Public Learning and Understanding of Science (PLUS) and Science Communication. Will aim to achieve strategic and far-reaching outcomes which will have substantial impact on policy, practice and the capacity development foot-print for science communication and PLUS in Africa.
are a major pillar and key strand in the programme content of the 2nd African Conference on EID and Biosecurity.
Science communication and the Public Learning and Understanding of Science (PLUS) has been a growing and emerging framework since the 1980’s, particularly in the developed world, where it is ‘mainstreamed’ as a key plank of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy and outreach strategy for the advancement of society and entry into the economy of discovery.
A key driver of this development has been the growing recognition of the critical role of STI in the development trajectories of nations and thus, the imperative to enhance the scientific knowledge base and capacity of citizens. Despite this, the African continent continues to lag behind in the domain of science communication and the PLUS.
Dr. Elizabeth Rasekoala is the President of African Gong: the Pan-African Network for the Popularization of Science & Technology and Science Communication.
Dr. Rasekoala is an International Development Expert on Energy, Human Capital Development in STEM Education, Skills and Innovation, and Gender, with over fifteen years’ experience in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and Africa. She is currently a member of the African Union Commission (AUC) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Committee on the “Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa” (STISA–2024). Dr. Rasekoala has presented, researched and written widely on diversity, socio-cultural inclusion and transformation issues in Science, Technology & Innovation (STI), and has provided extensive advisory and consultancy expertise to governments and multilateral international organisations over the past 15 years, including the European Commission, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO, and the African Union Commission.
Dr. Chux Daniels, PhD, (African Gong Diaspora Chair) is currently a Teaching Fellow in Innovation Studies at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex, United Kingdom.
His teaching, research and consultancy interests include: Science, Technology and Innovation (STI); Public Policies and Policymaking; Capabilities for Policymaking; International Development; Business and Management; Leadership and Strategy. Dr. Daniels is a Visiting Research Fellow at various STI and Public Policy Institutes, and has held various lecturing, research, management, leadership and consultancy positions in academia and world-class corporate establishments.
Dr. Daniels is currently a member of the African Union Commission (AUC) M&E Committee on the “Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa” (STISA-2024).
Dr. John Amuasi a Senior Research Fellow at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in Kumasi, Ghana. He holds an undergraduate degree in human biology and was trained as a medical doctor, both at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Kumasi, Ghana.
He further graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, USA, with an MPH in Public Health Policy and Administration and an MS is Health Services Research and completed a PhD in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration also at the University of Minnesota. In between his Masters and PhD studies, he served as head of the R&D Unit at the Komfo Anokye teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana for 3 years.
He has been consulted by a number of international organizations including the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), World Health Organization (WHO), Health Action International (HAI) Africa, Dalberg Global Development Partners, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), and France Expertise Internationale (FEI) on a wide range of issues related to health services, policy and systems in Ghana and other parts of Africa. Dr. Amuasi is an executive committee member of the West African Task for Emerging and Re-emerging infectious diseases (WATER
Dr. Samuel Ujewe is a Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He has recently been awarded a PhD in Bioethics & Health Policy by the University of Central Lancashire, UK. This has been preceded by a Master of Health Sciences – MHealSc – at the University of Otago, New Zealand; and a First Class BA Hons from the University of Zimbabwe.
His research focuses on the intersection of ethics and policy in African healthcare systems. The motivation has been to establish African dynamics towards addressing ethical dilemmas arising in healthcare policy decisions processes around the continent. He employs a method of conceptual analysis, yet aims for feasible outcomes in health policy and regulatory compliance in Africa. While focusing on Africa, his broader research interests span through cross-cultural bioethics, healthcare ethics, and health research ethics.
Dr Ujewe is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the United Kingdom; a member of the International Forum of Teachers of Ethics, Bioethics and Medical Law (IFT); and of the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET). He has previously been a Visiting Researcher at UCLan Cyprus, in Larnaca, Cyprus; and the New Zealand Catholic Bioethics Center in Wellington, New Zealand.
Dr Judith Gbenoudon (African Gong ECOWAS Chair) is the Director for Informatics and Pre-achieving at the Ministry for Higher Education and Scientific Research, in the Republic of Benin. She is also the Director of the Laboratory of Immunology for Infectious and Allergic diseases (IMMIA), at the Institute for Applied Biomedical Sciences (ISBA), in Cotonou, Benin. Dr. Gbenoudon also Lecturer’s on Immunology in the Faculty of Science and Technique, at the University of Abomey-Calavi, in Benin.
Dr. Gbenoudon has an outstanding international track record in Fundamental and Applied Immunology and Malaria Research, having undertaken various leadership and senior roles such as, Research Group Leader at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, at the University Clinic Bonn, in Germany; and as the Senior Scientific Officer-Immunologist, at the Medical Research Council (UK), in the Gambia.
Dr. Gbenoudon is passionate about research, the communication of research and the capacity-building of young/emerging researchers. She has been the recipient of numerous international scholarships and Excellence Awards, including: the United States International Leadership Program in Science; the World Health Organisation (WHO); and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Dr. Gbenoudon is fluent in English, French and German languages.
Prof Akin Osibogun,-MBBS(Lagos); MPH(Columbia); FMCPH; FWACP; FRSPH(UK); CPPPS
Prof Akin Osibogun is a Professor of Public Health at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos who served as the Chief Medical Director of the 800-bedded Lagos University Teaching Hospital from 2006 to 2014 in addition to having served as Short Term Consultant on Health System Strengthening to the WHO Geneva on various dates.
He was a Visiting Fellow (Epidemiology) at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1994 and Special Consultant to the Honourable Minister of Health, Nigeria in 1998/1999.
Professor Godfrey B. Tangwa is the Chairperson of the Cultural, Anthropological, Social and Economic (CASE) Working Group of the GET Consortium and the Founder and Chairperson of the Cameroon Bioethics Initiative (CAMBIN).
His academic background is in philosophy with a B.A. from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, an M.A. from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile Ife, and a PhD from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. He is one of the leading bioethicists of Africa and a fellow of both the Cameroon Academy of Sciences and the African Academy of Science.
Mr. Rodrick Emmanuel Sambakunsi (African Gong-SADC Chair) is based in Malawi and currently working for the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme. He is currently working as a Science Communication Manager in the Science Communication and Public Engagement Department, and his role involves spearheading public and community engagement as well as communicating effectively research science to different stakeholders including research communities, the general public and students from primary and secondary schools.
Mr. Sambakunsi has previously worked for several international organisations such as Save the Children and Action Aid, and has attended and presented at numerous health related workshops and Conferences internationally. He has also undertaken collaborative research and published widely in his field.
Dr Andre Ramos, A Full Professor in the area of Genetics at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil. Graduated in Agronomia at UFSC in 1986, obtained a Master’s degree in Biology from Dalhousie University in Canada in 1990 and a PhD in Biological and Medical Sciences from Université de Bordeaux II in 1998.
Experience in genetics, acting on the following areas: behavior genetics, emotionality, anxiety and development of new animal models. Young Geneticist 2000 prize (2nd place), Deputy Secretary for International Affairs at UFSC in 2012 and 2013 and now Coordinator of the Imagine Project that involves science popularization in rural and indigenous communities of different countries.
Funmi Tsewinor- African Gong ECOWAS Deputy Chair has over twenty years’ successful track record of working in the public, private and civil society sectors of Nigeria. She is a LEAD International Fellow and a Fellow of the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NUFFIC). She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Management from the University of Lagos and is a registered PhD student in Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Funmi has attended several professional development courses both locally and internationally and was a panelist at the United Nations Environment Programme Financial Initiative Global Roundtable in 2009, talking on the topic “The Problem with Ecosystems- Valuing the Priceless”.
She has facilitated at several trainings both locally and internationally and has field experience in Strategy Development, Ecological Studies, Community/Multi stakeholder engagement, and Climate Change Adaptation, among others. She currently works in a private capacity as an Environmental Consultant and also consults on Resource Mobilization, fundraising and strategy planning for social causes.
Funmi is the Assistant Editor-In-Chief of the Ecological Society of Nigeria. She is a member of the Business Advisory Board of ENACTUS (Unilag Chapter) and also a member of the Board of Trustees of Abiodun Ogunkeye Foundation and FALCORP Mangrove Park.
Funmi is an avid reader and loves travelling.
Nchangwi Syntia is a student at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her current research interest is around ethical issues in genomics and biobanking research in Africa. Her initial academic background is in biochemistry and she has been involved in capacity building in research ethics in the Central African sub region.
Twitter handle: @synthymama