By Adrian Ely

The first day of the 4th TWAS-ROSSA Young Scientists’ Conference in Africa on “Science and Technology (S&T) Enterprises in Africa” provided a platform for some great examples of applied scientific research being carried out on the continent. Much of this was problem-focussed, interdisciplinary research, rather than “ivory tower” science.

However, several speakers mentioned the continuing need for the outputs of the research to be communicated effectively to policy makers, or alternatively to go on to strengthen enterprises in Africa.

The opening presentations focused on the application of science and technology through entrepreneurship – which involves risk-taking, flexibility and business skills as well as technical scientific knowledge.

To give you an idea, here are a few titles of the presentations by young scientists:

Medicinal plant & drug development in Africa: The health and economic implication in a global arena of knowledge based economy
John Francis Antiabong [Nigeria]

Cocoyam based enterprises in rural households: Implication for food security in Nigeria
Patience Ifeyinwa Opata [Nigeria]

Making smallholder agriculture profitable – science and technology enterprises
Thomson Sanudi [Malawi]

Is agro-processing the forgotten link towards economic development in Africa? A focus on mango fruits in Kenya and Cassava in Mozambique
Penina Ngusye Muoki [Mozambique] (video above)

Certain factors influencing disadoption of maize production technology among farmers in Ashanti region, Ghana through the lens of extension agents
Joseph Adomako [Ghana]

Food or Jatropha for biofuels? Farmers’ dilemma in the coast province of Kenya
Violet Moraa Mogaka [Kenya]

An overview of small-scale cage culture enterprise development – A case for Malawi
Chikondi Manyungwa Pasani [Malawi]