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Who am I and what do I do? 

I am Edmund W. Kanmiki,  an early career health researcher with over five years of active participation in the health systems research. I am currently an MPH candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the American University of Beirut under the scholarship of the MasterCard Foundation. My current research interest is universal health coverage, primary healthcare and health systems in general.

What is my life story? 

I was born and raised in a small town called Navrongo located in the deprived savanna ecological zone of northern Ghana. I did all my education up to first degree in this poor setting and continued to work there until I gained admission to the American University of Beirut for my Master’s education.  Since my secondary school days, I have been involved in a number of voluntary activities ranging from offering free extra classes for younger students to organizing and participating in clean-up excesses, moral talks, blood donation programs and health talks, among others.

Where am I traveling from?

I am traveling from Beirut, Lebanon to attend this all-important event.

 Why am I excited about being a NEF Volunteer?

As someone who has always been passionate about contributing to the betterment of society, I am more than excited to have this golden opportunity to contribute to a global event with this kind of magnitude and impact. More important to me is the fact that it seeks to ignite the potentials of science and policy in Africa. I believe these are key drivers that can propel the growth of Africa beyond human imagination.

What am I most excited about regarding the Global Gathering event?

I am most excited about the aim of the event and the caliber of people attending.

What are my preliminary thoughts about the event?

I am very certain about the success of this event and the direct and indirect benefits it will have for all participants in the area of learning new innovations and ideas within one’s field and other fields. I know many of the benefits will arise from forming networks, partnerships and creating opportunities for career developments and business. Beyond the participants, I believe in the trickling down of benefits and lessons learnt in the program. With each NEF Fellow, Ambassador and Volunteer going back with a lit candle at hand and helping to light the lives of those in his or her environment, the impact of this program is immeasurable and limitless.

What are some interesting discoveries I’ve made recently about science and tech in Africa?

I have only recently discovered that scientists in South Africa have discovered a new human-like species which has been named homo naledi. It is believed to have lived in Africa about three million years ago but has only now been discovered.