This week, Nature has issued an Africa Special number. In it, features a long article by Neil Turok about AIMS and the Next Einstein Initiative.
Below is a copy of the press release sent out by Nature:
Africa Special: Population pressures (pp 567-573)
Fast-growing countries interested in boosting their economies can find no better investment than in family planning, argue Josh Ruxin and Antoinette Habinshuti in a Comment article in this week’s Nature. But international organizations and agencies aren’t paying attention, probably because they are afraid of stoking religious or political flames. As part of this issue’s special focus on Africa, the authors outline how Rwanda, the most densely populated mainland nation in sub-Saharan Africa, can offer lessons for other countries.
Like much of the continent, Rwanda is growing economically, but if it doesn’t limit the growth of its population, the nation will remain in poverty. To combat a traditional resistance to family planning, the government is improving access to contraception, backing education initiatives for girls and women and engaging the public on the subject. Sadly, Rwanda’s neighbours do not share its vision. Governments tend to focus on the more fashionable issues of environmental destruction and the Millennium Development Goals, but with the world’s population projected to rise to seven billion later this year and to nine billion by 2050, governments who chose the path taken by Rwanda are likely to see healthier, wealthier and smaller populations.
Also in the Special, Neil Turok writes about the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in South Africa, and his plans to expand it across the continent. And Bassirou Bonfoh and his colleagues describe their experiences of living and working in the Côte d’Ivoire during a decade of conflict and discuss how strong local and international partnerships can help in achieving and maintaining an international standard of research.