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Viewpoint: Activist myth-making, anti-science lobbying undermine Uganda’s path to food security

September 20th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

At the end of August, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni rejected for the second time a proposed biosafety bill that would have granted farmers access to  genetically engineered (GE) crops. Summing up his skepticism of the legislation, Museveni argued in a letter to parliament that

[S]cientific inventions may cause harm to humans and that, this …

Training youth key to growing African agriculture

January 3rd, 2019

The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) is providing education sponsorships, technology training, and mentorship for youth in agriculture, research, and entrepreneurship. CORAF’s programs for youth prepare for the quickly aging population of researchers in agriculture.

In West Africa, 63 percent of the population is under 25 years …

China to train African scientists as part of $60-billion development plan

October 4th, 2018 / Nature, UK

China wants to train Africa’s next generation of scientists. Its lofty goal is to improve African science in fields from agriculture and climate change to quantum physics and artificial intelligence.
The training is one element of a much larger plan adopted by Chinese and African leaders at the third Summit of …

We’ll only stop young African scientists from leaving if we help them fix these key problems at home

October 2nd, 2018 / Quartz Africa

Young African scientists face persistent barriers which cause them to leave their own countries, and even academia. This means the continent’s work force loses highly trained people who are crucial for scientific and technological advancement, and for economic development. A number of factors contribute to this trend, including a desire for higher pay, …

Kenyan scientists concerned perceptions on GMOs may slow down GM crops commercialization

September 19th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Kenyan scientists have expressed their concern that negative perceptions tied to genetically modified organism (GMOs) could be detrimental in commercializing GM crops in the country. Speaking during a cassava stakeholder study tour to GM cassava research confined field trial (CFT) site in the country’s coastal region, the scientists dismissed any …

We should reward scientists for communicating to the public

July 6th, 2018 / Scientific American

Esther Ngumbi, postdoctoral researcher at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Entomology Department and a Food Security Fellow with Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship, writes:
Scientific discoveries that can improve people’s lives and change the world should be communicated widely with the public, but too often that valuable knowledge is locked …

Africa’s future rests on her scientists and innovators – Paul Kagame

March 30th, 2018 / ITedge News, Nigeria

Building knowledge economies of citizens highly competent in science and mathematics is the key to African countries achieving the high income status necessary to climb out of poverty and take their place in global network of innovators, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has told an audience of global stakeholders in …

Talking Biotech: Bayer geneticist Ray Shillito on communicating with the public about agricultural biotechnology

January 15th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Podcast:
Ray Shillito is a scientist that spent the early part of his career in plant transformation, attempting novel approaches in the early 1980s. It was a time of rapid development of new techniques, and a race to move genes into plants with the goal of genetic improvement. Shillito shares his …

Climate science: Getting African researchers involved

October 5th, 2017 / SciDev.net

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met for its 46th session in Montreal, Canada, from September 6-10. It reached an agreement on an outline of contributions from its three working groups to the Sixth Assessment Report, which is due to be published in 2022. It will now recruit a …

Communicating agricultural science

July 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Agriculture scientists from 20 countries converged in Uganda to discuss ways of easing communication in agriculture science.
According to the organisers, the scientists deliberated on several pertinent issues themed: “Strengthening Communication for Improved Biosafety Management.”
The executive director Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre, Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan, in the key …