Africa Science Focus

Africa Science Focus

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!


September 22, 2023 30 mins

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we hear about the Atayese Health Network, which is confronting the prevailing issues of healthcare inaccessibility and escalating costs.

Our reporter, Royal Uche, speaks to Atayese founder Adeolu Olusodo, who tells us that the organisation is working to making healthcare available and affordable for all, particularly in rural communities in Nigeria’s South West region.

Uche also speaks to heal...

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In this first episode of the ‘Science Explained’ series by Africa Science Focus, we dive into a study by Makerere University that uncovered traces of the antiretroviral (ARV) drug Efavirenz, used for HIV/AIDS treatment, in chicken feed in Uganda. 

Our reporter, Halima Athumani, also spoke with lead researcher, Hussein Oria, who let us know the gravity of using unapproved drugs in animal feed. We also investigate the motivations of p...

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In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we speak to Maureen Akolo, a nurse and public health specialist in Kenya who supports communities at risk of HIV/AIDS, including sex workers and drug addicts. She works to create awareness about HIV/AIDS and encourage and educate people about life-saving treatments such as anti-retroviral drugs.

Our reporter, Michael Kaloki, also hears from a patient living with the disease about how she acce...

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August 30, 2023 30 mins

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we explore how funding agencies are supporting women in research. We take a look at the barriers that persist for women pursuing academic careers and how these can be broken down.

How can funding for women’s research in Africa help them contribute to knowledge creation on an equal footing to men and compete on the global stage? And how can data on gender help funding agencies address gaps in ...

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July 24, 2023 30 mins

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we speak to Gladys Nyachieo, a social science researcher, whose work revolves around transforming pedestrian experiences and urban transportation in Kenya. She advocates for the widespread adoption of walking and non-motorized modes of travel, particularly in Nakuru, Kenya. 

Our reporter, Michael Kaloki, looks at the practicability of her campaigns and speaks to beneficiaries of work.

This pie...

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July 6, 2023 30 mins

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we delve into the hurdles that women on the African continent experience while attempting to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). 

Long-standing gender stereotypes and the burden of unpaid labour are just some of the factors that feed into the underrepresentation of women in these sectors.

Our reporter Michael Kaloki spoke with some African female scientis...

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June 11, 2023 30 mins

In the first episode of our new season of Africa Science Focus, we follow the journey of Josephine Nackeny Augustino whose mission is to tackle the pressing waste management crisis in South Sudan. 

With cities in low-income countries expanding, and waste generation escalating, Augustino's commitment to finding a solution is inspiring. She is helping to transform waste into nutrient-rich compost for agricultural purposes.

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January 20, 2023 15 mins

Spina bifida is a birth defect that affects the proper formation of the spine. It can lead to complications that can cause both physical and intellectual disabilities, and even death. 

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, our reporter, Ijeoma Ukazu, talks to Lawrencia Dyawei, mother of a child with spina bifida about the challenges she and her child face. 

Ifeanyi Nsofor, a global health equity advocate, explains spina bifida. 


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December 22, 2022 15 mins

We have come to the end of season three of the Africa Science Focus podcast and we decided to compile some insights on science in Sub-Saharan Africa from some of the science conferences we attended in 2022. 

At the 2022 World science forum, Cape Town, South Africa, Tumelo Nhlapo of the University of South Africa’s Science Engagement Centre tells us how the centre engages kids in problem solving and STEM.  

At the 2022 conference on p...

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December 16, 2022 15 mins

In Africa, rising temperatures have resulted in extreme weather events like floods and droughts that threaten lives and livelihoods. In order to tackle climate change, people need  to know how to take action. And the younger they are when they lean, the better.

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we speak to the founders of social enterprise Earth Warriors, who tell us about their curriculum creation initiative. Keya Lamba, a c...

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Eastern and Southern Africa have the highest HIV/AIDS burden in the world. And it is mostly women and girls in low- and middle-income countries who bear the greatest burden. This year, World AIDS Day highlighted the inequalities holding back progress in ending HIV/AIDS. 

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we speak to Anne Githuku-Shongwe, UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, about the inequalities faced by...

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November 30, 2022 15 mins

Oral diseases are largely preventable, yet a recent World Health Organization report reveals that half of the global population has some form of oral disease. And most of these people live in low- and middle-income countries.

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we speak to Morenike Oluwatoyin Ukpong, professor of paediatric dentistry and the dean at the faculty of dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, about the inequi...

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Africa produces only one per cent of its routine vaccines. This leaves the region dependent on imports for its vaccine needs, and makes it vulnerable to a vaccine crisis during health emergencies. 

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, Ebere Okereke, senior technical advisor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and honorary senior public health advisor for the Africa Centres for Disease Control ...
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November 16, 2022 15 mins

Progress towards universal health care in Africa is slow, and according to the World Health Organization 80 per cent of Africans depend instead on traditional medicine.

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, Oluwagbemiga Aina, head of the centre for traditional, complementary and alternative medicine at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, explains what herbal medicines are. Scholastica Lan, national chairman of the Associa...

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November 9, 2022 15 mins

African currencies are in free-fall, with hard-biting inflation hitting double digits in countries like Ghana and Nigeria, putting food nearly out of reach for many.

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we speak to Churchill Ogutu, a Kenyan economist, who unpacks the links between currency depreciation and poverty. And Ndubusi Nwokoma, director of the Centre for Economic Policy Analysis and Research of the University of Lagos, N...

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Nigeria is facing its worse flooding in a decade with building and infrastructure submerged and lives and livelihoods lost. While climate change does play a role, poor infrastructure and poor preparation have intensified the situation.

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we get the backstory from Professor Nelson Odume, acting director of the Institute for Water Research at Rhodes University, South Africa. Philip Jakpor, t...

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Africa is largely a coastal continent, with more than 70 per cent of African countries having a coastline. Much of the region depends on the ocean for food and income, but the changing climate is causing Africa’s coastal communities to deal with rising sea levels and dwindling resources.

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, Dickson Gereza, a fisherman, co-founder and manager of the Kuruwitu Conservation and Welfare Association i...

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October 19, 2022 15 mins

Africa is battling a suicide and mental health crisis. According to the World Health Organization, the region has the highest number of suicide cases in the world with around 11 people per 100, 000 dying by suicide each year. The region is also home to six of the ten countries with the highest incidence of suicide. 

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, we hear from Kenyan resident Philis Mwatee about the pain of losing a dear fr...

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The lands of indigenous peoples contain much of the world’s surviving tropical forests – which are key to limiting the devastating impacts of climate change. Yet it is estimated that just 17 per cent of global climate and conservation finance allocated for indigenous peoples and local communities’ forest management initiatives reaches them.

In this episode of Africa Science Focus, Bryson Ogden of the Rights and Resources Initiative ...

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October 5, 2022 15 mins

Uganda is experiencing its first outbreak in a decade of the deadly Ebola disease caused by Sudan virus, health authorities announced in September. More than 40 cases and at least 29 deaths have been reported, including four health workers. Nine of these deaths are from confirmed cases. While there are vaccines against the more common Zaire strain, there are no licensed vaccines or therapeutics for Sudan ebolavirus.

In this episode ...

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