The Contribution of African Women Scientists to Innovation for Development

Moderator: Mr Stanley Maphosa, Academy of Science of South Africa

Panelist: Dr Busiswa Ndaba, Agricultural Research Council

Panelist: Dr Marian Nkansah, Kwame Nkruman University

Panelist: Prof Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences


Various organisations, programmes and projects on women in science have been formed over the years. These organisations are geared towards promoting women’s access to science and technology. The Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) aims to enhance greater involvement of women in the decision-making processes for the development of their countries and the international scientific community. OWSD has one of the largest fellowship programmes that trains women PhD students. Many of these fellows from African countries are studying in South Africa. OWSD was established in 1989 as an off-shoot of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), with an overall goal of bridging the gender gap in science and technology.

Presented by the ASSAf and OWSD, this panel discussion will explore and acknowledge the various women in science in Africa and their impact and challenges. The panellists will suggest ways to improve the women in science programmes and how male and female scientists can work together. Awareness will be raised on the availability of opportunities for women in science especially those in historically disadvantaged institutions and science lagging countries in Africa. The outcome of this panel discussion is to bring to the attention of policy makers, male and female scientists, media and civil society, the importance of women scientists within the science system at national, regional and global levels.  The discussion will highlight the impact of women in science programmes and will suggest ways in which they can be supported by national governments, civil society and business to enhance their contribution to the science, technology and innovation sector.

 Mr Stanley Maphosa, Academy of Science of South Africa

Mr Stanley Maphosa is the International and National Liaison Manager of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Stanley and his team are responsible for Strategic Partnerships with government departments, science councils, private sector, civil society, universities, and global science networks He leads overseas as well as African cooperation, Gender in Science Technology and Innovation as well as Young Scientist Liaison. His role is to develop and maintain relations with stakeholders outside ASSAf at bilateral as well as multilateral levels for the interest of South African science interest. He is involved in science diplomacy, internationalisation of science, science advice and science communication.  Besides hosting of The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office of sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA), he is also responsible for the hosting of the South African National Chapter of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) and the International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA). He previously worked for 12 years at World Vision International in South Africa and Southern Africa. Stanley is studying for a PhD in Social Sciences. He Master’s degrees in Development Studies, Post Graduate Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance, Honours Degree in Development Studies, Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication Studies and a Diploma in Primary Education.


Dr Busiswa Ndaba, Agricultural Research Council (ARC)

Dr Busiswa Ndaba is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Agricultural Research Council (Pretoria).She completed her undergraduate degree with honours in B.Sc. specializing in Microbiology at the University of Fort Hare (UFH), in 2010. A year after, she scooped a prestigious scholarship from COEGA (IDZ) for Master’s degree studies in Chemical Engineering (Bio-Energy Research group) at the North-West University (NWU). During her Master’s research study, colossal interest grew in her which was to explore the unknown world in realization of creative solutions for appealing socioeconomic problems. This motivated her to continue to study a PhD degree in the frontiers of Bio-Energy Research Field. The research conducted in both Master’s and PhD degree was poised to develop a cost-effective and versatile production strategy of biofuels from lignocellulose.Her research results have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented in local and international conferences. Aside, she has been involved in Renewable Awareness Campaigns for Potchefstroom Community. She is also a founder of Sakha Isizwe Youth development Programme for Disadvantaged High Schools of the Mount Fletcher Community in the Eastern Cape. She is also privileged to be a full member of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD).


Dr Marian Asantewah Nkansah, ’Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Dr Marian AsantewahNkansahis a senior lecturer at the Department of Chemistry of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana (KNUST) with a decade of university teaching and research experience. She holds a PhD in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Bergen-Norway. Dr. Nkansah’ s research interests span a wide range of fields including finding solutions to environmental problems associated with levels and fate of toxic substances and has published widely in these areas. Dr. Nkansah teaches Practical Chemistry, Nuclear/Radiochemistry, Chemistry and Society, and Petroleum Chemistry. She is currently a work package leader in a DANIDA sponsored interdisciplinary project called SHEATHE; aimed at determining background levels of heavy metals and xenobiotic compounds across Ghana. She is also a reviewer of various academic journals and Director and co-founder of the Gaudete Institute (TGI), a charity organization. In 2016, Dr. Nkansah was named the inaugural recipient of the FM. Al-Kharafi TWAS Prize for women in science. Dr. Nkansah is a member of the Ghana Young Academy (GhYA), belongs to the first cohort of Affiliates of the African Academy of Sciences, a member of the Global Young Academy and a 2017 Alumna of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.


Prof Isabella Akyinbah, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor Isabella AkyinbahQuakyi is a Professor of Immunology and Parasitology and the Foundation Dean of the School of Public Health (SPH), College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana (UG) and a 2014 Laureate of the prestigious African Union Kwame Nkrumah Award for Women in Science.  She is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, and immediate past member of the Ghana Health Service Council and was the Chair of the Ghana Malaria Vaccine Technical Working Group. She completed her PhD in Immunoparasitology at the LSHTM, University of London, England, in 1980.  Professor Quakyi’s research and teaching over the past 3 decades focused on malaria: immunity, immunoepidemiology, immunopathology, immunodiagnosis, autoimmunity, molecular immunology and vaccine development.  Her work is also contributing to research on concomitant infections with measles and HIV/AIDS, and has initiated and participated in Key Global Health activities. She has steered the development of North-South Partnerships and leadership for promoting Faculty, Curriculum, Research capacity and Academic excellence.  Professor Quakyi has over 70 publications in peer review journals, has received a number of awards and serves on a number of national and international boards and committees.


By | 2017-11-30T10:40:05+00:00 October 9th, 2017|