Science communication activities are geared to improve the visibility of The AAS and science in Africa, build networks and build journalists' capacity to report on science.
Science journalism is a “dying profession” due to the closure of science desks across the globe, and Africa is no exception. The result is a dearth of credible public information about science, which in turn produces poor public scientific literacy. Compounding effects are the disappearance of outlets by which scientists themselves gain expertise in areas outside their own fields and through which policymakers receive credible information on science.
In Africa, as elsewhere, science stories are overwhelmed by politics, sports and business news. The poor quality and quantity of science stories is exacerbated by a ‘formal training deficit’ on the continent, because few journalists have a science background. Moreover, stories are increasingly written from press releases without independent analysis or skeptical review. This leads to the unfortunate and ever-increasing practice of “churnalism”, whereby news organisations republish verbatim material sent by public relations agencies and commercial sources, undermining the credibility of science reporting.
Reinforcing and building science journalism in Africa is the focus of the Africa Desk Science, a two-year project being implemented by The African Academy of Sciences and the AUDA-NEPAD Agency’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa in with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The project focuses on Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, with journalists from these countries being funded to produce TV documentaries, short web videos, explainers, short or long-form investigative reports and data stories aimed at local or global news markets. Journalists will be paired with senior science journalists internationally and continentally who will provide the mentorship needed to improve the quality of science reporting.
Journalists and newsrooms are invited to submit pitches. They will be considered monthly through mid-2019 based on submission by the 5th of each month.
Journalists are invited to read the call for pitches and frequently asked questions for more details.
A network to bring together science communicators from across the continent to share ideas and collaboratively improve the visibility of science in Africa.
Meet the Team
Dorcas Wangira is an early career journalist passionate about science and human-interest features. She is a Features reporter working with Citizen Television, Kenya’s leading TV network. She has previously worked as a Special Projects reporter and news correspondent for KTN NEWS, Kenya’s only 24-hour news network.
For her work, she has been awarded the 2019 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling , nominated for the 2018 Upstream Oil and Gas Journalist of the Year Award and the Zimeo 2017 Award for Climate Change and Conservation reporting. She has also been shortlisted for the UK Foreign Press 2017 Young Journalist Award and the 2015 Mohamed Amin Africa Media Award People’s Choice Award.
Tadaferua Ujorha is currently a Freelance Journalist in Abuja, Nigeria. He has reported on science, pastoral life, environment and development for about fifteen years, covering key events in Nigeria and West Africa.
Alioune Badara Diatta is currently a journalist at Intelligences Magazine, a monthly magazine based in Dakar. A young journalist very interested in environmental issues, ICTs, Science.
He is laureate of the national competition in investigative journalism 2019 organized by the Center of studies of sciences and techniques of the information (CESTI), the Network of the journalists for the Good governance of the Mineral Resources (REJOB) in partnership with OXFAM for its investigation into the impacts of extractive industries in Thiès region (East Dakar).
Sibusiso Biyela is a South African science communicator and journalist. He is an award-winning science columnist for Noseweek, a South African investigative journalism magazine.
He has been a fellow of the Kavli Prize Scholarship, and an established speaker on science communication at international conferences. He is currently interested in using digital media to communicate science, and he has recently embarked on efforts to decolonize science communication using indigenous languages. He can be found making groan-inducing science jokes on Twitter at @AstroSibs and some of his work can be found at http://www.scibraai.co.za
Gatonye Gathura is currently contracted by the Standard Media Group to generate science content for their outlets as an independent correspondent.
He is also a correspondent for other outlets including Mongabay.com and his blog www.rocketsciences.co.ke He is a former science editor with the Nation Media Group and Standard Media in Nairobi. He has more than 28 years of experience in science journalism and a graduate of Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.
Paul ADEPOJU is a Nigerian scientist, academician, journalist, publishing author, geneticist, local content creator, and media entrepreneur.
He currently teaches genetics and histopathology at Nigeria's Babcock University and he covers science, health, tech and development issues across Africa for The Lancet, Devex, SciDev.Net, CNN, Quartz and several other media outlets. He's also the founder of healthnews.africa and is currently completing a doctorate degree in cell biology and genetics at Nigeria's premier university, the University of Ibadan. He has bagged several awards and he speaks at conferences in various parts of the world. As a researcher, he is fascinated with tuberculosis immunogenetics while as a journalist, he searches for stories that affect the lives of everyday Africans especially when such is from the continent’s scientific community.
Chioma Obinna is a multiple award-winning journalist with core interest in health and science reporting. A Senior Health Correspondent with Vanguard Media Limited, she holds a Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication from the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State.
She holds a Certificate in Advanced Writing and Reporting Skills from the School of Media and Communication, PAN ATLANTIC University, and certificate on Science Solution Journalism from School of Journalism and Media Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa.
She began her journalism career with Vanguard Media Limited in Abuja, the Federal Capital city of Nigeria as a Labour and Environment reporter.
She has attended several courses, and conferences both in Nigeria and abroad. She has won several awards including 2017 Nigeria Media Merit Award, NMMA, for Innovative Reporter of the year. She was two times winner, Best Health Correspondent, in Lagos State (2008 and 2009), the winner, 2015 Healthcare Media Excellence Award, won the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Award for Medical Research Reporting 2012 etc.
Beth Amato is a South African writer and journalist who has specialised in early childhood and human development.
Most of Beth's time is spent as the specialist writer at the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence in Human Development, hosted at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. She publishes research-informed work for among others, the Sunday Times, and Wits University's research magazine, Curiosity.
Ruth Akinwunmi-King is a Nigerian multimedia journalist with about a decade experience working with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.
Abjata Khalif is an award winning journalist based in Northern Kenya region with 12 years’ work experience and specializing in covering various thematic topics like Climate Change...
Abjata Khalif is an award winning journalist based in Northern Kenya region with 12 years’ work experience and specializing in covering various thematic topics like Climate Change, Refugee affairs, Investigative works, Human rights violations and other injustices, Human trafficking, Women rights, pastoralism, Human security and cross border issues, Renewable energy among others.
I was born in 1978 in Wajir County of Northern Kenya and I have worked with various local media houses like The People Daily Newspaper, Reject Magazine and other international media outlets like Reuters and Spore magazine based in Belgium. Newsdeeply based in the U.S, ZAM Magazine based in the Netherlands, Sci-Dev, an online science news platform, and Bloomberg news media.
I won KEMEP/UNFPA award on best reporting work on Female Genital Mutilation in 2010.
Apart from reporting climate change and its links to other thematic issues, I chair regional media organisation in northern Kenya known as Kenya Pastoralist Journalists Network, which uses community media, community outreaches, focus group discussions and advocacy campaigns in imparting and disseminating information to pastoralist communities with view of building their capacities in addressing various issues like climate change, advancing climate adaptation among others.
Toyin Adebayo is dedicated professional and investigative journalist with over a decade experience of covering news, current events and human angle stories.
My background lies in gathering and analyzing facts about newsworthy events through stories, features, interview, investigation, and observation. My reports have featured in many National Dailies and currently with INDEPENDENT Newspaper. Toyin holds a BA Ed in English Education, a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalist and National Association of Women Journalist. She is passionate about issues that concern women and children and this has reflected in several of her reports. Toyin is married with kids and presently lives in Abuja, Nigeria
O’Femi Kolawole is a Red-Ribbon award-winning Nigerian journalist, investigative reporter, and founder, POSTERITY MEDIA.
Between 2016 and 2017, he served as Programme Director, Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation. He was earlier Programme Associate at Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) Nigeria.
Kolawole, convener of POSTERITY MEDIA BUSINESS FORUM which engages different stakeholders on Nigeria’s socio-economic issues, is a finalist of the 2018-2019 Nieman Fellowship for Journalists at Harvard University.
He’s author of the highly-acclaimed book on editors, The Gatekeepers. His other books include Maximising Internship Potentials, and biography of Africa’s first TV producer, Segun Olusola: An Icon of Man’s Humanity to Man.
An alumnus of The Polytechnic Ibadan, and the Creative Lives Programme of the British Council, Pan Atlantic University and the University of Glamorgan, UK, his stories have appeared in PUNCH, THISDAY, and SAHARA REPORTERS. As an investigative reporter, he has received funding from the AAS.
Kolawole loves reading and meeting people.
Gerald Andae is a professional journalist working with the Nation Media Group.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Busoga University in Uganda and currently working on my thesis at Moi University, where I have been pursuing masters in linguistics, media and communication.
Last year I was lucky to be part of the 28 fellows who were competitively selected worldwide to participate in a three month fellowship programme on science communication at the Ivy-league Cornell University in New York.
Over the last eight years I have been covering a lot on science, which is my main beat of reporting in the newsroom.
George Achia Odhiambo is a media professional with 4 years’ experience as a science and development writer
George Achia Odhiambo is a media professional with 4 years’ experience as a science and development writer. I have proven skills in writing and editing over the years, augmented by regional and international travels that have exposed me to communications, media practices and general publishing in Africa and globally in my over four years as science writer with Africa’s leading media house on science, innovation & development - ScienceAfrica; coupling as a correspondent for various publications in Africa and beyond including Science Development Network (SciDev.Net) and AfricaSTI.com, all focusing on various aspects of science, research and development in Africa. I have also been a freelance science writer for local dailies in Kenya including the Daily Nation, and the Star newspapers.
I am a contributor for the book Africa’s Minds: Build a Better Future. The book highlights 15 success stories of Africa’s science and development. I am a degree holder in Bachelor of Arts - Linguistic & Literary Studies from Moi University, Kenya, and an ongoing Masters degree in Strategic Communication at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Leopold Obi is an award winning science journalist with four year experience covering science and environment related topics.
I previously worked with Thomson Reuters as a correspondent environment feature writer in 2015 before joining Daily Nation in 2016 where I work to date. Winner Development Reporting Award, 2017 First Runners-Up Environment Reporting Award, 2017 I also have a degree in Bsc Journalism & Communication My articles have appeared in Reuters, Daily Mail, Daily Nation, Business Daily and Christian Science Monitor among other major publications. As a science journalist, my work focuses on environment investigative reporting, climate change & conservation, agriculture/ blue-economy & food security, innovation & technology among other human interest topics.
Annie Njanja is a journalist with a keen interest on health, climate change and gender issues. During my five years as a journalist i have also explored technology and business reporting.
I have been writing for the Nation Media Group's business publication (Business Daily) for the last four years and prior to that i was attached at the The East African BT magazine for a year. I am an International Center for Journalist (ICFJ) Early Childhood Development fellow and Global Editor's Network (GEN) Data Journalism 2017 award winner, an accolade i clinched for a science story i wrote on Malaria prevention study at the Lake Victoria region. I used data to show the burden of the illness on various regions in Kenya. I received my bachelor's degree at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
Adie Vanessa Offiong is an award-winning journalist and head of the Arts and Entertainment desk at Daily Trust newspaper.
She has an interest in reporting development issues with a human angle and solutions-based approach. Vanessa uses a data-driven approach to cover topics including women & children, environment, agriculture, health and women in business. Vanessa was a 2017 intern with the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp and a 2018 Health Systems Global Media Fellow.
James Kahongeh is a highly versatile and enthusiastic journalist with three years of experience in print media, I am currently working as a features correspondent at the Daily Nation (owned by the Nation Media Group, Kenya) from 2016.
I am passionate about global social trends, development, data journalism, technology, innovation and science. I am profoundly excited about the dynamics brought about by technology in the journalism arena.
I studied a degree course in Linguistics, Media and Communication at Moi University, Kenya. My skill-set spans print, broadcast and digital media.
Having started off my career as an intern three years ago, I have since transformed into a dependable journalist and editors’ go-to person with the ability to execute major story projects with incredible ease.
My insatiable curiosity to thank, my presentation skills, ability to work within strict daily and weekly timelines and to submit well-researched, incisive and multidimensional social stories with a bent on data have transformed immensely.
In July 2019, I completed an exhaustive short course on data journalism, and the vast possibilities that exist within this domain, as a tool to tell diverse stories in a simpler and comprehensive fashion.
I couldn’t be happier to be in this space as technology and data journalism gain traction locally and regionally.
Christabel Ligami is a Freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya whose reporting work focuses on science/health, gender, business, development, environment, climate change issues in Africa.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemist/Chemistry and a masters of Arts degree in communications studies. In 2016 she won the International Women Media Foundation grants to cover women issues – the Inaugural Reporting Grants To Amplify Women’s Voices In The News Media. She is also a three times East African award winner as the Best science/health reporter of the year 2013, Best Business Reporter of the year 2014 and Best Financial Reporter of the year 2014 among other awards. Ms Ligami was a speaker at the 2017 World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco USA. She co-organized and moderated a session at the World Conference of Science Journalists 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Chikezie Omeje is a senior investigative and data reporter with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Nigeria. Omeje primarily covers health and education.
He has more than 10 years of media experience, working in broadcast, print and online media. Omeje was the 2013 winner of the Development Communications Network’s Journalist Development Programme Award for best report in Abuja, and the award for overall best broadcast piece.
Jeckonia Otieno is a science journalist with the Standard Newspaper in Kenya.
Having started as a general features' reporter, he branched off into health and environment journalism after a fellowship with Internews in Kenya. He is an award winner with Media Council of Kenya, International Center for Journalists and Highway Africa, among others.
Justus is Kenyan journalist who extensively writes about environment conservation, Climate change, sustainable development and science issues.
Justus is Kenyan journalist who extensively writes about environment conservation, Climate change, sustainable development and science issues. As news editor/reporter at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation in Nairobi he also contributes stories to various publications. These include: the Inter Press Services News Agency (IPS) and Reuters AlterNet, The Thomson Reuter Foundation AlterNet page (http://news.trust.org), the Intellectual Property Watch (https://www.ip-watch.org/), The International Press Syndicate (https://www.indepthnews.net/), The Spore Magazine (http://spore.cta.int/en) and has also contributed articles to Research Africa (www.researchresearch.com/africa),a continental science policy magazine based in Cape Town, South Africa where he completed a nine-month fellowship through sponsorship of Canada’s International Development Research Centre in 2008.
He was also a member of the first intake of African and Arab science Journalists in a two-year-long international mentoring programme beginning in 2006 by the World Federation of Science Journalists. He posses a Diploma in Journalism from the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication in Nairobi and a Bachelor of Arts degree in development studies from UNISA (University of South Africa) and is completing a Masters Degree in Development Studies at Kenya’s Jomo University of Agriculture and Technology.
Wesley is a freelance journalist working in Africa- Kenya, specialized in climate change and natural resources conflict.
He holds a degree in geography and switched to science-focused journalism.
He writes about agriculture, climate change, environment, marine sciences, health, higher education, sustainable development, and science in general.
OGHIFO Bennett Eyituoyo,is a Nigerian journalist with THISDAY Newspaper, an independent national daily published in Nigeria.
Omolara Afolayan is a broadcast journalist with TVC News, Abuja, Nigeria.
Omolara Afolayan is a broadcast journalist with TVC News, Abuja, Nigeria. She started her broadcast journalism career with Raypower fm lagos in 2005 as a reporter covering several financial related beats and was also a stock market presenter on radio before she was transferred to the television arm, which is African Independent Television (AIT) in 2008, where she worked as news anchor, reporter and producer on the business desk.
She left AIT to join TVC News in 2012 where she presently works as a senior business correspondent for Abuja. She reports the agricultural branch of science under the business desk and emerged African journalist of the year at the OFAB media awards in 2017 and was also first runner up in the broadcast category of the Nigerian Academy of Science media awards in August this year. She has attended several local and international trainings in journalism.
Chibuike has a background in health sciences as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Geoffrey is a freelance journalist, specializing in agriculture, environment, and climate change reporting.
Helmo has a B.Sc. (Computer Science), B.A. (Economics), B.Com. (Business Economics), B.Sc. Hons (Operations Research) and M. Phil. (Marketing Research).
He has been a journalist since 1996 and has written for The BRICS Post (UK), Nerve (Nigeria), Cape Business News (SA), Business Day (SA), Business Report (SA), Star (SA), Grocott's Mail (SA) and I-Net Bridge (SA).
Gloria Ogbaki, is a graduated of Lagos State University and has a post graduate diploma certificate in Journalism from the international institute of journalism, Abuja
Gloria Ogbaki, is a graduated of Lagos State University and has a post graduate diploma certificate in Journalism from the international institute of journalism, Abuja. Her experience in the media sector as a journalist spans over eight years and well-rounded her as a media professional, been able to meet up with the hassles and intrigues involved with broadcast journalism.
She has trained with the federal radio corporation Nigeria (FRCN), British broadcasting corporation(BBC), various development training agencies like Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, NITDA among others which have helped her build partnerships, set and communicate realistic timeliness for achieving tasks and been able to adapt as priorities change or unforeseen circumstances arise.
A freelance science writer from South Africa for the last 20 years. Have been working in this field since 2000.
A freelance science writer from South Africa for the last 20 years. Have been working in this field since 2000. She writes about research findings and scientists working in especially the environmental, agricultural and health sectors.
Among her previous full-time employers are the Southern Cape Forum and Paarl Post community newspapers, CapeNature conservation organisation and Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Science. In 2013 she became a freelancer, specialising in science relate matters.
She is the recipient of the 2016 South African Fruit Industry Izethelo Award for Outstanding Journalism, as well as the 2016 South African Agricultural Writers’ Award for the best technical article. Engela holds an MPhil degree in Journalism, specialising in science journalism, from Stellenbosch University and equally a BA Hons degree in Psychology.she is a member of the South African Science Journalists Association and South Africa’s Agricultural Writers association and the co-founder of Scibraai (www.scibraai.co.za, @scibraai or www.facebook.com/scibraai) which is a South African science-related social media platform was launched in 2013 and is run by volunteers. It shares stories and news in English, Afrikaans and Zulu about South African scientists, their research endeavours and findings.
Jackie Opara is journalist working in Nigeria.
Jackie Opara is journalist working in Nigeria. She has worked with local Nigerian newspapers covering stories on agriculture, education, science and technology. In 2013, she was invited by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa to report on the proceedings at the 6th Africa Agricultural Science Week conference. In 2014, she won the IDRC-Research Africa Science Journalism Award. She also interned with Research Africa in Cape Town and has also worked with Research London covering science and higher education news.Currently shes a freelancer in Nigeria and regularly writes for Research Africa, NatureNews, SciDev and Forskning & Framsteg, University World News, Bhekisissa Centre for Health Journalism and IP Watch.org
John Muchangi is currently science editor at Star Newspaper based in Nairobi.
John Muchangi is currently science editor at Star Newspaper based in Nairobi. He has widely reported on science and development for about ten years, covering key events in Kenya and outside. He has a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an award-winning science journalist and a two-time winner of CNN-Multichoice Africa journalism awards (2012, 2014).
Bukola Adebayo is a multiple-award winning science journalist with The Punch, the most-widely read and circulated news platform in Nigeria.
Bukola Adebayo is a multiple-award winning science journalist with The Punch, the most-widely read and circulated news platform in Nigeria. She managed managed the health and science beat in the last eight years with local and international commendations to date. Healthwise, a two- page daily column which she anchors for The Punch is the most read and beneficial health and science column in the country.She holds the award forScience Journalist of the Year at the Nigerian Academy of Science Award in 2013 for an investigative piece on the sale of blood among Nigerian youths.
Bukola is a recipient of the Society of Obstetrics & Gynaecologists Media Award (2013) for Best Maternal and Child Health report for an investigative report on the high cost of Caesarian Section in Nigerian hospitals and its impact on maternal mortality. She also won the Best Report on Diseases, Treatment and Prevention category at the 2014 Rotary Humanitarian Awards.An alumni of the International Institute of Journalism, Berlin, Germany (2011), European Youth Press (2013) and a fellow of the National Press Foundation, Washington, United States (2015) and a Global Media Scholar of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a Science and Solutions Journalism Scholar from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. She has worked on many digital reporting project with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting , International Center for Journalists , the African Network of Centers for Investigative Journalism and Code For Africa. In addition to my international and local training in journalism, she studied Biochemistry from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
Victoria is a graduate of Microbiology holds a Masters in Molecular Biotechnology.
Victoria is a graduate of Microbiology holds a Masters in Molecular Biotechnology. She graduated towards the end of 2015 and started her STEM blog right about the same time. She still maintains the blog to date and her articles are aimed at demystifying science technology, highlighting public health issues and encouraging prospective university students to pick up STEM-related courses.
Estelle Ellis is an award-winning journalist with 20 years experience in writing. she believes in the power of people's stories.
Estelle Ellis is an award-winning journalist with 20 years experience in writing. she believes in the power of people's stories.she holds a BA degree in Law, an Honours Degree in Journalism and a post-graduate diploma in Future Studies from the University of Stellenbosch. In 2011 she led the team that won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award in the Online Category and also won the Discovery Health Journalism of the Year award.
She was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Centre for Conflict Reporting for reporting on maternal health issues in South Africa in 2012 . Her online expose of the aftermath of taxi accidents, After the Crash, also won the regional award for best online reporting in the annual Vodacom Journalist of the Year competition and was commended for excellence by the judges in the Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards. While doing a study on the future of newspaper journalism she was convinced that we needed more constructive journalism in our newspapers. As a result she became the driving force behind the launch of two constructive journalism projects #InspirePE and #HospitalsofHope.
In 2016 Hospitals of Hope won the Discovery Foundation Award for Nation Builder of the Year. The series also won a Vodacom Award for best feature writing and was also a finalist in the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards in 2015. In October 2016 she won the Vodacom Journalim Award for sustainability for my work on the public health impact of pollution in Port Elizabeth. In June 2017 she was awarded the Discovery Health Journalist of the Year award for news writing for my expose on industrial spills in my city's rivers, And in October 2017 was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Sikuvile Award for Feature Writing.
Kioko Kivandi is a Kenyan Journalist based in Nakuru.
Kioko Kivandi is a Kenyan Journalist based in Nakuru. His career started as a Radio Journalist and covered many stories on various topics like: Democracy and Governance, Health, Conflict Sensitive Journalism. Later on he covered Climate Change especially using photography. In 2016 he won the Photography Award in the African Climate Change and Environment Reporting (ACCER) Awards. In 2018 he photographed a giraffe at the Nakuru National Park that had a tumor on one of its eyes. The photo attracted worldwide attention until the giraffe was treated
Diana Mwango is a journalist who is passionate about health and development issues.
Diana Mwango is a journalist who is passionate about health and development issues. She writes for the Nation Media Group and some of her articles have been published by CancerWorld Newsletter by European School of Oncology, Daily Nation, Business Daily and Saturday Nation.