The 2016 Africa’s top 5 female scientists were honoured by the African Union (AU) at its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa earlier this week.
The winners were pooled from all the continent’s regions except Central Africa. West Africa had two recipients with East, North and Southern Africa completing the list with one each.
The award is named after Ghana’s first President and celebrated Pan-Africanist, Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Under the initiative called Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards, scientists are awarded at national, regional and continental levels. The European Union (EU) has sponsored the event since 2009.
Each of the five laureates gets a $20,000 cash prize for their efforts. The AU launched the award in September 2008. The EU’s support for the programme is part of the EU-Africa collaboration in Science, Technology & Innovation (STI), under the Human Development component of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES).
Below is a brief profile of the five winners:
1.Prof. Jane Catherine Ngila from Kenya as the East Africa Region laureate for her research in the area of Analytical-Environmental Chemistry on water resource management.
2.Dr. Lamia Chaari Fourati from Tunisia as the North Africa Region laureate for her research activities on conception and validation of new protocols and mechanisms for quality of service provisioning over emerging networks technologies.
3.Associate Prof. Celia Abolnik from South Africa as the laureate of the South Africa Region for her research in avian respiratory viruses, especially those that effect chicken and ostrich production in Africa.
4.Prof. Rokia Sanogo from Mali as one of the West Africa Region laureates for her research in Pharmacognosy with a particular focus on Traditional Medicines.
5.Prof. Olu-Owolabi Bamidele from Nigeria as the second laureate of the West Africa Region for her research on the development of sustainable alternative materials for water treatment.
The Kwame Nkrumah Regional Awards for women 2016 were presented on January 24, 2017 during the Opening Ceremony of the Gender Pre-Summit, of the 28th AU heads of states and government assembly in Ethiopia.
It took place in the presence of Dr. Dlamini Zuma outgoing Chairperson of the AU Commission. The EU represented by Ranieri Sabatucci Ambassador of the EU Delegation to the African Union delivered one of the five prizes.