International Day of Women and Girls in Science is annually observed on 11 February. The day is dedicated to celebrating achievements and contributions of women and girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and to encourage more women and girls to pursue careers in science and technology. This year’s theme “Women and Girls in Science Leadership, a New Era for Sustainability” draws attention to the strides made by women to achieving the three pillars of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 of economic prosperity, social justice, and environmental integrity.
At BioInnovate Africa, women play a critical role in building supportive innovation ecosystems that promote sustainability. On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we spotlight Dr Bintu Ndusha and Dr Juliet Kyayesimira, who are the two women leading current BioInnovate Africa supported regional innovation collaboration projects that foster a sustainable bioeconomy in the eastern Africa. Their innovation and leadership drive positive change in agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate action, economic growth and beyond.
Dr Bintu Ndusha
Dr Ndusha is a lecturer at Université Evangélique en Afrique in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and is the project leader of BioInnovate Africa supported project on Rhizobia-mycorrhizae-based biofertilizer for smallholders farmers. Read her bio here.
Dr Ndusha is passionate about the science of soil microorganisms to promote agricultural production and food security. Her project innovation is a biofertilizer developed from urban and rural waste enriched with beneficial microorganisms. The biofertilizer will be in powdered and granulated form, affordable, and suitable for diverse crops and agro ecological conditions. The biofertilizer aims to provide a sustainable solution for improving soil fertility, crops yields, farmer livelihoods and preserving the environment.
In this podcast, Dr Ndusha talks more about her project.
Dr Juliet Kyayesimira
Dr Kyayesimira is a lecturer at Kyambogo University in Uganda, and is the project leader of BioInnovate Africa supported project on eco-friendly packaging products from cassava wastes and other biowastes in East Africa. Read her bio here.
Dr Kyayesimira is passionate about waste management and natural resource conservation. Her project innovation is addressing the problem of non-biodegradable plastic by converting cassava biowaste into eco-friendly packaging materials. Products from this bioplastics innovation will include grocery bags, food and grain storage packaging materials that take a period of three to six months to degrade. Thus, the innovation will provide a sustainable solution for replacing synthetic plastics, and contribute to pest control during grain storage, food security, and jobs in an eco-friendly manner.
In this podcast, Dr Kyayesimira talks more about her project.