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 coffee harvests dwindling, others wonder if it is worthwhile pursuing a technology based on a waning resource. Coffee is Kenya’s fourth greatest generator of foreign income after tourism, tea, and […]

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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 through science. The world turned upside down the day after I returned to Egypt. I had just completed the lab work for my chemistry PhD in Germany, and on 10 […]

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South Africa’s divided past is reflected in its innovation landscape

South Africa is ranked as Sub-Saharan Africa’s most innovative country. But its innovation landscape is marred by deep inequalities that look likely to persist, reports Sarah Wild.  South Africa leads innovation in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2019 Global Innovation Index. But this ability to transform research into marketable products is dominated by a few […]

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On Science and Homecoming: A diaspora African’s view

Neither guilt nor sentimentalism should drive an African diaspora scientist’s choice to return home, writes Sara Suliman, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University in the United States. Africa’s global diaspora harbours a disproportionate share of the continent’s top scholars and thought leaders. In 2014, the United States Census Bureau reported that Africa-born immigrants had the […]

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Exposing radioactivity in the building blocks that make up Accra

African cities are growing rapidly, with buildings mushrooming in major centers around the continent. But scientists in Ghana are concerned that building materials could be radioactive and play havoc with occupants’ health. “Normally, when you mention radiation, people think about a bomb,” says Francis Otoo, a scientist with the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission based in Accra. […]

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Moving from goodwill to action : A call for a Coordinated Vision for Africa’s Digital Economy

In 2016, during the World Economic Forum, world and business leaders agreed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution had arrived, and that it would fundamentally change the world as we know it. Africa has been missing in action in the previous three industrial revolutions. The Fourth Industrial Revolution provides Africa the opportunity to jumpstart out of […]

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