By Mufutau Ojo
A new online magazine that reports on scientific research and issues of science policy across the African continent has been launched by Springer Nature.
A statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja by Springer Nature, a respected global publisher, said Nature Africa would cover the highest impact research taking place across the continent.
The publication, it added, would communicate the research to scientists and decision-makers in and outside Africa.
“Alongside news stories and research highlights, Nature Africa will also publish feature articles, opinion pieces and commentaries.
“The languages of publication are English and French.
“Led by Chief Editor, Akinlabi Kazeem Jimoh, Nature Africa will draw attention to African research that drives growth and development across the continent.
“As a vibrant destination for researchers of all career levels across disciplines, Nature Africa will promote research discourse and enable the discussion of scientific achievements by providing a place where ideas can be celebrated, challenged, critiqued and built on.
“A diverse range of articles will be written by journalists and researchers, and topics relevant for Africa will be covered alongside broader issues,” the statement said.
It also said content in Nature Africa would be free to access at https://www.nature.com/natafrica due to the financial support of a consortium of partners which included University of Cape Town (UCT), University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, University of the Witwatersrand, Stellenbosch University and University of KwaZulu-Natal.
“Our goal for Nature Africa is to shine a light on science in Africa and the scientists contributing to solving local and global problems whilst promoting scientific exchange across the continent.
“We hope to tell and be part of the African growth story which often does not receive the attention it deserves,” the statement quoted Jimoh as saying.
NAN reports that Jimoh is a leader in promoting science and public health journalism in Nigeria and across the African continent.
He was also the first news editor for the World Federation of Science Journalists’ website and played key roles as a mentor and Anglophone coordinator (2009 -2013) in the Science Journalism Cooperation (SjCOOP) Project.
A medical physiologist and health promotion specialist by training, Jimoh started his journalism career in 1990.
He became a health reporter with Nigeria’s leading publication, The Guardian, where he expanded the health section to also cover areas in science and public health.
Jimoh was also involved in the conceptualisation of the “revenue spinning” CompuLife section at The Guardian, focusing on emerging markets in technology in Nigeria in the 1990s.
Between 2013 and 2017, Jimoh provided professional expertise to the Nigeria Polio Eradication Programme as a communication specialist to shape media response to the polio programme at the United Nations Children’s Fund.
A Knight Fellow at MIT in Science Journalism (1999/2000) and Bell Fellow in Population and Development Studies at Harvard School of Public Health (1995/96), he founded Development Communications (DevComs) Network, a media development organisation in science and public health journalism based in Lagos.
He has been a consulting editor at Africa Science Technology and Innovation (AfricaSTI) News, an online science publication.
The statement also quoted Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief of Nature, as saying that the publication would provide a valuable resource platform for researchers.
“I am delighted that through the launch of Nature Africa, we can help highlight, and put into context, the most important research from and relevant for the African continent.
“We hope that this new platform will be a valuable resource for researchers in Africa and abroad, and we welcome your feedback and suggestions for its improvement,” Skipper said.
The statement added that a virtual event to celebrate the launch of Nature Africa would take place on May 10.(NAN)