ON TUESDAY, 24 January 2017, the Kwame Nkrumah Regional Awards for women 2016 were presented during the Opening Ceremony of the Gender Pre-Summit, of the 28th AU heads of states and government assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The prize ceremony took place in the presence of Dr. Dlamini Zuma Chairperson of the AU Commission. The EU was grateful and honoured to be invited and delivered one of the five prizes, represented by Ranieri Sabatucci Ambassador of the EU Delegation to the African Union. Under this initiative, awards are made to top African scientists at national, regional and continental levels. The EU has sponsored the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards since 2009.
The 2016 laureates of the Regional Awards for women are five female scientists from the East, North, South, and West African Regions:
“The EU has sponsored the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards since 2009”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 European Union wishes to express its congratulations to the five female laureates of these prestigious awards. The participation of women in research, their opportunities to contribute fully and their recognition, as well gender issues in research itself, are also an integral part of good research policy. The EU strives for the fullest contribution from women to science, by ensuring gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research because encouraging gender diversity supports scientific excellence.
It is worth noting that a previous laureate of the regional awards for female scientists is the current President of Mauritius, Professor Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, for her work in phytochemistry.
The European Union’s support for the Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards is part of the EU-Africa collaboration in Science, Technology & Innovation (STI), under the Human Development component of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES). This comprises budget support to the AUC’s Department of Human Resources, Science & Technology (HRST) led by Commissioner Martial De-Paul Ikounga, as well as support for the second phase of the African Union Research Grants (AURG), under which the first call for proposals was launched in 2016 with a budget of €8.5 million.