Science in Africa: a wishlist for scientist mothers

Angela Tabiri and Adidja Amani tell Akin Jimoh how they combine family life with career commitments, helped by strong networks of family support.


In Ghana, where Tabiri researches quantum algebra at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Accra, the government requires working women to stay at home for three months after having a child. Once they return to their jobs, they can leave work at 2 p.m. until their child is six months old, she says.


“We don’t have infrastructure to support young mums in Ghana,” Tabiri adds, citing the absence of nursing rooms and nurseries in academic institutions.

mani, deputy director for vaccination at Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health in Yaoundé, and a lecturer in medicine at the University of Yaoundé, points out that it is now government policy to admit equal numbers of men and women to her faculty of medicine. Despite this, women are still under-represented at senior levels.


“I’m a mother of two. I want my boys to be an example and to help the women around them,” she says.


“Educate our boys — educate men around the world to be agents of change by supporting women.”


This is the penultimate episode in an eight-part series on science in Africa hosted by Akin Jimoh, chief editor of Nature Africa.


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