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Build bridges between Africa’s research islands

Small African countries are often overlooked by big international research funders, but pooling resources could…

Build bridges between Africa’s research islands

Small African countries are often overlooked by big international research funders, but pooling resources could give them a leg-up, writes Simiso Mkhonta. It takes a…

By Simiso Mkhonta
How a deadly outbreak unveiled the key to safer food

A deadly Listeria outbreak in South Africa highlighted the power that consumers wield in improving food safety. Now scientists hope to harness that power in…

By Nancy Averett
Africa’s first indigenous astronomy PhD wants to revive ‘negated’ knowledge

Growing up, Motheo Koitsiwe used to listen to his grandmother tell stories about the night sky. She spoke of selemela (the Pleiades), molalatladi (the Milky…

By Sarah Wild
Barriers from bush to bedside

Over 5,000 plants are used for medicinal purposes in Africa, but efforts to test their potency and commercialise them keep hitting snags. Scientists hope better…

By Sandrine Ceurstemont
Scientific African Magazine Issue 3

Scientific African Magazine documents science and technology developments in Africa and from Africans for the general public. We review innovations that matter. We ask the…

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Brains by the sea: Computational neuroscience gains a foothold in Africa

The rich waters of False Bay, near Cape Town in South Africa, have sustained nomadic human tribes for tens of thousands of years. But over…

By Alexander Antrobus
How Kenya’s devolution hobbled healthcare

Earlier this year, two girls died of dog-transmitted rabies in western Kenya. The deaths incensed veterinarians who had been struggling to obtain rabies vaccines from…

By Verah Okeyo
Mon chemin vers l’indépendance

Comme tout bon projet, ma thèse de doctorat a été parsemée de beaucoup de difficultés. Même si à chaque fois j’ai trouvé le courage de…

By Marcel Tongo Passo
Let’s teach our children science in their own languages

African governments and scientists should agree to a two-generation plan to move away from European-language science teaching on the continent, writes Rafiou Agoro. I remember…

By Rafiou Agoro
Kenya’s butterfly queen

Esther Kioko has gone from village girl to top insect scientist. Here she tells Geoffrey Kamadi about her journey so far. Like many of the…

By Geoffrey Kamadi
Five ways to help young researchers succeed in Africa

A practical guide for research directors on how to improve institutional ecosystems for the benefit of the next generation of scientists. Herry Mapesi is a…

By Fredros Okumu
South Africa’s brand-new MeerKAT telescope: We ain’t seen nothing yet

Last month, South Africa’s MeerKAT telescope discovered giant bubbles at the centre of our galaxy. This is the telescope’s second major finding—the first was one…

By Sarah Wild
Educating children displaced by Boko Haram is vital for Nigeria’s future

‘People dumps’ that house children displaced by Boko Haram could become breeding grounds for extremism unless the educational provision in them improves drastically, writes David…

By David Mba
This is how Nigeria plans to avoid Burkina Faso’s GM cotton curse

This growing season, farmers on more than 1,000 cotton farms across Nigeria are growing genetically-modified (GM) cotton under the watchful eyes of scientists. Come harvest,…

By Joseph Opoku Gakpo
How young Tunisians revitalised science in their homeland

Tunisia has increased its investment in education and science, but many professionals leave the country, representing a loss on that investment. Now, a global network…

By Mohamed Jemaà
The Birdman of Ibadan: ‘Small actions can yield big results’

Adewale Awoyemi is a Nigerian ornithologist who coordinates the Ibadan Bird Club and manages the city’s International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Forest Center. Here he…

By Adewale Awoyemi
A new use for coffee-processing waste—but is it sustainable?

Waste from coffee processing could be used to clean polluting runoff from other industries, a group of Kenyan scientists has shown. But with the country’s…

By Christabel Ligami
Mending a broken world with the help of science—and Madame Curie

Amal Amin, a polymer scientist at Egypt’s National Research Center, explains how the 9/11 terror attacks inspired her lifelong drive to build unity and peace…

By Amal Amin
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