Professor Lise Korsten, a plant pathology professor from the University of Pretoria, has made history by becoming the first female president of the African Academy of Science (AAS). The AAS, founded in 1985, is dedicated to advancing science, technology, and innovation across Africa. Korsten expressed her surprise at her election, acknowledging the significant challenges of her role. She emphasised her commitment to fostering change and innovation, recognising the importance of realigning structures and forging new partnerships.
Korsten also underscored her sense of responsibility as the first female president of the academy, stating that she is aware of the expectations and challenges ahead and is determined to fulfil her mandate. Her vision for the academy includes strengthening the governing council, increasing the number of fellows, and focusing on areas like health, climate change, water, energy, and food security. She also aims to promote young African scientists, female academics, and women’s health.
Korsten encouraged young people to pursue their dreams while maintaining a balanced life, investing in friendships, and seeking mentorship. She emphasised the need for Africa to seize opportunities and lead the way in the rapidly changing science and technology landscape. Korsten’s presidency marks a historic moment for the AAS, signalling a new era of progress and innovation in African science and technology.
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