Go back

African science meeting postponed over virus fears

Image: Ministry of Environment - Rwanda [CC BY-ND 2.0], via Flickr

Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering was planned for 10-13 March in Nairobi

The Next Einstein Forum’s Global Gathering is the latest African scientific conference to fall victim to fears surrounding the global coronavirus outbreak.

The biennial meeting was called off at short notice on 5 March, a week before it was scheduled to begin in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Nathalie Munyampenda, NEF managing director, said that “intensive consultations and close communication” with the Kenyan government led to the postponement of the meeting. 

She said that the gathering will take place later in the year at the same venue. The new date will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The safety and health of delegates and of the wider public are our highest concern,” said Munyampenda in a statement.

Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for sports, culture and heritage, said the postponement was based on the advice of experts on Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus.

“The government has taken into account the challenging global health environment that we are presently living vis a vis our unswerving duty of care towards Kenyans, expected delegates and the general public,” said Mohamed in a statement.

Mohamed is the national chair for the 2020 NEF Gathering. The organisers say the meeting was to feature more than 100 speakers and more than 2,000 participants. 

Kenya had no confirmed Covid-19 cases at the time of publication.