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Africa’s young scientists are waking up to their potential

Einstein fellow Noble Banadda speaks to Justus Wanzala about the value of talent and resolve, and his predictions for a flood of young African science leaders.

A lot of things seem to be going Noble Banadda’s way. In 2006, remarkably, he was the first black African to obtain a PhD in chemical engineering at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, since its establishment in the 1400s.

The Ugandan wastewater engineer became a professor when he was only 37. And last month he was named as one of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences’ 2015 Next Einstein Fellows. The prestigious honour will allow him to rub shoulders with Nobel Prize winners and heads of state at the Next Einstein Forum global gathering in Dakar, Senegal, in October.

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