Nature: African scientists engage with the public to tackle local challenges

20 February, 2022

Science-engagement initiatives in Africa disseminate knowledge and bridge the gap between research and the continent’s people.

CITATION: African scientists engage with the public to tackle local challenges.

Abdullani Tsanni.

Nature 602, 535-537 (2022)


'Nature sat down with five science communicators... to talk about their work and how they’re tackling local challenges to bridge the gap between science and society in Africa.'

Read the article in full here:


1. YISALEMUSH ASEFA: Using radio to boost childhood vaccination

Clinical nurse and public-health professional at Jimma University, Ethiopia.

'There’s also a lack of access to both reliable information on vaccines and the vaccines themselves.'

2. ANASTASIA KOCH: Teenage tales of infectious disease on film

Director and co-founder of Eh!woza in Cape Town, South Africa.

'Science communication isn’t about sharing scientific information alone — we have to address people’s needs. There is a social-justice element in this context.'

3. JUDY BAARIU: Science engagement for mental-health awareness

Research officer and project coordinator for the Difu Simo mental-health awareness campaign at the Kenya Medical Research Institute–Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya.

'Our aim is to raise awareness about mental illness and to demystify myths and misconceptions about the causes and management of mental-health problems.'

4. KYEREWAA A. BOATENG: A documentary on deafness dispels misconceptions

Community- and public-engagement officer at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana, Accra.

'Scientists should listen to communities and learn to co-create successful science-engagement solutions.'

5. STANLEY ANIGBOGU: Getting young girls into science

Storyteller and creative technologist in Onitsha, Anambra, and promotes STEM education for young girls in southeastern Nigeria.

'I hope to expand my skills in filmmaking and to inspire more girls. We need more girls in science.'


Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,