Dr Mavis Owureku-Asare is among the Aspen Institute’s 2020 class of the New Voices Fellowship.
The fellowship is described as “a groundbreaking program which equips experts from developing countries to play a more powerful role as advocates and policymakers in the global development discussion.”
Mavis 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. 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.
Mavis is a Norman Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agricultural Program (LEAP) Scholar and a fellow of The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD).
The 2020 Class of New Voices Fellows includes 25 Fellows from 16 African, Asian and Latin American countries. They include an HIV+ Bolivian activist who is fighting for improved healthcare systems across South America, a Rwandan scientist who used his own experience going hungry in a refugee camp to rethink Africa’s battle against malnutrition, and a Nigerian doctor who contracted – and survived – the Ebola virus in 2014, making her one of Bill Gates’ “Heroes in the Field” for global health.
Ten of the 2020 New Voices Fellows specialize in different aspects of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), part of a three-year New Voices effort to spotlight this crucial topic.
They include a male nurse from Ghana who is fighting the scourge of unsafe abortions by providing quality reproductive healthcare and training midwives, an Indian activist who has used her own experience with female genital mutilation (FGM) to launch a broader discussion of gender-based violence and sexual harassment, and a Nigerian youth advocate who has used social media to become one of her country’s foremost “influencers” on sexuality and reproductive rights.
“Sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and these Fellows bring new ideas that can transform discussions and shape real-world actions,” said Fellowship Associate Director Emily Kaiser.