first_imgEthiopia launched the country’s firstscience academy in the capital city ofAddis Ababa.(Image: RamelaEthiopia launched its first science academy in the capital city of Addis Ababa on 10 April with the aim of developing scientific research and education in the country.The Ethiopia Academy of Science (EAS) says its objectives are to promote the advancement of basic and applied sciences, enhance innovative technologies, support and recognise excellence in scientific research performed by Ethiopian scientists, and promote contacts among Ethiopian scientists and those throughout the world.Academy president Demissie Habte said the EAS also plans to advise government on both natural and social science issues. “Growing political interest in science in Ethiopia has helped get the academy off the ground. There is a much better appreciation in the government for the role science can play in development,” he said.Habte said scientists first considered the idea for an Ethiopian academy in the early 1960s, but political instability in the country during the 1970s and 1980s saw the plans being put on hold. Researchers at Addis Ababa University, with the support of the UK Royal Society, revived the idea a few years ago.The Royal Society is one of oldest and most respected scientific academies in the world and has been working closely with Ethiopian scientists for the past 18 months in setting up the EAS. It said it is confident the academy has the potential to be a force for positive change and for practising evidence-based policy in Ethiopia.Roman Tewolde of the EAS said the academy will work to promote the country’s science agenda, which includes the use of new farming and industrial technology. “The academy will also give researchers financial and technical support, and publish journals and books for scientists and the public,” he said.Tewolde added that the EAS will be “an independent, merit-based institution committed to assisting the national development agenda, promoting excellence in science and arts, and advancing the nation’s natural and cultural heritage”.Until now “there has not been a national organisation to speak with authority on behalf of all learned bodies in Ethiopia”, he said.Academy structureHabte said the academy will be founded with 50 fellows from both the natural and social sciences. “New fellows will be elected by the members each year, although the small number of senior academics in the country will limit the membership at first.”He added that the academy will support policy-makers by preparing position papers on the challenges facing Ethiopia, such as rapid population growth and water security.Scientists have welcomed the launch of the academy. “This is great for our country – it’s something that will bring a wealth of knowledge to our people [and] this continent as a whole,” said Professor Teketel Yohnnes from Addis Ababa University. “Young people who are keen on a career in science can [now] look forward to experiencing and practising their work in their own country.”last_img read more

first_imgThe sixth of a series of surveys by Financial Executives International (FEI) about Sarbanes-Oxley was recently released. Somewhat surprisingly, the study found that total costs of compliance at large corporations dropped 23% over the past year and 35% when compared to the previous year.200 companies with average revenues of $6.8 billion were included in a poll that tries to measure how they are coping with Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley. The survey attributes companies becoming more efficient as the reason for the reduction in costs.Three years into Sarbanes-Oxley many of these large companies have already gone through the pain associated with startup, but now the processes are in place and are slowly being accepted as standard business procedure.While internal costs related to compliance are dropping, the study finds that fees associated with mandatory external audits have not changed.Those companies that were able to centralize their compliance operations saw the greatest savings. The average annual cost of compliance at companies with centralized systems was $1.7 million, compared to nearly $4.0 million for those companies with decentralized operations.Most companies still feel though that the costs far outweigh the benefits of Sarbanes-Oxley. Only 22% of those surveyed felt that Sarbanes-Oxley provided greater value than the costs needed to implement it — although that number climbed a little from only 15% the previous year.On the positive side, 46% said that their financial reports have become more accurate, and 48% felt they were also more reliable. 34% thought that Sarbanes-Oxley helped to prevent or detect fraud.The perception of Sarbanes-Oxley is slowly changing. Perhaps in time it will be viewed more as a competitive advantage for companies rather than as a cost burden.last_img read more

first_imgLast weekend, the latest CBS Cares Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for the national education nonprofit, the I Have A Dream Foundation (IHDF), aired during CBS’ extensive coverage of the Super Bowl.The PSAs featured CBS stars Tea Leoni (MADAM SECRETARY) and Tom Selleck (BLUE BLOODS) in order to bring attention to the urgent need to increase access to and affordability of higher education for children from low-income families.You can watch the videos here.The Super Bowl ads are the latest in a national ad campaign featuring IHDF. Over the holidays, CBS celebrities Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles) were in similar PSAs urging support for IHDF’s mission. The PSAs will continue to run throughout the Spring.With more than 100 million people tuned into Super Bowl 50, IHDF reports all-time high web traffic and engagement.“At IHDF, we have helped put the dream of a college education within reach for tens of thousands of our ‘Dreamers’ across the country,” said Donna A. Lawrence, President and CEO of the National “I Have A Dream” Foundation. “The increased attention to our organization as a result of being featured during Super Bowl 50 will help us to expand our programs, making the dream of a college education a reality for thousands more children.”Through its national office and 16 affiliates across the country (including Atlanta, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, L.A., New Jersey, New York, and Oregon), IHDF supports students in under-resourced public schools. But this isn’t a typical financial assistance or scholarship program. IHDF chooses entire classes of students, and in some cases entire schools, and supports each student from early elementary school all the way through college. Every student in the program receives guaranteed tuition assistance for higher education as well as continued support throughout their college career. As a result, students who have passed through IHDF’s program (dubbed “Dreamers”) are more than two times as likely to receive a Bachelor’s degree as their low-income peers.“Some kids don’t get to do the same things as us, so I want people to do the same thing as us and get a good education,” said Johnny Castro, a “Dreamer” and Des Moines middle school student, who helped to promote the Super Bowl CBS Cares PSA campaign.Since 1981, “I Have A Dream” programs have operated in 28 states, Washington, D.C., and New Zealand, together serving nearly 17,000 students. The CBS Cares attention comes at a crucial point for the foundation’s future; IHDF, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, is launching a growth plan to significantly increase the program’s reach and capacity. Over the next five years, IHDF intends to triple the total number of active Dreamers in the program from 3,200 to 10,000 and increase their footprint by doubling their network from 16 to 32 local “I Have A Dream” affiliates around the country.last_img read more