Two Ghanaians have been named among 25 persons selected from 16 African, Asian and Latin American countries to comprise the 2020 New Voices Fellows.

The fellowship, spearheaded by global nonprofit, Aspen Institute is “a groundbreaking program which equips experts from developing countries to play a more powerful role as advocates and policymakers in the global development discussion.”

The two Ghanaians selected are Mavis Owureku-Asare who is the Head of Radiation Technology Centre, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural Research Institute and John Lazame Tindanbil, the Executive Director, MABIA-Ghana.

Dr. Owureku-Asare is a food scientist and senior researcher at the Radiation Technology Centre of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission which houses the Gamma Irradiation Facility.

“The facility is the only one of its kind in Ghana for postharvest management of agricultural products,” Aspen says.

Her research focuses on improving the quality and shelf life of indigenous foods, and she is currently providing tomato farmers with low-cost processing technologies to better manage their harvests.

Dr. Owureku-Asare is also a Norman Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agricultural Program (LEAP) Scholar and a fellow of The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD).

Aspen describes Tindanbil as a male nurse from Ghana who is fighting the scourge of unsafe abortions by providing quality reproductive healthcare and training midwives.

As a clinical nurse, John witnessed many young girls dying from unsafe abortions and quickly realised the need for change.

He then took it upon himself to provide sexual and reproductive health and rights education to women and girls “and ensures that two midwifery training colleges teach new midwives to perform safe abortion services.”


The other 2020 New Voices Fellows come from Afghanistan, Bolivia, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Myanmar, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

They will, according to Aspen, “undertake a program of intensive media and advocacy training and mentorship to reach a broader global audience through both traditional and new media, as well as speaking engagements.

The programme is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Societies Foundations, the New Voices Fellowship was established in 2013 to bring the essential perspectives of development experts from Africa and other parts of the developing world into the global development conversation.

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