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African Future Earth Committee meets in Pretoria, South Africa

This meeting was attended by all the eleven members of AFEC, Hassan Virji from START (representing Future Earth Global Secretariat) and Berhanu Abegaz from the African Academy of Science (as meeting chair). The event was co-sponsored by the government of South Africa (through the National Research Foundation) and ICSU.

The Committee discussed the outcomes of previous Future Earth activities in Africa and Future Earth developments at global level. It was agreed to narrow the current work of AFEC around the following: (i) developing the Terms of Reference of the Committee; (ii) establishment of a Future Earth Regional Centre for Africa; and (iii) developing a process to articulate key science and other challenges that are of prime interest to Africa and Future Earth globally. Fore more information about the Committee's proposed activities and actions, please see the meeting report.

One important outcome of this meeting was the selection of the Committee Chair and Vice-Chairs as well as regional representatives. Chid G Osuagwu from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria, was elected Chair of AFEC; the two vice-Chairs are Coleen Vogel from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and Ahmed Abdel Hady from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

To support this structure, each of the five sub-regions of the continent identified a representative to co-ordinate activities in the respective regions; and these are:

Central Africa: Cesar Kapseu from Ngaoundere University in Ngaoundere, Cameroon

East Africa: Chrispine Kowenje from Maseno University in Maseno, Kenya

North Africa: Izeddine Zorkani from University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, Morocco

Southern Africa: Rungano Karimanzira from the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science &Technology in Harare, Zimbabwe

West Africa: Michel Codjo Boko from Universite d'Abomey-Calavi, Benin