The Root Of The Science Podcast

Recap of the #STEMSolutionsAfrica Series

October 22, 2023 Anne Chisa
The Root Of The Science Podcast
Recap of the #STEMSolutionsAfrica Series
Show Notes Transcript

Hold your breath as we bring down the curtain on our monumental #STEMSolutionsAfrica series, a part of the Africa No Filter Gates Foundation Storify Cohort 2023. We have had the privilege to amplify the voices of African STEM experts laboring tirelessly to drive transformative change. 

Prepare yourself to revisit our session with Professor Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi, who shared with us innovative strategies on sustainable agriculture amid climate change,Zameer Brey on how AI is advancing equality in Africa, Dr. Maurine Musie on the intersection of traditional knowledge and modern maternal healthcare and finally Enya Seguin, the expert behind the portable AI ultrasound that is  reshaping the landscape of maternal health. 

This is not just a recap, it's a tribute to the relentless efforts of these innovators and a nod to the future of STEM in Africa.  Listen for more! 

Support the show

Follow the show on:
Twitter: @Rootofscipod
Instagram: @Rootofscipod
YouTube: The Root Of The Science Podcast
Facebook: The Root of The Science Podcast
LinkedIn: The Root Of The Science Podcast

Anne Chisa:

The Root of the Science podcast with your girl, Anne with an E. Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the Reach of the Science podcast with your girl, Anne with an E. If you are new here, welcome, welcome. Welcome, it's such a pleasure to have you on to the show. And if you are regular, thank you so much for tuning in. It's always too good to have you back. A reminder that you can follow us on the following social media platforms on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok at root of the sci pod, or on LinkedIn and Facebook and YouTube at the root of the science podcast. So today's episode is a little bit different. It's not going to be a guest, it's just going to be me. I'm going to be handling it, so I hope you are excited. So today's episode is the finale of the STEM solution stories. It is important to mention, before we go any further, that this series was possible because of being part of the Africa no Filter Gates Foundation story five cohort in 2023. So far, we have embarked on captivating journey with African STEM experts who are driving transformative change. Over the past months, we've delved into critical themes ranging from maternal health, agricultural productivity, climate change and, of course, the potential of cutting edge technology on our continent. Today, I'm here to recap and reflect on the incredible insights we've gained in the four episodes that make up the heart of our series. To be honest with you, I could have never dreamed everything that happened during this podcast series, so I also want to take a moment to thank my amazing team who helped bring the show together. Firstly, to Sarah Nyakeri, who handles the social media, Treezer Atieno, who handles the show production, and Nahanla Dhaka, who makes sure that what you're hearing right now sounds good. Now that we have that all out of the way, let's go ahead, shall we? In our first episode? It was titled solutions for sustainable agriculture amid the climate change crisis. We had the privilege of speaking with Professor Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi, an associate professor at the University of KwaZulu Natal and the director for the Center of Transformative Agriculture and Food System. Prof Mabhaudhi shared his extensive work in various projects and the application of the system thinking model in agriculture. His innovative approach towards sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change was truly enlightening. One of the key things that I took away from this episode was that, in order for change to happen, there needs to be a shift in terms of how we work together. So scientists, farmers and policymakers all have to come together so that we are truly able to find ways to navigate the current climate change crisis. In episode two this was in August the episode title was advancing equality through AI and cutting-edge technologies. Our guest for that episode was Zameer Brey, the interim deputy director for technology diffusion at the Gates Foundation. Zameer took us behind the scenes of technological revolutions and how AI is breaking down barriers to provide vital resources in developing nations and marginalized communities. In this episode, Zameer also told us about the announcement of the 50 Grand Challenge winners that were recently announced during that particular month in September. For those who do not know, the Grand Challenge is an initiative by the Gates Foundation and partners that foster innovation to solve key global health and developmental problems. The annual meeting happened in Dakar, senegal, in October, and the overall theme was science saved lives. It's an opportunity to explore how the global health community can expand the frontiers of science and innovation to improve lives. Over four days, the meeting featured a set of more than 15 scientific tracks, three main stage pelin reissues, more than 20 round table discussions, post-decision creative moments and over a hundred side meetings on how collaboration, science, scientists and leaders across the research and development space can accelerate innovation for impact. This brought together over a thousand people in the city of Dakar in Senegal, and this year the meeting also opened up an invite to more media in various fields to be part of disseminating the innovation and the news that came out from this event, and I was one of the fortunate people to attend Relating into Zemir's episode. I had first hand experience listening to some of the 50 grand challenge winners present about the innovative solutions that use AI to solve problems in health, education and even agriculture. I was mind blown and even at some point moved to tears because of the personal stories that motivated the need to develop these solutions. The thing that made me proud was that, of the 50 grand challenge winners, the majority actually came from Africa. This is so exciting for the world and for the continent. The potential for AI to reshape our world, rather, is all inspiring. So look out for follow-up episodes on this and so much more to come from attending the grand challenge annual meeting. I do not want to get ahead of myself just yet. In episode three this was in September the title was the Intersection of Traditional Knowledge and Modern Health Care in Africa we were introduced to Dr Maur Musie, who is the youngest PhD holder at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, in the nursing department. Her work as an advanced midwinter specialist and lecturer has bridged the gap between traditional medical knowledge and modern health care practices. Her insights are in how these two worlds merged together were both enlightening and inspiring. As the youngest PhD holder in the university, Dr Musie was a visible role model to so many young people like myself that they dreams are valid and they can achieve greatness. This episode also happened to at such a wonderful time when I was in New York attending the Goalkeepers event. The Goalkeepers event is an annual celebration of progress that gathers world leaders, creatives, decision makers, activists and celebrities. The theme for this year was Imagine a World. The world we're dared to imagine was where innovation could save the lives of two million mothers and babies. I will be honest that before this interview with Dr Musie or this trip to New York, I was very oblivious to the maternal health crisis that is happening in our continent. It shocked me when I heard the stats and the personal stories of how many mothers and babies die in what is meant to be such a special moment for mom and child, as well as the entire family. One of the panel sessions that I attended in New York was where advances in maternal healthcare were being made using innovative technologies. One feature that blew my mind was a portable ultrasound device. Little did I know, then, that I would be fortunate enough to interview a person who is at the forefront of this innovation. So, finally, this brings in the fourth and concluding episode, which happened this October. So, finally, this brings on the fourth and concluding episode that happened this October. It was titled Baby Checker the AI solution for maternal health, which introduced us to Enya Seguin, the unit manager for Baby Checker, a portable AI ultrasound technology that's already changing lives. We discovered how this remarkable technology is being used in underserved communities in Africa to detect pregnancy risks and ensure healthy maternal journey. So, again, the timing couldn't have been more perfect, because I actually had the pleasure of meeting Enya in person at the grand challenge annual meeting, where she was one of the speakers in at least two of the sessions. What's even more thrilling was that I got my hands on the groundbreaking Baby Checker device. The experience of physically holding it and witnessing its exceptional portability left me convinced that it's a true game changer in the field of maternal health. After hearing me talk about all of these wonderful series, I hope you're inspired to go back and actually listen to some of these episodes. And, as we wrap up the STEM solution stories, I want to express my gratitude to all the incredible guests for sharing their expertise, their passion and dedication to making a difference in the world. The Gates Foundation initiatives have been a driving force behind these stories and it's clear that real solutions are being created on some of the global challenges that are really pressing. Thank you again to Africa No Filter, my team and for you for listening to the show. I would have never have a dream that this experience would have led me this far. Though this might be the final episode of the series, it's not the end of the journey. The innovative solutions that we have explored here are just the tip of the iceberg. Stem is an ever-evolving field and there's much more to discover and create. If you've been inspired by these stories, I encourage you to continue exploring STEM in your own way, whether as a student, a researcher or an enthusiast. Thank you for joining me on this incredible ride through STEM solution stories. It's been a privilege to bring you all these stories to you and I hope they left you as inspired and hopeful for the future as they have left me. Until next time, keep exploring, keep learning and keep believing in the power of STEM to drive a positive change. Goodbye for now, from your girl, Anne, with an E.