The Science Students’ Development Network in Africa (ssDNAfrica) facilitates peer-assisted soft skills training and networking opportunities for undergraduate students in sub-Saharan Africa, with the ultimate aim of creating an international network of science students who are empowered and equipped to fulfill the potential of their degree. We believe that building scientific excellence and international connections between researchers is integral to addressing sustainable development challenges, as highlighted in the Kenya 2030 Vision and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
ssDNAfrica was created in 2017 by a group of postgraduate researchers from the life sciences and international development at the Norwich Research Park. In September 2017, ssDNAfrica began the pilot scheme of soft-skills workshops at Pwani University (PU), Kenya. This series of ‘Good Research Practice’ workshops trained undergraduate science students in skills such as sourcing information, scientific writing and science communication.
The ssDNAfrica Good Research Practice workshops have now run successfully for two years at Pwani University, under the supervision of Dr Rose Kigathi and Dr Santie de Villiers of PU.
ssDNAfrica aims to continue expanding its offer to students by developing training workshops in leadership, science communication and entrepreneurship. We hope to make these opportunities available at Pwani University and beyond, as we prepare to expand to more universities in sub-Saharan Africa.