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Recognising Excellence

We recognise excellence through the election of Fellows and Affiliates and science prizes to honour outstanding scientists


The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is deeply saddened to have heard of the death of Professor George Albert Magoha, an AAS Fellow and former education Cabinet Secretary of Kenya. He passed away on 24 January 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Nominating a Candidate for the AAS Fellowship

The AAS accepts nominations for Fellows in the first half of each year. A nomination call is sent out to all The AAS Fellows and Associate Fellows. A notification also goes out to non-Fellows informing them of the open call. Only current AAS Fellows and Associate Fellows can submit nominations. Self nomination is not accepted but, as indicated below, interested individuals may request a Fellow or Associate Fellow of The AAS to nominate them. The call remains open for two months.

The AAS reiterates its goal to admit more women into the Fellowship. All Fellows are expected to nominate at least one woman and women Fellows are highly encouraged to nominate two women. The nomination process is as follows:

  1. Fellows and Associate Fellows identify candidates to nominate to The AAS Fellowship under any of the categories. The Nominee must be informed and willing to be nominated by a Fellow/Associate Fellow of The AAS. Alternatively, interested individuals may approach an AAS Fellow/Associate Fellow to nominate them. Profiles of Fellows are available on The AAS website and interested candidates may contact the secretariat to put them in touch with Fellows who can nominate them. In instances where interested individuals request Fellows to nominate them, the individuals must provide the Fellow/Associate Fellow with all necessary information that will enable the Fellow/Associate Fellow to make an informed decision on the individual’s eligibility for nomination.
  2. Each nomination must also be seconded by a Fellow/Associate Fellow of The AAS. The Nominator will identify another Fellow/Associate Fellow to second the nomination.
  3. Nomination across disciplines is accepted i.e. the Nominator and the Seconder do not necessarily have to be in the same or allied field as the Nominee.
  4. The Nominator submits the Nominee’s dossier on-line on the AAS Ishango Online System. The dossier consists of:
    • A completed AAS Fellows Nomination Form endorsed by the Nominator, Seconder and Nominee
    • Updated curriculum vitae of the nominee
    • Five (5) soft copies of the Nominee’s best Publications.
    • Letters from three of the Nominee’s referees
  5. The full dossier together with the referees’ reports is sent to the respective AAS Membership Advisory Committee (MAC) for evaluation. There are 10 MACs each representing one of The AAS scientific clusters of disciplines. Nominees are evaluated based on their scientific excellence, leadership and citizenship using various indicators such as publications, authorship, patents, commitment to advancing science in Africa, mentorship roles, recognition by peers, science advocacy, positions held and responsibilities, innovations, contribution to policy.
  6. The MAC recommendations will be submitted to the secretariat usually by 30 August. Consensus building exchanges will then take place over four weeks.
  7. After this the profiles of Nominees who have been recommended by the MAC for fellowship are circulated to The AAS Fellows to vote in new members.
  8. The AAS Governance and Nominations Sub-committee of the GC will thereafter review the MAC evaluation and Fellows’ votes and submit the recommendation to the GC which will elect Nominees to The AAS Fellowship.
  9. The outcome of the review process is relayed by the end of the year. All Nominees and their Nominators and Seconders receive information on whether their nominations were successful or not. Candidates who receive positive evaluation during the first review stage but do not pass the final stages for election into Fellowship will have their nominations active for three (3) consecutive years during which time they will be re-considered for review each subsequent year. They can update their CVs. The nominators and nominees for whom this is applicable will be informed of this in the outcome letter. If still unsuccessful after the three years, a fresh nomination will have to be submitted. Other unsuccessful candidates will have to be re-nominated
  10. Newly elected members are inducted at a ceremony during The AAS General Assembly.

Nominations are submitted on The AAS Ishango Online System.

Under this category of fellowship, a candidate shall be nominated by a minimum of three Fellows and/or Associate Fellows and the nomination shall be reviewed and the Nominee elected directly by the Governing Council after review by the Governance and Nominations sub-committee.
Names of candidates proposed for Honorary Fellowship are submitted directly to the Executive Director’s office.

Meet the Team

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Nelson Torto Executive Director
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About The AAS Fellows


One of the core mandates of The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) is to recognise excellence and it does this is by electing scholars who have excelled in their fields of expertise as its members. The AAS Fellowship comprises individuals who have reached the highest level of excellence in their field of expertise and have made contributions to the advancement of the field on the African continent. Fellows of The AAS are elected based on their achievements that include their publication record, innovations, leadership roles and contribution to society. Election into The AAS Fellowship is done through a rigorous review process.

Categories of Fellows

Although the term “Fellow” is used generally to refer to all those elected into The AAS Fellowship, the Fellowship has three categories.

Fellows who are elected from among active African scientists residing in Africa or elsewhere and who have attained the highest international standards and/or who have made significant contributions to the development and application of science, technology and innovation in Africa.

Associate fellows who are elected from among active and outstanding non-African scientists residing elsewhere or in Africa and who have made significant contributions to the development of researchers, as well as the development of science, technology and innovation in Africa.

Non-African scientists who have taken citizenship of an African nation and Africa-born scientists who may have taken citizenship outside Africa will be considered under the category, ‘Fellows’.

Honorary fellows who are elected from amongst persons of eminence who have made significant contribution to the objectives of the Academy.

  • Recognition of their outstanding contribution to development on the continent
  • The honour of being elected into a continental academy and displaying the prestigious title Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (FAAS) after their name and/or signature.
  • Form the General Assembly (GA), the highest and ultimate decision-making governance organ of The AAS to which the Governing Council (GC) is responsible. The GC is the Policy organ of the Academy.
  • Enable The AAS to achieve its core mandates of Recognising Excellence; Implementing Science, Technology and Innovation Programmes and providing Advisory and Think Tank functions helping to develop strategies that promote science in Africa and that are relevant to the continent.
  • Lead in policy formulation strategies and engage with governments and policy makers towards the promotion of Science, Technology and Innovation on the continent.
  • Serve in various The AAS working groups and committees to oversee the activities of the secretariat
  • Serve as expert reviewers, speakers, steering committee and GC sub-committee members, GC members for The AAS activities and those of its partner organisations.
  • Take part in the recruitment of Fellows by identifying and nominating deserving scholars to The AAS Fellowship, taking part in the voting process, and assisting the secretariat to maintain high standards in the recruitment process.
  • Fellows are required to pay membership fees comprising a modest joining fee ($100) and subsequent annual subscription fee ($50).
  • It is expected that every Fellow should nominate at least one woman for Fellowship, and all women Fellows are encouraged to nominate two women.

There is no age limit and candidates may be elected from all disciplines. The AAS has clustered the various disciplines into ten clusters:

  • Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences
  • Biosciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Cultural Sciences Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Engineering Technology and Applied Sciences
  • Geological; Environmental; Earth and Space Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Policy Sciences

To be considered for nomination, candidates for The AAS Fellowship must:

  • Have obtained a PhD or equivalent qualification no less than 10 years before the year of nomination and have outstanding post qualification academic achievements
  • Demonstrate contributions that they have made to Africa. Candidates for Associate Fellowship must, in addition, demonstrate supervision of several African masters and doctoral students and published papers based on research in Africa with a substantial number of the African research papers having African first authors.
  • Candidates must be individuals who are currently active and if not, it should be stated on the form, what contribution they would make to be considered as members of The AAS.
  • Demonstrate outstanding scientific excellence and the nominee's work must stand out in his or her discipline on the African continent
  • Demonstrate outstanding scientific leadership and citizenship and, if applicable, contribution to policy
  • Demonstrate evidence of recognition by their peers in the field such as active peer review of journal articles, membership of scientific advisory committees, invited lectures, awards, prizes, membership in other academies or professional bodies
  • Publish with publishers of high reputation and have high impact factor in scientific journals of high calibre with a Scopus H-index of 20 or higher. Have at least one journal article with 100 or more citations. This might not apply to non-science disciplines.
  • Have first author position in a substantial number of publications

About The Affiliates Programme

The 2019 Call for Affiliates is open until 15th July.Click to Apply

The Affiliates Programme recognizes and supports the development of promising African early and mid-career scientists into world class research leaders who contribute to the Academy’s vision of transforming lives through sciences. By supporting young scholars’ professional growth pathways, and nurturing enabling research environments, the programme meets a significant need in African higher education and research institutions of supporting African-based scholars to become independent thinkers and leaders who can generate new ideas, knowledge, and innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges. Thus, through the Affiliates programme, The AAS plays a catalytic and supportive role to the African states and their sub-regional institutions in their responsibility to attract, support and retain excellent researchers who contribute to the continent’s development agenda.

We currently have 87 Affiliates from 16 African countries and from across all disciplines. Affiliates of The AAS are selected from among young promising African scientists who have demonstrated prowess in the development and application of science in Africa. Starting 2019, up to 40 Affiliates will be selected from all disciplines and from all the five regions of Africa. On being selected, Affiliates receive for a period of five years, career development support, mentorship, networking opportunities, as well as support for an enabling research environment in their home institutions.

Meet the Team

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The AAS Affiliates live out the Academy’s vision of transforming lives through sciences in their research and leadership excellence. They actively contribute to the programme activities while also motivating other young researchers to pursue scientific excellence. The programme accelerates their transition into independent researchers and enhances their contribution to innovations, policy engagement, mentorship, interdisciplinary collaboration and research management. Consequentially, we envision that the Affiliates’ professional growth will contribute to strengthening their institution’s scientific capacity.

The designation of ‘Affiliate of The AAS’ is a meritorious recognition awarded after competitive evaluation and review by a designated body of peer reviewers and a final approval by the AAS Governing Council. This designation is held for a period of five years and there is no direct progression from Affiliate to Fellow of the Academy. During the five years, Affiliates benefit from the following:

  • Recognition as an AAS Affiliate alongside AAS Fellows, Associate Fellows and Honorary Fellows
  • Support with individualized professional development planning
  • Benefit from a range of career development activities including but not limited to grant writing, publishing, science communication, ethical conduct of research, intellectual property issues, collaborative research, scientific entrepreneurship, etc.
  • Enrolment into The AAS Mentorship Scheme where Affiliates are matched with AAS Fellows and/or other experienced professionals to achieve specific career goals.
  • Networking and collaborating platforms for the Affiliates and with other similar programmes
  • Benefit from other AAS programmes and opportunities as they become available.

Prospective candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be an African national;
  • Must be residing in or affiliated with an African higher education or research institution;
  • Must have obtained their PhD in the last ten years;
  • Must have substantial postdoctoral research experience;
  • Must be aged 40 years and below by the 31st December of that year. Individual considerations will be made for female candidates above 40 years who have had career interruptions;
  • Female candidates and candidates from under-represented disciplines and countries are especially encouraged to apply.

How to get involved

Email to receive our updates and to enquire about how to become a fellow or a young affiliate and the Olusegun Obasanjo prize.


The prize is given to a scientist in any of these fields:

  • Biotechnology
  • Energy
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Material Sciences

Winners are individuals whose scientific discoveries or technological innovations have helped to improve their societies.