The new network met for its inaugural conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 16 to 18 November 2011.
The AGNES Network is designed to enhance the visibility of the leading role played by research and innovation in sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Leading researchers from the region wish to work more closely with each other and with colleagues in Germany, and also enlist junior researchers for new research collaborations.
AGNES is to support social change in Africa which is creating more scope for individual achievement and making academic excellence a socially recognised criterion for professional development. Whereas in the past the heads of university institutes, for example, were often appointed on grounds of seniority, increasingly they are now highly qualified young academics. They are expected to support the development of strategies at African universities to meet the diverse challenges facing Africa and to educate scientists and scholars at international level. The foundation of an "African-German Network of Excellence in Science" (AGNES) will create a supra-regional contact structure to strengthen academic excellence in sub-Sahara Africa that is able to reach out beyond the Humboldt Network in its narrower sense.
AGNES will acquire funding through its access to international networks in order to expand the research infrastructure in Africa and promote international scientific collaboration.
AGNES will promote the visibility of Humboldtians in their home countries.
AGNES will support multi-lateral (tri-, quadrilateral …) cooperations and "south-south mobility".
AGNES will identify centres of excellence and network with these ("building bridges").
AGNES will participate in the debate on the prioritisation of key research areas (also research agendas), focusing on their specific relevance for African interests.
AGNES will promote exchange between academia and practice (knowledge transfer).
AGNES could play the part of an "African Academy of Sciences and Humanities"
AGNES will promote the transfer of experience and competencies to younger academicsthrough mentoring initiatives (e.g. "proposal writing").
AGNES will encourage young academics to publish their work internationally, and support them in doing so.
AGNES members will seek to gain one qualified scientist for an application every two years, and support him or her in making that application.
AGNES will provide information on funding opportunities at universities and research institutions.
AGNES will make its member data available online.
AGNES will promote a sustainable "academic culture".
AGNES will offer awards for outstanding academic achievements ("best thesis", "women’s award", etc.).
AGNES will increase the visibility of academic excellence in Africa.
AGNES will provide a contact structure for "policy makers": AGNES as a trademark for excellence in academia.
AGNES will cooperate with academies of sciences and humanities.
AGNES will take part in conferences, but also hold its own conventions.
AGNES will publicly highlight the role of science and research for sustainable development.
AGNES will advocate the creation/expansion of research (funding) institutions.
AGNES will advocate strengthening high-quality doctorate programmes.
AGNES will advocate providing scientists and scholars with sufficient freedom to conduct research in addition to their teaching duties.
AGNES will support the "gender-sensitive" creation of knowledge.