dickson (13 May 2005). "Kenya boosts outlook for African Academy of Sciences". SciDev. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  5. ^ Boubacar Kante (8 March 2011). "Ahmadou Lamine Ndiaye veut décloisonner les centres d'excellence du continent". Agence de Presse Sénégalaise. Retrieved 2011-12-02.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Governing Council". African Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2022-05-28.