Raissa Malu

The silent revolution

Today, after #WomenInScienceDay 😉, we thought it would be appropriate to present you with one of the flagship activities of the 7th edition of DRC Science and Technology Week.

The film "Women and Science in Africa, a Silent Revolution" by Kate Thompson-Gorry, produced by Michel Welterlin, will be shown on Monday 20th April at the French Institute in Kinshasa with the support of the L'Oréal Foundation and the French Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This will be the first time this film is shown in the DRC (after it has been shown on Canal Plus International of course) and we are very proud! 😊

Film + Discussion

Why? Because, as you can imagine, the film will be followed by a debate with the public in the presence of the producer of the film himself, Michel Welterlin, the representative of the L'Oréal Foundation, Tahirou Gourouza, and renowned scientists whom I would like to introduce to you here.

The first is Francine Ntoumi (honour to our neighbours). Francine Ntoumi is a molecular biologist of Congolese nationality (Republic of Congo). She is the founder and president of the Congolese Foundation for Medical Research, a lecturer and scientist at the Marien Ngouabi University and an associate professor at the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen (Germany). She is very active in building capacity for health research (malaria, tuberculosis in particular) in Africa and has received numerous scientific awards in Africa, Germany and France. She is one of the three heroines of the film.

Building Bridges

Science and Technology Week is an opportunity to build and strengthen bridges, partnerships and collaborations with our neighbours and other African nations. Remember for example that for the 2017 edition, we received in Kinshasa the Ambassadors of the Next Einstein Forum from 6 countries neighbouring the DRC: Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Congo Brazzaville, plus the one from Cameroon. We are thus happy and proud to welcome this year Francine Ntoumi who will explain why Congolese (and African) scientists are lucky 😉.

The second scientist is Yvonne Mburu whom we introduced to you yesterday for the International Day of Women and Girls of Science. Yvonne Mburu (Kenyan) is part of the Next Einstein Forum community as a Fellow. We can read in her biography that during her scientific career, Yvonne has been passionate about the immune system and its dysfunction in diseases such as cancer.

The Promise of Digital

Despite a promising career in cancer research, she has chosen to become more deeply involved with the African continent. She created Nexakili: a platform that exploits digital technologies to circulate scientific and medical knowledge and leverage the skills of African professionals from around the world. Yvonne is very optimistic about the digital revolution and the future it makes possible. Since August 2017, she has been a member of the Presidential Council for Africa of French President Emmanuel Macron, an advisory body through which she advises him on issues related to health, science, innovation, education and diasporas.

Francine Ntoumi and Yvonne Mburu do us the honour of coming to Kinshasa to participate in this debate despite their busy agenda and responsibility.

But this debate would be meaningless if it was not inclusive. We are therefore pleased to announce the participation of my friend, Jonathan Mboyo Esole, a Congolese mathematician and our Next Einstein Forum Fellow. Jonathan is convinced that African nations have an interest in investing in the education of their daughters. He will share his own experience with the girls of the Malaïka School in Haut-Katanga.

Surprise guests will also participate in the discussions.

We are all convinced that "the Einstein of tomorrow will be an African woman." We are working on it!

(In the DRC, we are adapting. It is "the Malu Wa Kalenga of tomorrow who will be a woman" 😉)

Science is fun, join us !

This post has first been published on Linkedin. It has been translated in English by Afriscitech.

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