Welcome to Pasha, The Conversation Africa’s podcast
Welcome to Pasha, The Conversation Africa’s brand new podcast. In the spirit of The Conversation, Pasha – which means to inform in Swahili – will be bringing you some of the best and brightest research from academics across the continent. After nearly four years of publishing expert research, we’re thrilled to be bringing our own brand of smart journalism to a new audio format. Each episode will collect stories and commentary on a given theme.

Latest Episodes

Pasha 65: Busting myths around the flu vaccine

The flu vaccine will not stop you from getting the coronavirus but it's still important to get it. It will help you fight off other respiratory viruses like the flu and you will avoid visits to the doctor, where there are sick people. Many people think the flu vaccine will make you sicker. There are also those who believe that it contains toxic mercury. In today's episode of Pasha, Marietjie Venter…

1 Host: Marietjie Venter

Pasha 64: The history of drugs in southern Africa

The history of drugs in southern Africa shows how pharmaceutical and illegal substances are intertwined. Understanding the history matters because a society inherits ideas about what is "normal" and what is morally right or wrong. This shapes the approach to care for people with drug addiction, for example. Policy makers need to base their decisions on empirical information, not prejudice, fear and…

1 Host: Thembisa Waetjen

Pasha 63: Let's talk about ethics and treatment for COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in South Africa, health professionals will have to make important decisions on who gets what treatment. But how do these decisions get made? In today's episode of Pasha, Kevin Behrens, director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, and Christopher Wareham, a senior lecturer at the same centre, discuss the ethics surrounding coronavirus topics. Photo: Medical…

2 Hosts: Christopher Wareham and Kevin Gary Behrens

Pasha 62: Will South Africa run out of food during the coronavirus lockdown?

Since South Africa has been placed in lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19, many people have been panic buying and stockpiling groceries. As a result, many of the grocery stores in the country have some empty shelves. Questions about whether South Africa will run out of food have been doing the rounds. To address these questions, Professor Johann Kirsten, director of the Bureau for Economic Research…

1 Host: Johann Kirsten

Pasha 61: The latest on Nigeria and COVID-19

Nigeria has seen a rise in cases of COVID-19 as more tests are done. But the way this information is presented is important. If it's not balanced it can lead to the spread of panic and fear. The public needs to focus instead on instructions given by leaders. These include washing hands, social distancing and abiding by lockdown rules. In today's episode of Pasha, Doyin Odubanjo, executive secretary…

1 Host: Doyin Odubanjo

Pasha 60: The challenges facing African countries testing for COVID-19

Testing for COVID-19 is crucial in understanding how many people have the disease and how fast and far it's spreading. But testing comes with challenges, including test kit production and logistics constraints, and how best to protect healthcare workers. There are testing initiatives under way in many African countries, including a drive-through concept in Kenya. In today's episode of Pasha, Ahmed…

1 Host: Ahmed Kalebi

Pasha 59: Let's talk about a COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. So many countries are affected by the disease, with many lives lost and many people infected. Many countries and organisations are frantically searching for a vaccine or treatment. But how far away from this are we? In today's episode of Pasha, Yap Boum, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, discusses…

1 Host: Yap Boum

Pasha 58: South Africa's fruit industry and the opportunities it presents

South Africa's fruit industry has tremendous potential. The industry is already a global player, thanks to its citrus exports. But there is scope for other fruit such as berries and avocados. It's important to tap into this potential, given that fruit exports have the ability to create jobs. To do this, a few things need to be addressed, such as bottlenecks at the ports and an increase in research…

1 Host: Shingie Chisoro - Dube

Pasha 57: Adam Habib on higher education in South Africa

Higher education in South Africa has undergone some tough times in recent years. There have been numerous protests over fees and affordability. One of the university leaders at the centre of the debates was Adam Habib, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In today's episode of Pasha he looks at the challenges of higher education in South Africa. He also…

1 Host: Adam Habib

Pasha 56: Why gender equity in health matters

In global health, it's important that women have an equal opportunity to have their voices heard in setting agendas and designing interventions. Not listening to women can mean that important contributions are missed. Women play a crucial role in delivering important health services and are the backbone of health. In today's episode of Pasha, Rhoda Wanyenze, Dean of Makerere University School of Public…

1 Host: Rhoda Wanyenze

Pasha 55: South Africa and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The global hype around the Fourth Industrial Revolution has grabbed South Africa as well. President Cyril Ramaphosa is firmly behind it as the belief is that it can help advance economies and increase job opportunities. But in countries like South Africa where inequality is a problem, adding advanced technologies might divide the country further and deepen inequality. In today's episode of Pasha, Alison…

1 Host: Alison Gillwald

Pasha 54: An African perspective on the coronavirus

By the middle of February more than 2000 people had died from the coronavirus COVID-19, which was first identified in Wuhan, China at the end of last year. The virus has spread to a number of countries around the world -- and of course, African countries are at risk, too. Screening and identifying patients is hugely important. In today's episode Professor Burtram Fielding of the department of medical…

1 Host: Burtram C. Fielding

Pasha 53: Why we listened to tiny frogs

The Cape peninsula moss frog is tiny -- really tiny. That makes the species very difficult to track. These little frogs are also very vulnerable, rated as "Near Threatened" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of threatened species. So how can researchers monitor the species and come up with plans to conserve it? By listening. In today's episode of Pasha John Measey, chief researcher…

1 Host: John Measey

Pasha 52: Taking a look at healthy food in South Africa

Healthy food is critical to people's well being. Not only does eating it keep us healthy and strong, but producing your own food is empowering and could even be a potential source of income. The problem is that healthy, fresh food isn't always affordable and accessible for everyone. In today's episode of Pasha Lise Korsten, co-director at the Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University…

1 Host: Lise Korsten

Pasha 51: Donating your body to research

Medical students learn a lot from studying the bodies of people who have died. When people donate their body for this purpose, their identity will never be disclosed and the body can be returned to the family at any time. In today's episode of Pasha, PhD candidate Kimberleigh Tommy and lecturer Brendon Billings explain why it's important for anatomy students to work with real cadavers. They discuss…

2 Hosts: Brendon Kurt Billings and Kimberleigh Ashley Tommy

Pasha 50: The threat of climate change to South Africa's agriculture

Temperatures across southern Africa are increasing. This presents a threat to many crops across the region. Rainfall projections are uncertain but the impact of climate change on agriculture is clear. The sector will suffer, and food shortages could follow. It is important for farmers to increase resilience and take steps to deal with a changing climate. These steps include increasing agricultural…

1 Host: Peter Johnston

Pasha 49: How Rwanda rebuilt a broken healthcare system

Rwanda has made strides in its health sector in recent years. The country is noted for making faster than expected progress over the past 15 years in reducing deaths among children younger than five. This is the result of the work the government has done in building a strong health system and taking an inclusive approach to health coverage. But there are still challenges like maternal mortality, for…

1 Host: Agnes Binagwaho

Pasha 48: Data science and taking on Africa’s challenges

Data science is a buzzword commonly heard these days. But what is it? Data science combines a number of fields and is a blend of statistics, computer science, mathematics, engineering and subject matter knowledge. It holds tremendous potential as has already been shown with game-changing, crucial innovations rooted in the work of data scientists. And African countries are starting to get on board…

1 Host: Wim Delva

Pasha 47: How to increase the role women play in developing the continent

Women all over the world face a number of challenges and this is also true in many countries on the African continent. The perceptions of society can result in their potential being "locked up". Education is crucial to overcome the mind-sets that prevent women from taking more of a lead in society. In today's episode of Pasha, Roula Inglesi-Lotz, co-leader of the Women in Science Working Group and…

1 Host: Roula Inglesi-Lotz

Pasha 46: The 90:90:90 goals and the fight against HIV and AIDS

To end the HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2030, the United Nations established an ambitious set of goals known as 90-90-90. The idea is that by 2020, 90% of people who are HIV infected will be diagnosed, 90% of people who are diagnosed will be on antiretroviral treatment and 90% of those who receive antiretrovirals will be virally suppressed. In today's episode of Pasha, Peter Piot, Director and Handa Professor…

1 Host: Ozayr Patel

Pasha 45: Spotlight on population growth in Africa

Africa's population is expected to double by 2050. It's therefore important to look at what’s driving population growth, and what can be done to slow the trend. These topics are being considered at the 8th African Population Conference in Entebbe in Uganda. In the latest episode of Pasha, Alex Ezeh, a Dornsife Professor of Global Health at Drexel University, discusses how population growth can be addressed…

1 Host: Alex Ezeh

Pasha 44: Gender inequality in Kenyan and South African education systems

South Africa and Kenya have progressive legal frameworks when it comes to higher education policies. But women are still missing from higher education institutions. This is attributed to the difficult social conditions they face. In today's episode of Pasha Beatrice Akala, a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, speaks about how to deal with some of the challenges…

1 Host: Ozayr Patel

Pasha 43: How South Africa can deliver on the right to food

Hunger and food insecurity are prominent issues in South Africa. Many people don't have access to nutritious food and there is severe food injustice in the country. Yet people are not taking to the streets to protest about this. This is because people are unaware that they have a right to food. South Africa can take lessons on this from regions in India and Brazil. Tackling food injustice needs a transformation…

1 Host: Brittany Kesselman

Pasha 42: Cities in Africa need to be made safer

Across Africa people are moving to cities. But the way in which urban spaces are being expanded leaves a lot to be desired. For example, buildings are unsafe. They are hastily constructed to meet the influx of people. Collapsed buildings are a regular occurrence. In today's episode, Festival Godwin Boateng, a PhD candidate at the School of Global Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University in Australia…

1 Host: Festival Godwin Boateng

Pasha 41: Taking a look at measles in the DRC

The measles outbreak in the DRC is the largest and most fatal in the world this year. What started in one section of the country has now spread to all 26 provinces. Not vaccinating children lies at the heart of the problem. But there are a number of issues which makes vaccinating kids difficult. In today's episode of Pasha Matthew Ferrari, an associate professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University…

1 Host: Matthew Ferrari