The African Scientific Institute (ASI), a California-based networking organisation, recently hosted a conference to discuss how best to mobilise the diaspora. The meeting, held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, from 29 June to 1 July, asked the African Union (AU) to give the ASI a formal role in this mobilisation.
ASI's wish may be granted. This week (26 July–1 August) AU research, technology and human resources commissioner, Jean-Pierre Ezin, will visit ASI representatives in the United States to discuss how ASI can help overseas African scientists contribute to the continent's science programmes.
If the ASI gets that honour, it may be joined by South Africa. The AU and other African institutions — including the Economic Commission for Africa and the local branch of UNESCO — are all endorsing a South Africa-funded project to promote networking with the diaspora.