ADDIS ABABA. — The 26th African Union (AU) summit that wrapped up on Sunday at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has recognised winners of the AU prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Awards. The summit has recognised two distinguished African scientist, Professor Opara Umezurike (male) of Nigeria and Professor Nyokong Tebello (female) of South Africa under the 2015 edition of the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Awards.
The award ceremony took place on Saturday during the opening of the 26th session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Martial De Paul Ikounga, AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, has moderated the award ceremony.
The commissioner explained that the Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Awards is awarded at three levels of national, regional and continental with the objective to honour African men and women in science who distinguished themselves by their contribution to African development through their work in the field of research and training.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, in her statement, underlined that Africa is a leading global player in terms of abundant human and natural resources, which if strategically capitalised will immensely contribute to Africa’s development.
She said the economic productivity of Africa is tightly linked to the scientific and technological skills of the African workforce.
In this regard and in order to deliver on the rising aspirations of African citizens and global expectations, the AU Agenda 2063 is underpinned by education, science and technology as enablers for achieving national, regional and continental development imperatives.
Each of the awardees received a cheque of $100 000 to further boast their research capacity in the fields of basic sciences, technology and innovation.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees, Prof Nyokong Tebello expressed optimism that African scientists will make good progress towards a healthier and better Africa in the next decade, particularly in finding solutions to the biggest problems facing the continent. — Xinhua.