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February 12th, 2018 / NPR

Recently, an online survey asked me to name African women scientists I admired. I found myself struggling — even though I’m a Kenyan entomologist, researching sustainable ways to feed our expanding population amid a changing climate. I thought to myself, why are there so few of us?

I was wrong: We are not few at all. Twitter proved it.

The website Levers in Heels, which features African women in STEM, in January called on the internet to tweet the names of African women scientists. People shared hundreds.

I discovered Mbu Waindim, an aerospace engineer from Cameroon who’s passionate about politics and gender issues; Farida Bedwei, a software engineer from Ghana who did not let cerebral palsy affect her work; and Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi, Ghana’s first amphibian biologist.

I understand why I had a hard time naming African women scientists. There is no one-stop source showcasing their work and, as I live in the United States, it was easy to fall behind. At the same time, many African women scientists lack the global recognition they deserve. Read more