In a notable development, Midlands State University lecturer Dr Prestige Tatenda Makanga from the Department of Surveying and Geomatics was inducted into the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) as an Affiliate member, on the 11th of December 2018. According to their website, the AAS affiliates programme mentors and develops eminent young professionals into research leaders. Every year the AAS selects 25 affiliates– five from each African region – who are below the age of 40, have PhDs and preferably doctoral experience work in academic and research institutions in any field. This year AAS received and evaluated over 100 nominations from prospective affiliates. Successful nominees will be designated as AAS Affiliates for five years. During the five years, AAS will organise activities to develop the Affiliates’ careers that include:
- Providing training in proposal writing, manuscript preparation, writing and presentation, ethical conduct of research, intellectual property, reviewing papers and proposals
- Providing opportunities for affiliates to be mentored by experts in their fields. The experts are AAS fellows and scientists from across the globe.
- Facilitating for affiliates to attend major conferences organised by the AAS and other organisations.
Dr Makanga is currently leading two projects that are separately funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund in partnership with Kings College London in the UK, and another through Grand Challenges Canada. His work is elucidating maternal health risk using Geographical Information Science. This and future work will benefit immensely from the Affiliate membership. On behalf of the entire Midlands State University community, we congratulate Dr Makanga on this award and wish him all the best in his research endeavours.