Africa Science Focus-logo

Africa Science Focus

Science Podcasts

Africa Science Focus is SciDev.Net's award-winning weekly podcast. We dive deep into the impacts that science has on everything from health, to technology, agriculture and life. Subscribe to get the best science and development news from the continent delivered straight to you!

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Africa Science Focus is SciDev.Net's award-winning weekly podcast. We dive deep into the impacts that science has on everything from health, to technology, agriculture and life. Subscribe to get the best science and development news from the continent delivered straight to you!

Language:

English


Episodes
Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Malawi and Mozambique combat wild poliovirus

5/21/2024
After Africa achieved wild poliovirus-free status in 2020, the region faced a setback with outbreaks recurring in Mozambique and Malawi in 2022. However, a swift global response by countries and health organisations, including large-scale vaccination campaigns reaching 50 million children across five nations, culminated in a recommendation this month by the independent Poliovirus Outbreak Response Assessment (OBRA) to declare the end of the wild poliovirus type 1 outbreaks in Southern Africa. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, reporter Justice Baidoo speaks to public health experts to uncover the strategies Southern African countries adopted to fight the disease. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:02

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Ghana reduces malaria deaths by 90 per cent

5/10/2024
Ghana's fight against malaria has seen a major breakthrough with a 90 per cent reduction in malaria mortality since 2012. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, reporter Justice Baidoo speaks to health authorities in Ghana, who attribute this progress to a national strategy and the launch of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine. Mother-of-three Martha Obeng says her six-month-old son is “strong and very healthy” after receiving the vaccination. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:00

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Why ethics matters in science

5/2/2024
In this episode of Africa Science Focus, our reporter Michael Kaloki speaks with African researchers on the importance of ethics in science. Jerome Singh, an adjunct professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada, talks about the need to prioritise human wellbeing during science experiments, while Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem, chair of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, highlights the ethical considerations needed in the production of artificial intelligence technologies. Alloy Ihuah, from the Department of Philosophy, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria, evaluates the effects of western science on Africa, and advocates for the domestication of science on the continent. This podcast was supported by the Science Granting Councils Initiative which aims to strengthen the institutional capacities of 18 public science funding agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:00

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Can drones and AI fly Africa to the next level?

4/29/2024
Technology professionals explore how artificial intelligence and drones can transform industries in Africa. In this Africa Science Focus episode, reporter Michael Kaloki discusses the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI), drone technology, and data analytics with information technology professionals. Dennis Mutua, managing director of Geo-Cart,a Kenya-based surveying and drones solution company, says AI and drones could improve agriculture, engineering, and resource management. AI and blockchain could shape the future of African businesses, says Bright Mawudor, regional lead at blockchain specialists Crystal Intelligence. We also hear from Nancy Kinyua, head of geospatial engineering and data analytics at Nairobi-based data analytics firm Statsspeak, Moses Kemibaro, founder of Dotsavvy digital marketing agency, and Addy Kimani, sales and marketing lead at Fahari Aviation, a company specialising in unmanned aircraft systems. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:02

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Reviving use of local seeds in African farming

4/22/2024
Growing more local seeds in Africa can solve the region’s food insecurity and climate problems. Local crops and seeds are often neglected in Africa, despite their nutritional and environmental benefits, research has shown. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, Method Gundidza, director of the EarthLore Foundation, explains to reporter Elna Schütz the legacy of colonialism on these native species. Siphiwe Sithole, a farmer and managing director at African Marmalade, an agribusiness that specialises in African crops, highlights the significance of indigenous seeds on the continent. Using research, Albert Modi, executive dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Walter Sisulu University, South Africa, assesses the level of use of local seeds in Africa. Meanwhile, Mariam Mayet, executive director of the African Centre of Biodiversity indicates ways African farmers can increase the use of indigenous seeds. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:02

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Respiratory tech saving babies’ lives in Nigeria

4/12/2024
Solar powered, low-cost respiratory technology is aiding the fight to reduce neonatal mortality in Nigeria. Nigeria has a newborn mortality crisis, with 262,000 infant deaths each year. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, our correspondent, Royal Uche, highlights an innovation developed to curb the deaths of preterm babies in Africa’s most populous nation. We hear from Jimoh Abdulrasheed, consultant paediatrician at the Calabar Women and Children’s Hospital, who tells us about the life-saving impact the solar-powered respiratory technology has had at this hospital in the south of the country. Hippolite Amadi, a professor of medical engineering and technology, Imperial College, London, who developed the product, reveals the challenges he faced in scaling it, including dealing with corrupt high-ranking health officials. Mary Edet shares her baby's survival story. And Olukemi Tongo, consultant neonatologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, in Nigeria’s Oyo state, says the government should invest in the innovation to reduce new-born deaths. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This project was funded by the European Journalism Centre, through the Solutions Journalism Accelerator. The fund is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:31:22

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Unwrapping Africa’s food packaging problems

4/5/2024
In this episode of Africa Science Focus, our reporter Michael Kaloki pulls apart the packaging challenges that threaten food security in East Africa. We speak to Zippy Shiyoya, director at the Institute of Packaging Professionals Kenya, who highlights challenges faced by the industry, such as high production costs and shortages of materials that limit access to safe packaging. Michael Humble, a Kenyan biochemist, explains how there is a need to understand the physical and chemical properties of food packaging to prevent spoiling and contamination. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This podcast was supported by the Science Granting Councils Initiative which aims to strengthen the institutional capacities of 18 public science funding agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:02

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Why women in Sub-Saharan Africa battle fibroids

4/2/2024
Women in Sub-Saharan Africa are highly prone to developing fibroids, a kind of non-cancerous growth in the uterus, according to research. But they often don’t receive the treatment they need, risking major health consequences. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, reporter Busola Ajibola speaks to Maureen Umemmuo-Umeakuewulu, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria, who explains why fibroids are prevalent in the region. She discusses the symptoms, treatment options, and recovery tips, including the role of nutrition. We also hear from women dealing with fibroids about their experiences, in the last of our month-long series on women’s health. ------------------------------- Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:02

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Tackling maternal mortality in Africa

3/22/2024
Childbirth brings forth new life but is a dangerous journey for many women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, over two-thirds of global maternal mortality occurs in the region. In this episode of Africa Science Focus – the second in our series on women’s health – our reporter, Busola Ajibola, speaks to Eli Sukarime, associate professor and honorary consultant in obstetrics and gynecology at Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. He discusses the need to understand the causes of maternal mortality in the region in order to design effective healthcare solutions. Osaretin Okonji, public health researcher at the University of Western Cape’s School of Pharmacy, in Cape Town, South Africa, says improving access through policy changes and prioritising interventions like antenatal care are crucial steps. ---------------------- Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:01

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

SPOON Chair improves lives of kids with cerebral palsy

3/15/2024
The SPOON Chair has the potential to significantly improve the lives of children with cerebral palsy and their families across Africa. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we feature an innovative device called the SPOON Chair, designed to improve feeding for children with the movement and posture disease cerebral palsy. David Kibirige, who helped develop the device, tells us how the chair was produced and what features are coming next. We also hear from Jacinta Nakazzi, a mother who witnessed firsthand the positive impact of the SPOON Chair on her son with cerebral palsy. Speech therapist Daniel Seremba emphasizes the importance of proper positioning during feeding for children with disabilities. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This project was funded by the European Journalism Centre, through the Solutions Journalism Accelerator. The fund is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:03

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Tales of success, setbacks and advice

3/7/2024
To commemorate International Women’s Day on 8 March, Africa Science Focus speaks with women leaders in academic science across Africa. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, former and first female President of Mauritius and biodiversity scientist, tells our reporter, Michael Kaloki, how to make science more attractive for young women. Quarraisha Abdool Karim, epidemiologist and Pro-Vice Chancellor for African Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, explained how mentorship advanced her career. Lastly, Marie Korsaga, West Africa’s first female astrophysicist and an assistant lecturer at the Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo in Burkina Faso recounted how she is surviving in a male-dominated field. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This podcast was supported by the Science Granting Councils Initiative which aims to strengthen the institutional capacities of 18 public science funding agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:03

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Repurposing glass waste

2/28/2024
In this episode of Africa Science Focus, our reporter Bunmi Yekini speaks to Hammed Rauf, owner of Hamruf Global Limited, who transforms glass waste into valuable resources. We also hear from Mufutau Adelotan, a user of the recycled glass, who shares insights on the product’s usefulness. Glass poses environmental and health risks when not managed properly. Is recycling alone sufficient to mitigate these risks and safeguard the environment and climate? Professor Ilemobayo Oguntimehin, professor of environmental dynamics and management, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology in Okitipupa, Ondo, Nigeria, sheds light on this. And Doyinsola Ogunye, climate activist and founder of the Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment, shares her perspective on the recycling. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This project was funded by the European Journalism Centre, through the Solutions Journalism Accelerator. The fund is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:01

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Can telemedicine bridge Africa's healthcare divide?

2/16/2024
In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we examine what role telemedicine could play in plugging Africa’s healthcare gaps. Our reporter, Royal Uche speaks with Abubakar Ibrahim, founder of telemedicine solution provider Medicliq, who tells us how remote methods of healthcare could be instrumental in solving the continent’s health challenges. We also hear from Omolola Salako, public health expert and clinical oncologist at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, about how such technology can benefit rural and underserved areas. Meanwhile, Joana Eva Dodoo, lecturer in the department of business programmes at the College of Distance Education, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, shares her findings on the shortfalls of telemedicine in Africa and how to overcome them. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:01

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Boosting Africa science through collaborations

2/9/2024
In this episode of African Science Focus, we look at the effort African scientists are making to elevate science and its impact globally. Our reporter, Michael Kaloki speaks with Vanessa McBride, science director at the International Science Council, who advocated for policymakers to invest more in research and development in Africa. Dorothy Ngila, director of strategic partnerships at South Africa’s National Research Foundation, says gender integration in science is critical to the advancement of science in the continent. And Farai Kapfudzaruwa, research and strategic partnerships manager at Future Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa, highlights the importance of pan-African open science platforms and effective collaboration between scientists in the region. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This podcast was supported by the Science Granting Councils Initiative which aims to strengthen the institutional capacities of 18 public science funding agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:29:59

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Burning e-waste contaminating breast milk in Ghana

2/2/2024
[ACCRA] Located within Accra’s bustling Agbogbloshie market, Ghana's infamous e-waste dumpsite poses serious health risks to residents and traders. The burning of discarded electronics for valuable materials leads to smoky air that has severe health implications for the community. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, reporter Justice Baidoo speaks with Anita Asamoah, a researcher at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, who analysed the breast milk of mothers in this location and found cancer-causing metals. Meanwhile, Mountain Research Institute president Vincent Kyere, suggests some lasting solutions to the environmental pollution at Agbogbloshie. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:29:30

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Navigating climate challenges for year-round crops

1/26/2024
Africa produces only about four percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but the region — particularly its agriculture sector — bears the brunt of climate change. In this episode, Ogechi Ekeanyanwu and Titilope Fadare find out how smallholder farmers from Kenya and Nigeria ensure they produce crops all year round amid extreme weather conditions. Boaz Waswa, a soil fertility specialist at the Alliance of Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) based in Kenya, shared some climate-smart strategies that farmers can adopt to build resilience. We also hear from Shalika Vyas, associate fellow in agriculture and climate at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT. She discusses how access to climate finance can assist farmers in adapting and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:03

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Containing Ebola with fast detection kits

1/24/2024
Ebola is a highly contagious and often deadly virus and has been a persistent threat to several countries in Africa. In this episode, Africa Science Focus spoke to researchers at the University of Zambia and Hokkaido University, Japan, who designed a kit which can detect the Ebola virus within minutes. Katendi Changula, infectious disease researcher at the University of Zambia, explained how this test can be a game-changer, while Ayato Takada, professor at the International Institute for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University, Japan, explains how the kits were developed. And Joseph Ndebe, researcher at the School of Veterinary Medicine, disease control department, at the University of Zambia, sheds light on the challenges faced in deploying the test kits. We also hear from Sheila Makiala, who works at the National Institute of Biomedical Research in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She spoke to us about how the tests play a pivotal role in the effective management of Ebola outbreaks in the DRC. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This project was funded by the European Journalism Centre, through the Solutions Journalism Accelerator. The fund is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:03

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Igniting a passion for science in Africa kids

1/16/2024
Unlocking the wonders of science in young minds is pivotal for cultivating a generation of critical thinkers and innovators, particularly in Africa. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we look into the challenges and innovative solutions for igniting children's passion for science. Our reporter, Michael Kaloki, speaks to Harun Mbuvi, chair of the Chemistry Department at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, who highlights the barriers within Africa’s education system hindering science education for children. Yetunde Oluwatosin, education specialist at UNICEF, provides insights into overcoming obstacles to science education. And Sani Aliyu, a professor and renewable energy expert at Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto, Nigeria, shares some strategies to enhance children's understanding of science. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This podcast was supported by the Science Granting Councils Initiative which aims to strengthen the institutional capacities of 18 public science funding agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:01

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Women with disability battle sexual health challenges

1/4/2024
Misconceptions about disability and sex often lead to stigma and can prevent women with disabilities from accessing the sexual and reproductive healthcare they need. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, reporter Ijeoma Ukazu speaks to Nigerian disability rights advocates and experts Lois Auta-Udonkanta, Salome Net and Rahmatu Ahmed. They share their experiences of navigating disabilities, debunk some of the myths attached to disability and sex, and highlight the factors preventing women with disabilities from accessing quality health services. Joy Shu’aibu, director of programme operations for Sightsavers in Nigeria, shares practical steps policymakers can take to make sexual and reproductive health accessible for women with disabilities. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:01

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Managing Africa’s water for sustainable agriculture

12/28/2023
Africa's water crisis, compounded by climate change, threatens agricultural sustainability and food security. In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we delve into actionable strategies for managing water effectively across the continent. Our reporter, Michael Kaloki, speaks to Professor Sylvester Mpandeli, executive manager for water utilization in Agriculture at the Water Research Commission, South Africa, to uncover critical gaps hindering efficient water use in agriculture. Dr. Mathapelo Seopela, a lecturer in the chemical sciences department at the University of Johannesburg, offers practical solutions for communities and leaders to safeguard water quality. Dr. Thabile Ndlovu, senior lecturer in the chemistry department at the University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni, explores how cross-border collaboration can unlock the potential for clean, agricultural water across Africa. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This podcast was supported by the Science Granting Councils Initiative which aims to strengthen the institutional capacities of 18 public science funding agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net Africa Science Focus is produced by SciDev.Net and distributed in association with your local radio station This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk. Do you have any comments, questions or feedback about our podcast episodes? Let us know at podcast@scidev.net

Duration:00:30:01