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Africa Storytelling Challenge

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cross Africa, scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs are working tirelessly to develop innovative solutions that have a positive impact in their own communities and around the world. Unfortunately, much of the work of these talented and passionate scientists often remains unrecognized.

Through the Champions of Science—Africa Storytelling Challenge, Johnson & Johnson offered innovators a platform to make their important stories heard. As Seema Kumar, Vice President, Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication, noted, “By amplifying the stories of scientific innovation taking place across Africa and the impact it is having on families, communities and the world, we hope to build public engagement and support for science, and inspire Africa’s young women and men to pursue careers in science and innovation.”

After receiving more than 100 contest submissions between May and August 2018, an independent committee of scientists, policymakers and science journalists reviewed the applications and determined the winners.

Below, meet the innovators who were selected in our inaugural Champions of Science—Africa Storytelling Challenge. These five pioneers are improving their communities and helping to inspire the next generation to pursue scientific fields that will have the potential to drive Africa’s socio-economic transformation.

Spotlight on the Winners

The noteworthy contributions of our five contest winners reflect the unlimited opportunities that science brings—to Africa and beyond.
As an academic research student in Ghana, Manful leads a budding start-up company that’s helping address vitamin A deficiency in developing countries—one yogurt at a time.
Thanks to Dr. Hilonga’s invention of the Nanofilter, thousands of people in rural Tanzania now have access to clean water. He hopes to eventually extend the reach of his product to help improve the lives of millions of others.
The CEO of Zenafri Limited, Kperrun has developed educational apps and animated video content for children in Africa. Using modern-day technology, her award-winning products help students understand the importance of preserving and promoting African culture.
Along with a team of engineers in Uganda, Makobore developed the prototype for a product that helps safely and accurately regulate lifesaving IV fluids and drugs. Thanks to their innovations, children throughout sub-Saharan Africa now have access to improved medical care.
Nudi, a self-taught software developer and tech enthusiast, developed the mobile app Tambua. Since its launch in 2018, the app has helped prevent the spread of counterfeit and substandard prescription medications throughout Africa.
We launched Champions of Science®, a multifaceted initiative, to convene and catalyze champions of science and engage people of all generations and backgrounds to see the unlimited opportunities that science brings.
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