Interview with Ms Borbi Makafui, MCF Scholar selected to attend Skoll World Forum

Ms Borbi Makafui, Programs Development Director of DRE-AM Ghana, Graduate Food Science Scholar at MSU

Engagement of the Ghanaian public about progress in science and medical research is highly limited. Currently there are limited effective dedicated platforms to communicate science and medical research findings to the general public. DRE-AM Ghana seeks to bridge this gap through innovative outreach programs, public lectures, science awareness festivals, online and media platforms and conferences. The Programs Development Director of DRE-AM Ghana, Ms Borbi Makafui, has won the Young Leaders Initiative Award to attend the Skoll World Forum, 2016 at Oxford University. She will be sharing her ideas about science communication and experience with DRE-AM. She shared her excitement with us in a short interview.

1. What is the purpose or goal of the Skoll World Forum?
Each year, over 1000 most influential social entrepreneurs gather at the Oxford University to discuss and exchange ideas, solutions and information. The forum provides a platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

2. How did you find out about the Young Leaders Initiative Award?
I was nominated and selected by the MasterCard Foundation Scholar’s program to attend this important forum. I am currently a MasterCard Foundation scholar at Michigan State University. As part of the scholarship, Scholars are nominated, approved and given opportunities such as this.

3. Why did you decide to apply for this award?
It was by nomination and approval. However, fellow awardees are involved in social entrepreneurship of some sort; the final recruitment is strongly based on the relevance and positive impacts of individual or organization’s project to society.

4. What helped you succeed in winning the award?
My nomination for the Skoll Forum was mainly because of my involvement with DRE-AM Ghana. The forum focuses on advancing social entrepreneurship and this is what we do in DRE-AM by communicating science to the local communities.

5. What do you hope to gain from this forum and how will it impact on your future career?
I would have the opportunity to network and collaborate with top and like-minded social entrepreneurs by the end of the program. I also hope to share my knowledge and expertise at the forum.

6. What do you look forward to share with the participants of this conference?
I will be sharing information on what the DRE-AM organization stands for, what we do and the impacts we made so far.

7. What are your thoughts on science and medical research communication in Ghana?
I believe science and medical communication is still young and there is more room for improvement. There are too many discoveries lying on bookshelves that need to be communicated for the benefit of society. Our political leaders and society at large need to see science research as an invaluable asset, without which our country is going nowhere. The importance of science and research cannot be overemphasized; it is the cornerstone for any country that seeks to develop. The government need to put more value on research and invest more funds into research than it is currently doing. This I believe will make room for ground breaking discoveries that can help address some pertinent issues facing our nation, Ghana.

8. How can DRE-AM Ghana improve science communication in Ghana?
DRE-AM has done a great job over the years by communicating scientific research in local languages to the layman to ensure a better understanding of science. DRE-AM however needs to find more pragmatic ways of communicating research. There should be exciting and thought provoking activities that will involve people in various communities.

Source: DRE-AM Ghana

Reported by: Aaron Amankwaa, Editor

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