By Duncan Mboyah

The African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) has launched an award scheme for Journalists covering Emerging Health Technologies (EHTs).

Prof. Richard Mukabana, Project Director of AFIDEP’s Health Tech Platform says during a virtual launch that the scheme is aimed at promoting African-led reporting at the frontiers of Science, technology and innovation.

“This award of excellence is meant to reward and celebrate African Journalists who distinguish themselves reporting on novel areas of science and technology aimed at improving the health of the continent,” Prof. Mukabana tells journalists.

Prof. Mukabana says that the award is being done under AFIDEP’s Platform for Dialogue and Action on Health Technologies in Africa (Health Tech Platform).

He notes that the goal of the Health Tech Platform is to promote open, informed and balanced discussions on the design and use of emerging health technologies in Africa.

He adds that the goals cannot be achieved without the media’s active engagement in facilitating constructive discourse.

Prof. Mukabana emphasizes that the Emerging Health Technologies Media Award of Excellence serves to boost the vital work of media practitioners across the continent reporting on innovations that could radically change lives.

According to Otula Owuor, a veteran science Journalist and the Executive Director of Science Africa, the award is a step in the right direction as it would help focus the science journalists to the emerging areas of science that are critical to Africa’s development but could easily be neglected due to their novelty and technical nature

Otula urges science Journalists to continuously upgrade their knowledge and skills to remain competitive in what has become a global village.

Emerging health technologies include gene editing, specifically gene drives for malaria control and elimination; drones for improved health; artificial intelligence; and micro grids for healthcare, among others.

The African Journalists are invited to submit original print, radio and television features written or produced between 1 October 2021 and 31 October 2022.

The winners will be announced at an event in December 2022, where they would all discuss their entries and the unique nature of health technology reporting on the continent.