Arts and Culture
More from Google
Get the Android app
Get the iOS app
Africa Science Focus
News, Science, Tech news
3 days ago
East Africa’s operation locust swarm
Locust swarms spanning up to 2400 square kilometres — the largest for a century — have been ravaging East Africa’s croplands over the past year. Yet could efforts to control the insects also be threatening buffalo breeding, tourism, national parks — and lions? The average swarm consumes more food in one day than 30,000 people. As the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization predicts new swarms in the region, Africa Science Focus investigates the battle to prevent famine and fight off the desert locusts, from helicopter insecticide spraying, to regional control missions. And, reporter Sarah Natoloo speaks with David Tusubira, one of the finalists in this year’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, to get a sneak peek at his hardware and software system that boosts the efficiency of solar panels. We want to hear from you. If you have any questions about development, science or health in Africa then simply send us a text and we’ll find you an answer — no question is too big or too small! Contact us via WhatsApp on +254799042513 Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi.
Sep 16, 2020
Pandemic tech innovation silver lining
*Episode Seven* Africa Science Focus is back with another exciting episode looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic is inspiring health and education innovations. Young developers in Africa are changing the face of innovation with new ventilators, face masks and gloves, as well as digital learning. “These new innovations are pushing us towards the new normal, the new trend in the world that is towards technology” says Victor Sesay, director of technology and innovation in Sierra Leon’s ministry of Technical and Higher Education. Joseph Kallah, an innovator from Sierra Leone, who has created an electronically controlled handwashing bucket, says that Africa’s developers want to change the world — but in a simple way. But, will a lack of funding hold them back? If you want to know anything about developments in science and health in Africa, send us your science questions for the experts — message WhatsApp +254799042513*.* Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi. This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk.
Sep 9, 2020
Where are Africa’s women in STEM?
*Episode Six* The focus of today’s show: women in science. The number of women pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — known as STEM — is discouragingly low, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Traditionally, women grow up thinking that those difficult subjects are for men,” Grace Nambatya Kyeyune, director of research at Uganda’s Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute tells Africa Science Focus. And teenagers Phiri, Retisher and Mutumba give us an insight into what girls think their roles are in African society. If you want to know anything about developments in science and health in Africa, send us your science questions for the experts — message WhatsApp +254799042513*.* Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi.
Sep 2, 2020
Foreign funding ‘controlling’ African research
*Episode Five* Africa Science Focus this week looks at whether African institutions are free to take independent decisions on research in the continent. African governments have not given research the attention it deserves, according to Alhaji Njai, a professor of infectious diseases and toxicology at the University of Sierra Leone and research fellow at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA. “African researchers are not in control of the research within Africa because if you are an African researcher…who wants to stay in Africa and do research with relevance and related to Africa, you find yourself at the mercy of foreign donors or foreign support because there isn’t research funds or research grants available for African researchers to tap into, so they tend to look outside”. Joseph Matovu, senior researcher from the School of Public Health, Makerere University in Uganda, says that while Uganda and some other African countries have recently set aside more funding for research and development, African research is heavily influenced by the developed societies such as Europe and North America. If you want to know anything about developments in science and health in Africa, send us your science questions for the experts — message WhatsApp +254799042513*.* Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi. Listen, subscribe and leave a review:
Aug 26, 2020
Robots and one tap payment in Rwanda
*Episode Four* On this week’s show, we explore how climate change and COVID-19 are impacting farmers in Malawi, while contactless innovations are changing the way people live in Rwanda. Malawi’s economy is driven by the agricultural sector, which accounts for nearly 80 per cent of employment. The country is experiencing a food crisis brought on by recent droughts and flooding. We hear from the agricultural extension services gurus spreading technology advice to farmers. Rwanda’s fledgling cashless public transport payment system, Tap and Go, allows passengers to pay their bus fare electronically. And, high-tech robots providing care at health clinics are changing the way things are being done in Rwanda for the better. What do you want to know about developments in science and health in Africa? Send us your science questions for the experts — message WhatsApp +254799042513*.* Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi. Listen, subscribe and leave a review
Aug 19, 2020
Meet the finance, agriculture innovators reshaping Zambia
*Episode Three* On this week’s show, we speak to the entrepreneurs and innovators revolutionising Zambia. With youth unemployment in Zambia above 20 per cent, young people are looking for alternative ways to make their mark. We hear how information and communication technologies are playing a central role. And, we learn about the difficulties faced by smallholders. More than 70 per cent of Zambians rely on small-scale farming for their livelihoods, and female farmers produce up to 80 per cent of locally consumed food. Farmer Mary Sakala tells Africa Science Focus how important information and communication technologies are in agriculture, especially for women and young people. Also, send us your science questions for the experts — message WhatsApp +254799042513*.* Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi.
Aug 12, 2020
Changing Africa’s abortion laws
*Episode Two* This week, a closer look at how women in Sub-Saharan Africa access abortions. Malawi’s maternal mortality rate remains one of the highest in the world, with complications from unsafe abortion estimated to account for up to 18 per cent of maternal deaths. “This current law now is killing people, it’s killing women, it’s killing girls, because it’s not safe, it’s not accommodative,” a woman who was unable to access a legal abortion tells Africa Science Focus. Meanwhile, Malawi’s neighbour, Zambia, allows terminations of pregnancies on socio-economic grounds. But even with clearer legislation, Zambia still faces a high maternal mortality rate. Also, send us your science questions and we’ll put them to the experts — message WhatsApp +254799042513*.* Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi. Listen, subscribe and leave a review
Aug 5, 2020
Africa Science Focus
In our first episode, presenter Selly Amutabi brings you stories about how health services have been coping with disruptions caused by efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. We look into how COVID-19 has affected the prioritisation of resources, such as reproductive health services. In Tanzania, young women and men feel discouraged from collecting contraception from health facilities because of coronavirus infection fears and social stigma. “It hasn’t been easy accessing family planning or any sexual reproductive health services, because of all the panic and all the tension over COVID-19,” Aisha Matiko, from youth advocacy network Restless Development, in Tanzania, tells Africa Science Focus. Reporter Sarah Natoolo visits a cancer treatment centre in Uganda and hears how patients are struggling to access treatment. Patients and doctors have been unable to travel to meet appointments due to lockdowns. Josephine Ogiyo has breast cancer. She and fellow patients have been forced to sleep outside the institute, in the country’s capital Kampala. “We are sleeping under the veranda,” she tells Africa Science Focus. “If it is raining we have to stand up. We have nothing, no clothes and no blankets.” “We only have one cancer treatment centre in the whole country,” says Uganda Cancer Society executive director Paul Ebusu. “When the lockdown happened, you can imagine that all the patients across the country were actually stuck, so there has been a lot of distress among patients.” Subscribe to our weekly Africa Science Podcast: