Aneth David on Biotechnology Prospects in Tanzania

Aneth David on Biotechnology Prospects in Tanzania
4 min read

This might be a good time to discuss Africa’s agricultural performance, and the positive and negative impacts of biotechnology on the continent’s biological diversity, economy and welfare.

Today, we have the pleasure of featuring Tanzanian RISE Scientist & Biotechnologist, Aneth David. She speaks on the discipline of Biotechnology, its job prospects in Tanzania, and the need for more women within the field.

Aneth David

Aneth David, Scientist, Biotechnologist & Next Einstein Forum Ambassador, Tanzania

Aneth received her secondary education at Mawenzi Secondary School in Tanzania. She then pursued advanced secondary education at Majengo Secondary School, also in Tanzania, where she majored in Chemistry, Biology and Nutrition. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Biotechnology at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania.

Aneth David NEF Award

Aneth David honored as a recipient of the Next Einstein Forum Ambassador award for her excellent work as a young and promising African scientist. (Photo Credit – The Citizen)

Aneth made headlines in Tanzania after she was awarded the Next Einstein Forum Ambassador award, an honor given to young African scientists pursuing excellence.

  • Can you give us some insight into what the discipline of Biotechnology is about? What inspired you to pursue this?

“Biotechnology encompasses technologies and techniques that utilize living organisms, their parts and/or products to make products or services useful to man. Molecular Biology is the discipline and study thereof. I stumbled upon a Molecular Biology and Biotechnology degree program by chance – a recommendation from a friend. However, I quickly fell in love with it because it gives me room to ask important questions about life. It allows me to find evidence-based answers to the questions, and most importantly, it allows one to make use of and apply the knowledge to solve humanity problems across many areas of life. In other words, Biotechnology satisfies my curiosity. It is also a relatively modern discipline widely used worldwide to improve and find sustainable solutions in many fields such as health, environment, food security and manufacturing. It is an indispensable development tool, much-needed in developing countries.”

  • Can you tell us about the research you have conducted within this area of study?

“I have studied the effectiveness of soil bacteria as biofertilizers, biocontrol agents and biopreservatives for African crops. I also studied the co-production of oyster mushrooms and biogas from Palm oil processing wastes during my final year undergraduate research project.”

  • What do the job prospects in Biotechnology look like in Tanzania?

“Biotechnology is a relatively new field in Tanzania and there aren’t many job opportunities available yet, although there are also fewer graduates compared to other fields. A Biotechnologist in Tanzania expects to be employed mostly in medical and agricultural research centers, which are few, and in food industry and academic institutions. But recently, a new wave of “Biopreneurs” have emerged, and now Biotech graduates are increasingly engaged with the entrepreneurial and innovative side of Biotechnology, especially within the food and beverages industries, as well as other areas such as environmental friendly technologies. This is very encouraging.”

  • Would you encourage more women to pursue this field?

“Yes, most definitely. There is still a huge gender gap between male and female enrollment in Biotech courses. The female enrollment is at 20%. The women in Biotechnology in Tanzania perform exceptionally well. It is also a rewarding and exciting scientific field that allows one to contribute to and impact society positively.”

  • What change would you like to see within the research space in Tanzania, and why?

“I would like to see research conducted in academic institutions and research centers translated into useful products and services for everyday use, because that rarely happens in my country. Research mostly ends up in publications and libraries, and is not utilized to improve livelihood or solve society’s problems.”