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Just One Giant Summit

Africa Regional Track

This track is all about community science and innovation in Africa. We will explore this topic with focus on projects, people, and issues.

The Africa regional track aims to explore the trends underlying the growth of the open science movement in Africa, spotlight organizations and leaders leading the charge, and discuss the strategies and collaborations needed to advance a community approach to science and innovation on the continent.

Session Breakdown:  


Spotlight on Community Science and Open Science Hardware projects/initiatives 

9:00 - 10:00 GMT/11:00 – 12:00 CET - Gather Room 1

- The goal of this session is to showcase a cross-section of interesting initiatives, projects, and leaders embracing the community-ethic and open approach to solving problems in Africa.

By: Frank Landon Bentum (Africa Open Science & Hardware), Gertrude Mawuena Goh (Africa Makerspace Network), Andre Maia Chagas (TReND in Africa), Ian Peter Busuulwa (Synbio Africa), Nadine Mowoh (Mboalab), Ousia Foli-bebe (Ecotec Lab), Harry Akligoh (Yemaachi Biotech).

Community-Driven Science for Social Impact in Africa  

10:00 - 10:45 GMT/12:00 – 12:45 CET - Gather Room 1

- The goal of this panel discussion is to gather perspectives on the past, present, and future of science-based participatory initiatives that aim to improve the livelihoods of people and communities. The session will uncover the challenges faced by such projects and how to overcome them while highlighting future opportunities in the space.

By: Thomas Mboa (Mboa Lab), Thomas Tagoe (GhScientific), Louise Bezuidenhout (Lab Hack Africa).


Community Engagement, Advocacy, and Coalition Building in Africa

10:45 - 11:30 GMT/12:45 – 13:30 CET - Gather Room 1

As science is still growing in Africa, especially at the grassroots, there is a challenge of communicating science to local people, while advocating for policy changes that will make science and innovation truly transformative. We ought to understand how our projects are affecting communities and how communities are affecting our projects. Further, it is crucial to explore how to bring policymakers on board. In this session, we will share how this is being done, and include experiences from the community and advocacy perspectives through a panel discussion. 

By: Ian Peter Busuulwa (Synbio Africa & Science Stories Africa), Youssef M Abdelmaksoud (Synbio Arabia), Justina Onumah (CSIR - Science & Technology Policy Research Institute, Ghana), Elgidius Ichumbaki (University of Dar es Salaam & University College Dublin), Alex Kyabarongo (JOGL Africa & Synbio Africa).

Find out more about the Speakers: 

Frank Landon Bentum is an open science enthusiast and currently the executive manager for Africa Open Science Hardware (AfricaOSH), a community of makers, hackers, practitioners and researchers in science and technology, dedicated to promoting open science in Africa. He is passionate about using locally adaptable technologies to foster economic growth in Africa. Together with the Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH), Frank aims to ensure the free availability and accessibility of knowledge, technology and hardware in Africa and the world at large.

Gertrude Mawuena Goh currently serves as the Programs Lead for the Africa Makerspace Network, a non-profit organization that brings together makerspaces for capacity building and collaboration on building a sustainable Africa. Prior to that, she led the execution of the second Africa Makerspace Gathering which took place in November 2019. During the second Africa Makerspace Gathering, Gertrude spearheaded the recognition of makerspaces who developed products in a bid to combat covid-19 through the Covid-19 Solution Honors. She has over the years gathered experience in marketing, corporate social responsibility, public relations, research, event management and project management.

Dr Andre Maia Chagas is passionate about open science and open source hardware, and how those two can be used to increase research and education reach around the world. He has a background in Neurosciences and has been developing affordable open science hardware and teaching others to do so via workshops, talks and outreach events. He started Open Neuroscience, and volunteers at Trend in Africa as an open source adviser and by organizing and running Open Labware workshops. Currently working at the Department of Neurosciences in the University of Sussex, he develops equipment to support research labs. For more details on those projects check the Open Sussex Neuroscience page

He also offers consultancy services around open source hardware and open science through Prometheus Science.