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AAS announces appointment of new Executive Director


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AAS announces appointment of new Executive Director

The African Academy of Sciences Governing Council is today announcing the appointment of Prof Nelson Torto, a prolific analytical chemist, as its Executive Director of the Academy with effect from 14 August 2017.

Torto, who was appointed after a continental search process, replaces Dr Tom Kariuki who had been Interim Executive Director since the departure of Prof Berhanu Abegaz in February.

“We are very pleased with the appointment,” says AAS President Prof Felix Dapare Dakora. “As a Fellow, Prof Torto has been actively involved in the activities of the Academy and brings a sense of commitment. He has served in programme, fundraising, executive and leadership levels that will be useful to propel the Academy in greater heights.”

Until his appointment at the AAS, Prof Torto was the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation. He holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Lund University in Sweden. He started his career as a method development chemist at the BCL Mine in Selebi Phikwe.

He joined the University of Botswana’s Chemistry Department as a staff development fellow in 1993 and subsequently rose to the rank of Associate Professor. In 2008, Prof Torto joined Rhodes University as a Professor in Analytical Chemistry and subsequently led the Chemistry Department for 3 years.

Prof Torto is a renowned researcher who has received various awards, given invited plenary lectures at international conferences as well as published more than 120 papers, graduated 19 PhDs and has several registered patents.

In 2008, Prof Torto received the Young Investigator Award in Separation Science from the American Chemical Society. He has held various advisory roles nationally, regionally and internationally and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences as well as an accredited Time to Think Coach and Facilitator.

“The Academy is playing a significant role in promoting the development of science, technology and innovation on the continent. I am dedicated to pushing this agenda forward to ensure science adequately plays its role improve the lives of African people,” Prof Torto said.