Partnerships in STEM Innovation and Future Africa: A Virtual Symposium

 

STEM in Africa at Harvard: Save the Date

 

Through a two-day event on 09 and 10 June 2021, the CAS Africa Office will convene Partnerships in STEM Innovation and Future Africa: A Virtual Symposium. The symposium aims to provide a platform for a two-way exchange of ideas and highlight ongoing CAS-funded and supported STEM research led by Harvard faculty and their Africa-based co-investigators, including research carried out by the Africa Research, Implementation Science, and Education (ARISE) Network during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We invite you to pre-register now by clicking here.

The World Bank has advocated that the “economic and social prosperity of countries depends on the state of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).” These fields of research can provide for a deeper understanding of problems in the African context and an opportunity for new discoveries by researchers to solve challenges and advance future development. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges for healthcare, food security, and education, and the global response effort has relied on STEM advancements from biomedicine and the use virtual technology, demonstrating but one example of the increased importance of STEM-based solutions to combat novel challenges. Research carried out through the Motsepe Presidential Research Accelerator Fund and by partnerships like the ARISE Network contribute directly to solutions that advance well-being, address the challenges of a changing climate, and promote education access for all in Africa.

Over two days, the inaugural symposium will create a dialogue through exploration of four thematic areas: (i) Child and Adolescent Health and Development; (ii) Nutrition, Climate, and Environment; (iii) Effects of COVID-19 on Health and Healthcare Delivery, and (iv) African Languages and STEM.

The symposium will feature presentations by inaugural awardees of the Motsepe Presidential Research Accelerator Fund for Africa and their Africa-based research partners. The event will also feature presentations from the ARISE Network on COVID-19 and Africa. Symposium participants will have an opportunity to engage the presenters and provide input to ongoing research. Each day will feature a keynote address focusing on the importance of supporting STEM research in Africa and exploring policies to support gender equity in STEM education.
 

Agenda

June 9, 2021 - Day 1

8:00am ET/ 2:00pm CAT: Welcome

  • Professor Wafaie Fawzi, Interim Oppenheimer Faculty Director, Harvard Center for African Studies
  • President Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University
     

8:20am ET/ 2:20pm CAT: Nutrition, Climate, and Environment

  • Moderator: Professor Anna Lartey, Immediate Past Director for Nutrition, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations; Professor, University of Ghana
     
  • Presentation 1: Impact of COVID-19 on Nutrition, Food Security and Dietary Diversity and Quality in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia & Nigeria
    •  Dr. Isabel Madzorera, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    • Dr. Abbas Ismail, lecturer and statistician, Department of Statistics, University of Dodoma, Tanzania
       
  • Presentation 2: Climate-Smart Public Health Surveillance in Madagascar
    • Professor Christopher Golden, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Planetary Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    • Mr. Hervet Randriamady, National Research Director, Madagascar Health and Environmental Research (MAHERY)
       

9:10am ET/ 3:10pm CAT: Child and Adolescent Health and Development

  • Moderator: Professor Yemane Berhane, Director, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Ethiopia
     
  • Presentation 1: School Readiness of HIV-exposed Uninfected Children in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    • Professor Christopher Sudfeld, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
    • Professor Karim Manji, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and former Dean of the School of Medicine at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
       
  • Presentation 2: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Adolescents’ Experience in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Professor Angela Chukwu, Associate Professor, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
    • Dr. Dongqing Wang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
       

10:00am ET/ 4:00pm CAT: Keynote Address by Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Founder & CEO, Motsepe Foundation, South Africa

11:00am ET/ 5:00pm CAT: Closing Remarks

 

June 10, 2021 - Day 2

8:00am ET/ 2:00pm CAT: Welcome

  • Professor Wafaie Fawzi, Interim Oppenheimer Faculty Director, Harvard Center for African Studies
  • Professor Mark Elliott, Vice Provost of International Affairs, Harvard University
     

8:20am ET/ 2:20pm CAT: Effects of COVID-19 on Health and Healthcare Delivery

  • Moderator: Dr. Mary Mwanyika-Sando, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Academy for Public Health, Tanzania
     
  • Presentation 1: Using an Appointment Scheduling System to Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission among Prenatal Care and HIV Patients
    • Professor Margaret McConnell, Associate Professor of Global Health Economics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
       
  • Presentation 2: COVID-19 Knowledge and Preventative Practice among the General Population and Healthcare Services: The Case of Three Sub-Saharan African Countries
    • Professor Nega Assefa, Associate Professor of Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health, Haramaya University, Ethiopia
    • Dr. Firehiwot Workneh Abate, Lecturer, Project Coordinator, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
       
  • Presentation 3: SARS-CoV-2 in Nigeria’s Healthcare Workers
    • Professor Phyllis Kanki, Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    • Dr. Alani Sulaimon Akanmu, MB:BS, MWCP, MD, FMCPath is a Professor of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos and a Consultant in Haematology and Blood Transfusion to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
       

9:30am ET/ 3:30pm CAT: African Languages and STEM

  • Moderator: Professor Demba Ba, Associate Professor Departments of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
     
  • Presentation: Language, Culture and Technology in Africa
    • Professor John Mugane, Director, African Languages Program, Harvard University
    • Mr. Eric Mibuari, PhD candidate, Computer Science, Harvard University
       

10:00am ET/ 4:00pm CAT: Closing Remarks

Biographies

Dr. Firehiwot Workneh Abate, Lecturer, Project Coordinator, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

firehiwot workneh abate Photo
Firehiwot Workneh is a Ph.D. fellow at the School of Public Health at Haramaya University. She has far-reaching training in public health. She is a public health expert at Addis Continental Institute of Public Health (ACIPH). Currently, she is serving as lecturer, researcher and Project coordinator. She has participated in research projects in the areas of malaria, maternal and child health, nutrition, and infectious disease. Her current work focuses on the Maternal and Child health and on Infectious disease mainly COVID-19. Her PhD focuses on COVID-19 with a focus of risk perceptions and impact on mental health and household economy. She has extensive experience in field research in urban and rural settings in Ethiopia. She has worked in collaboration with national and international organizations for research and training projects.

 

Dr. Alani Sulaimon Akanmu, MB:BS, MWCP, MD, FMCPath, Professor of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos and a Consultant, Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)

 alani sulaimon akanmu photo

His areas of interests are in Immunohaematology, Haematooncology and HIV Medicine. He is the Chairman of the National Task Team for Antiretroviral therapy in Nigeria as well as the Director of antiretroviral services for the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.  He also chairs the National technical working group on HIVDR surveillance working to implement WHO strategies for HIVDR surveys in Nigeria. As the Director of antiretroviral services for the Lagos University Teaching Hospital he heads the Harvard PEPFAR investments at the hospital since 2004- the clinic which has enrolled over 22,000 patients since inception and the laboratory that provides viral load and DNA PCR assay to monitor antiretroviral therapy and for early infant diagnosis of HIV infection. He is a co-Investigator on the BRAINS MEPI-J grant, the U54 Epigenetics grant, the DHHS/CDC grants to Implement Programs for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other International grants including the Dutch government grant for Pan-African Studies for Evaluation of Resistance. (PASER-studies). He currently serves as a mentor in the Forgaty HBNU global Health training programme. His team has demonstrated increased aggressiveness in biological behaviour of HIV associated malignancies. He heads the Chevron-LUTH molecular biology laboratory. This laboratory laboratory collaborated with Prof Phyllis Kanki to evaluate T cell responses to Ebola virus amongst infected Nigerians. Currently the lab supports the ongoing U54 grant on epigenomics of HIV associated malignancies and serves as a co-Investigator on this grant. His current active grant include NorthWestern Nigeria HIV Associated Malignancy (NN-HAM) a five-year (2019-2024) research training grant, funded by Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, USA, Epigenomic Biomarkers of HIV-Associated Cancers in Nigeria funded by NIH/NCI and Intensive Combination Approach to Roll back the Epidemic (iCARE) in Nigerian Adolescents.

 

 

Professor Nega Assefa, Associate Professor of Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Nega Assefa Photo

Dr. Nega Assefa Kassa is Assistant Professor of Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health. Currently I am the site lead for Kersa HDSS. I have special interest in the management of longitudinal data. My area of research is Pregnancy and its Outcome, Neonatal and Child Survival, Neonatal and Child Morbidity, Family Health, Population Dynamics (Fertility and Mortality), Family Planning and Contraception, and Morbid Health Conditions during Pregnancy and morbidity during Birth and Postnatal Period.

 

 

 

Professor Demba Ba, Associate Professor Departments of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Demba Ba Photo
Professor Demba Ba serves as an Associate Professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering in Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he directs the CRISP group. Recently, he has taken a keen interest in the connection between artificial neural networks and sparse signal processing. His group leverages this connection to solve data-driven unsupervised learning problems in neuroscience, to understand the principles of hierarchical representations of sensory signals in the brain, and to develop explainable AI. In 2016, he received a Research Fellowship in Neuroscience from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 2021, Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences awarded him the Roslyn Abramson award for outstanding undergraduate teaching.

 

President Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University

lawrence bacow photo

Bacow is the 29th President of Harvard University. He was the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership and served as a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s principal governing board. One of the most widely experienced leaders in American higher education, known for his commitment to expanding student opportunity, catalyzing academic innovation, and encouraging universities’ civic engagement and service to society, Bacow is the former President of Tufts University and past Chancellor and Chair of the Faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Interested in math and science from an early age, he attended college at MIT, where he received his S.B. in economics and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to earn three degrees from Harvard: a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

Professor Yemane Berhane, Director, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Ethiopia

Yemane Berhane photo

Dr. Berhane is a medical doctor and epidemiologist. He has a wide range of research interests in public health including maternal/child health, infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases. He has had an illustrious academic and research career since 1992. He has authored and co-authored more than 220 scientific works in peer-reviewed journals in collaboration with national and international researchers mainly in the areas of maternal and child health, nutrition, and infectious diseases.

 

 

Professor Angela Unna Chukwu, Associate Professor, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Angela Chukwu photo

Dr. Angela Unna Chukwu is an Associate Professor and immediate past Head of Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.  Dr. Chukwu received her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Ibadan. Her research focus on the development and integration of innovative statistical approaches to understanding and enhance the applications in Public Health, clinical research and the life sciences. She is actively engaged in research, teaching and supervision of dissertations on Statistics to both the undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Ibadan and partner institutions in Africa.

Dr. Chukwu is actively engaged in research and project collaborations with leaders at national and international partner institutions, on a broad range of applications of Statistics and implementation interventions for public health and the life sciences. Her collaborations with national and international partners include research projects, teaching, facilitating training workshops, proposal development; scientific writing and data management. Her research and teaching activities include Mathematical Statistics, Demography and Biostatistics. Dr. Chukwu is the head of the working group providing technical context on projects and initiatives at the University of Ibadan Research Foundation (UI-Research Foundation) and is currently the Principal Investigator on the UI-Research Foundation partnership with 7 African Institutions and the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health that constitutes the African Research on Implementation Sciences and Education (ARISE) Network. Dr. Chukwu is a visiting scholar at the World Bank-sponsored Africa Center of excellence in Data Science at the University of Rwanda. She is a fellow of the McGoldrick Professional Development Program in Public Health, a platform of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the ARISE network. She is currently developing a platform for active engagement of capacities and competencies in analytical modelling on a “Numbers in Life Initiative”.

 

Professor Mark Elliott, Vice Provost for International Affairs Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History, Harvard University

Mark Elliott Photo

Mark Elliott is Vice Provost of International Affairs at Harvard University and the Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and in the Department of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

As Vice Provost, Elliott oversees and works to advance international academic initiatives, extending the global reach of Harvard’s research and teaching activities. In this capacity, Elliott serves as the University’s representative in negotiating agreements with foreign governments, receiving senior-level international delegations, and representing Harvard to peer institutions and alumni worldwide. In addition, he shares responsibility for supporting the community of international students, scholars, and faculty in Cambridge and Boston, as well as for guiding Harvard’s overall global strategy and sustaining its ongoing development as a global university.

Elliott is an authority on the last four centuries of Chinese history, in particular the Qing period (1636-1911). His research encompasses the history of relations between China and its nomadic frontier, with special attention to questions of ethnicity and empire. His first book, The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China, is a pioneering study in the “New Qing History,” an approach emphasizing the imprint of Inner Asian traditions upon China’s last imperial state. He is also the author of Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World, and has published more than twenty-five scholarly articles. He serves on numerous editorial boards, and was for three years the director of the Fairbank Center of Chinese Studies.

A graduate of Yale (BA 1981 summa cum laude, MA 1984), Elliott earned his PhD in History at the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara and at the University of Michigan before coming to Harvard in 2003.
 

 

Professor Wafaie Fawzi, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Fawzi Profile Photo

Professor Wafaie Fawzi is the Interim Oppenheimer Faculty Director of the Harvard Center for African Studies and Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology and Global Health and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He completed his medical training at the University of Khartoum, Sudan and his Doctorate of Public Health in 1992 in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He has experience in the design and implementation of randomized controlled trials and observational epidemiologic studies of perinatal health and infectious diseases, with emphasis on nutritional factors. These include examining the epidemiology of adverse pregnancy outcomes, childhood infections, and HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria among populations in Tanzania, India, and other developing countries. Prof. Fawzi is also a principal investigator of the MDH HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Program in Tanzania, which provides for scaling up quality care and treatment services and building operational research capacity. He is a founding member of the Africa Academy of Public Health, a Harvard affiliated organization that aims to train future public health leaders and build strong research collaborations with partners in Africa.

 

Professor Christopher Golden, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Planetary Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Christopher Golden photo

Dr. Christopher Golden is an Assistant Professor of Planetary Health and Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. As an ecologist and epidemiologist, his research investigates the human health impacts of global environmental change, with a focus on food systems. He received his BA from Harvard College and two graduate degrees from UC Berkeley: an MPH in Epidemiology with a focus in Nutrition, and a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Golden has been conducting research in Madagascar for the past 20 years, and has recently begun research in West Africa and the South Pacific. He is a core member of the CBD-WHO task force on biodiversity and health, the Lancet Food Systems Countdown, and the co-lead of the Nutrition chapter for the Blue Foods Assessment. His research has been published in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His current research focuses on: 1) climate-driven fisheries impacts across the globe on food security and human nutrition; 2) the role of coral reef management in increasing access to seafood and reducing diabetes and metabolic disease; and 3) creating systems of climate-smart public health.

 

 

Dr. Abbas Ismail, lecturer and statistician, Department of Statistics, University of Dodoma, Tanzania

Abbas Ismail photo

Dr. Abbas Ismail is a lecturer and statistician in the Department of Statistics at the University of Dodoma in Tanzania. He holds B.A and M.A in Statistics from the University of Dar es salaam. He is current completing his PhD in Statistics at the University of Dodoma. As a research fellow, he has received intensive training in epidemiology and biostatistics from Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Abbas has expertise in the field of medical and social statistics and has worked on several projects ranging from nutrition and dietary interventions, maternal and newborn child health, HIV and adolescents’ health. He has also served in a number of national technical committees including Tanzania Agriculture Statistics Strategic Plan. His transition to public health has led to him co-founding the Dodoma Health and Demographic Surveillance System the site of several public health studies.

 

Professor Phyllis Kanki, Mary Woodard Lasker Professor of Health Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Phyllis Kanki photo

Professor Phyllis Kanki carries out research that centers on the virology, pathogenesis, and molecular epidemiology of HIV in Africa. Based on long term research collaborations in Senegal for over 24 years her team’s work provided the initial characterization of HIV-2, demonstrated reduced virulence, transmission, and progression to disease and interactions with HIV-1 subtypes from West Africa. In 2000, she created and directed the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN), with a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This provided the collaborative foundation for the Harvard President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) providing prevention, care and HIV antiretroviral therapy in Nigeria, Botswana, and Tanzania (2004-2012). To date, in addition to the capacity building for clinical, laboratory and research capabilities, the program supported treatment for over 150,000 AIDS patients. The PEPFAR program in Nigeria has developed an extensive electronic medical record system that provides real time access to 250,000 patients on antiretroviral treatment in the country. Professor Kanki is a visiting faculty member at the University of Ibadan and University of Jos in Nigeria and studied at Harvard School of Public Health and University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine.

 

Professor Anna Lartey, Immediate Past Director for Nutrition, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations; Professor, University of Ghana

Anna Lartey photo

Anna Lartey is currently a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Ghana. She is the immediate past Director of Nutrition at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, (Rome, Italy) from October 2013 to December 2020, where she led FAO’s work on Food Systems for Nutrition. Prior to that Anna Lartey was a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Ghana. She was a Fulbright fellow at the University of California, Davis. She worked as a researcher in Sub-Saharan Africa for 27 years. Her research focussed on maternal and child nutrition. Anna won the University of Ghana’s “Best Researcher Award for 2004”. She held Canada’s International Development Research Center Research Chair position in Nutrition for Health and Socioeconomic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a recipient of the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award for 2014. Anna Lartey was the President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. Anna was awarded a Doctor of Science honoris causa, by McGill University, in June 2018.

 

Dr. Isabel Madzorera, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Isabel Madzorera photo
Isabel Madzorera is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. Isabel holds a ScD degree in Nutritional Epidemiology from Harvard University, a Masters degree from Tufts University and a BSc degree in Nutrition from the University of Zimbabwe. Her interests are in the intersection of agriculture, nutrition and sustainable diets. She currently researches determinants of diet quality for women and children, measurement of diet quality and the relationship between diet quality and maternal and child nutrition outcomes in LMICs. Isabel also has extensive field experience working on child and maternal nutrition and nutrition-sensitive agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa.
 

Professor Karim Manji, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and former Dean of the School of Medicine at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Karim manji photo

Karim Manji is Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, and former Dean of the School of Medicine at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Dr. Manji is a senior pediatrician and neonatologist with extensive experience in research and training in child health. Dr. Manji has over 20 years of experience working in collaboration with partners including Harvard focusing on large programmatic studies and randomized trials in relation to infectious diseases, child health and the efficacy of nutritional supplementation.  He has conducted research investigating the epidemiology of common childhood infections, including diarrhea, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and meningitis, pediatric HIV infection and disease progression, and predictors of birth and neonatal outcomes. Professor Manji completed his Master of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

 

Professor Margaret McConnell, Associate Professor of Global Health Economics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Margaret McConnell photo

Dr McConnell’s research combines behavioral economics with field and laboratory experiments to understand and evaluate policies designed to change health behaviors, with a specific focus on maternal and child health. Her ongoing research examines the effect of interventions such as cash transfers on health-seeking behaviors such as maternal and neonatal health care utilization and caregiving behaviors. She has also examined how interventions can support adherence to HIV related medications including the provision of cash transfers and interventions to make care seeking more convenient and less time consuming. Her work focuses largely on urban areas with poor populations.  Dr McConnell enjoys broad collaboration with social scientists, physicians and health services researchers.

 

Mr. Eric Mibuari, PhD candidate, Computer Science, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Eric Mibuari photo

Mr. Eric Mibuari is a fourth year PhD candidate in Computer Science at Harvard University, advised by Prof. David. C. Parkes in the EconCS research group. His primary research interests are in applied aspects of economics and computation specifically in regard to developing markets. He also has a keen interest in linguistics and natural language processing and speaks five languages.

 

 

Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Motsepe Foundation, and Founder and Executive Chairman, African Fashion International
Precious Moloi-Motsepe photo

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe is a businesswoman and philanthropist. She is also the current Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT). She began her professional journey as a medical doctor.

The Motsepe Foundation was established to contribute to the alleviation of poverty while improving the quality of life for all. The Motsepe Foundation supports programs in Education and Leadership, Sports, Music and the Arts, Community Development and Gender Equality. Together with stakeholders and government, Dr Moloi-Motsepe promotes social cohesion, respect for diversity and facilitates skills development amongst Africa’s youth.

Dr Moloi-Motsepe and her husband were the first African couple to join the Giving Pledge and are co-investors of the Breakthrough Energy Venture founded by Bill Gates.

She is also the Executive Chairman and Founder of African Fashion International, a social enterprise established to promote the creative industry and create jobs for women and youth.

Dr Moloi-Motsepe is a member of: The Harvard Kennedy School Women's Leadership Board and Public leadership Council; Former President of the Cancer Association for South Africa; and Co-Chair of Maverick Collective USA.

The Motsepe Foundation is a leading philanthropic foundation based in South Africa, with regional and global partnerships:

Motsepe Presidential Research Accelerator Fund for Africa

HKS SICI Program: Leadership for System Change

Other Partnerships:

The Giving Pledge

The Milken-Motsepe Prize

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

 

Professor John Mugane, Director, African Languages Program, Harvard University

John Mugane Photo

Professor John M. Mugane is the Director of the African Language program in the Department of African and African American Studies. He is a linguist specializing in African languages and is the Professor of the Practice of African Languages and Cultures at Harvard University. Mugane has been the Director of the language program since 2003 developing the teaching of African languages and cultures.

Among his published works are papers on Bantu languages, linguistics, and instructional technology. Mugane's research interests include Bantu linguistics, African languages, computer mediated language instruction, grammar documentation, and pedagogy.

Mugane received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Arizona, Tucson, his M.A. in Linguistics as well as a M.A. in International Affairs, African Studies from Ohio University, and obtained his B.Ed. in Languages, Literature, and Linguistics from Kenyatta University in Kenya.

 

Mr. Hervet Randriamady, national research director, Madagascar Health and Environmental Research (MAHERY)

Hervet Randriamady Photo

Hervet Randriamady is the national research director of Madagascar Health and Environmental Research (MAHERY) and has been working with Dr. Golden since 2014. Hervet is an incoming Ph.D. student in Population Health Sciences for fall 2021 at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Hervet was a Fulbright scholar in 2011 where he received his MS in Agricultural Economics at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He attended the Environmental Leadership Program at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. Since April 2018, Hervet has been leading longitudinal, community-based epidemiological research in three rainforest communities adjacent to the 2 largest protected areas in Madagascar: Makira Natural Park and Masoala National Park. Each month, the MAHERY team comprehensively targets every individual in the three communities to collect information on 23 diseases and conditions that are self-reported by roughly 1,300 individuals. In addition to that, MAHERY 1) monitors the growth of kids less than five years of age; 2) collects the blood pressure of individuals above 20 years old; and 3) conducts dietary intake surveys. Simultaneously, the MAHERY team collects temperature, rainfall, humidity, and wind data every day.

Hervet has also been the main liaison to government agencies and ministry officials to help the MAHERY team translate its findings to policy action. He is currently working with the Malagasy government to implement a climate-smart health information system. This is a collaboration among MAHERY, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Malagasy government.

 

Professor Christopher Sudfeld, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Christopher Sudfeld photo
Professor Sudfeld is Assistant Professor of Global Health and Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Sudfeld’s research focuses on the interaction of nutrition and infection on maternal and child health in resource-limited settings. His research and education program is focused in three areas:

i) Randomized trials of nutrition and infection interventions

ii) Observational studies examining the role of nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life in child development and long-term outcomes in late childhood, adolescence and adulthood

iii) Research capacity building at partner organizations in epidemiologic methods and biostatistics

He has previously worked with the Child Health Epidemiology Research Group (CHERG) and produced work for the Gates Foundation Lives Saved Tool (LiST) and was an expert group leader for the measles component of the Global Burden of Disease project (GBD). He also worked with the Department of Community Health for the Government of India to produce evidence meta-analysis papers for components of upcoming programs.

He has his ScD in Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a ScM from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Infectious Disease Epidemiology and BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

 

Dr. Mary Mwanyika-Sando, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Academy for Public Health, Tanzania

Mary Mwanyika-Sando Photo

Dr. Mary Mwanyika Sando, is the Chief Executive Officer for the Africa Academy for Public Health (AAPH). Tanzania. Over the past 15 years, Dr Sando has been extensively involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of MNCAH and nutrition interventions within both national and international organizations. She is currently leading efforts at AAPH to advance implementation science research, support capacity building for research and evidence translation into policy and practice. Dr Sando is an advocate for improvement of women’s health including designing of women-centered care to promote the provision of more respectful and dignified care including respective maternity care (RMC). Prior to her current position Dr Sando worked with UNICEF Tanzania as a Health Systems Strengthening Specialist for MNCH and the Maternal and Child Health Coordinator with Management and Development for Health (MDH). Dr Sando completed her medical training at the University of Dar es Salaam (Muhimbili) and her Master of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health.

 

Dr. Dongqing Wang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dongqing Wang Photo

Dr. Dongqing Wang is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Wang's research focuses on the determinants of maternal and child health in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on nutritional factors. Dr. Wang's current research programs include gestational weight gain, maternal micronutrient supplementation, and adolescent nutrition. Dr. Wang was formally trained as a nutritional epidemiologist and received his Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2019.

 

Additional Information

Motsepe Presidential Research Accelerator Fund for Africa

The Motsepe Presidential Research Accelerator Fund for Africa advances ground-breaking technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research on key issues impacting the continent. The fund presents an opportunity to increase and deepen impactful research about Africa and foster collaboration between Harvard affiliates and Harvard partners on the continent.

ARISE Network

The ARISE Network is a collaboration between Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard-affiliated Africa Academy of Public Health and public health research and training institutions from nine countries across the African region. It serves as a platform for robust research and cutting-edge education in the region. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the globe in 2020, the organization assembled to address important evidence gaps on the pandemic’s health and economic consequences in Sub-Saharan Africa. A novel mobile survey platform in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria to conduct longitudinal surveillance for evidence generation on knowledge and practices related to COVID-19 prevention and management, and the impact of the outbreak on other health domains including nutrition and food security was established. Using this platform, a baseline survey among 900 healthcare workers, 1,797 adolescents, and 1,795 adults in six urban and rural sites was conducted.  Findings highlight deficiencies in COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes and practices among these population groups and demonstrate serious consequences of COVID-19 on domains including nutrition and food security; education for adolescents; and healthcare access and utilization. Plans for a second survey around vaccine readiness are underway.