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Winners of the Africa Science Desk Journalism prize are announced


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Further information on the Africa Science Journalism Awards

  • The AAS with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is implementing the Africa Science Desk to build the capacity of African science journalists. To date, the project has made gains in incentivising journalists to write about science but notes the need for wide ranging incentives to accelerate quality and impactful coverage. The awards complement efforts to improve quality science reporting on the continent
  • The awards are given to journalists who use solutions-based reporting to highlight how African scientists and innovations are addressing the continent’s health and developmental challenges and editors who are advancing science and innovation on the continent
  • Africa Science Desk grants are open to journalists from Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa who are invited to apply by 12 November for the current round of applications. More details are here

Winners of the Africa Science Desk Journalism prize are announced

The African Academy of Sciences is excited to be announcing the three African journalists — from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa —who are the winners of the 2019 Africa Science Desk Journalism Awards.

The Africa Science Desk Journalism Awards was given by the African Academy of Sciences with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to recognise and honour excellent reporting on science and scientific innovation in Africa.

The three, selected from approximately 80 applications from across the continent, will each receive a prize of $3,000 for their excellent reporting on science and scientific innovation in Africa. The winners are:

Best Feature

Munyaradzi Makoni on his piece on: Solar tracking bracelets protect nomadic Kenyan mothers and babies.

For a superior narrative quality, multi-tiered focus on human migration, innovation and reproductive health, and its ability to demonstrate positive impact.

Chikezie Omeje on his piece on: Boko Haram’s violence inflicts emotional injury on children, and it is life-long

Gripping reporting of a tragedy that more people should read about.

Science and Innovation Editor

Gayle Edmunds who facilitated a series on climate change impact on agriculture and food security

For an innovative and educational series on the impact on climate change on agriculture and food security that was future oriented and thought provoking about ways to deal with climate change and conversational tone to the writing that made it very accessible.

Juliette Mutheu-Asego, the AAS Head of Communications and PR, congratulated the winners saying: “In Africa, science stories are overtaken by politics, sports and business news yet it is important in promoting development. As such, we are keen to showcase excellence in science reporting to demonstrate that storytelling is a powerful tool for showing the impact of and placing research and innovation on the media agenda.”

Moky Makura, Deputy Director for Communications at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: “These are powerful stories that demonstrate how research and innovation directly benefits communities and transforms people’s lives for the better. We are happy to be supporting a project that showcases the value and impact of science journalism.”


About the African Academy of Sciences
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit pan-African organisation whose vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science. Our tripartite mandate is recognising excellence through The AAS’ highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes, providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping Africa’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies and implementing STI programmes addressing Africa’s developmental challenges through the agenda setting and funding platform Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in science in Africa (AESA). AESA is an initiative of the AAS and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD).

Join the AAS on: | Twitter @AASciences | and learn more at

About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

Join Gates Foundation on: | | and learn more at