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  • Trust for African science honours Thomas Odhiambo


A new trust fund in memory of Kenyan entomologist Thomas Risley Odhiambo, honouring his unique contribution to African science and development, is being set up by the International Centre for Insect Physiology And Ecology (ICIPE) and the African Academy Of Sciences (AAS).

Popularly known as TRO, Odhiambo believed that scientists could be instrumental in changing the fate of his continent. One of his key achievements was his role in establishing both ICIPE and AAS.

The fund will continue his initiatives to promote innovative research in human, animal, plant, and environmental health in Africa. Providing grants and scholarships to young African scientists who wish to undertake research into tropical problems will be at the top of its priorities.

The organisers of the trust, which also draws support from the Third World Academy of Science (TWAS), plan to promote the use of science and technology in the development of marketable technologies.

They will also establish a science policy resource centre and annual memorial lectures in Odhiambo's memory.

Anyang Nyong'o, Kenyan minister for planning and a long-time colleague of Odhiambo, says that the moves to honour his memory are intended to emphasise what scientists in the developing world can achieve.

"Odhiambo's life was a living testimony to the fact that, with the brightest ideas that the human brain can produce and a spirited personal determination, we can achieve what we dream and what we desire," he said.

"At a time when there is so much pessimism about the political and social prospects for Africa, it is necessary to keep in mind the legacy that an African scientist like TRO left to the world."

The deed for the trust has now been drawn up, and ICIPE and AAS are considering potential trustees to manage it.

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