The Kwame Nkrumah continental awards for 2016 was presented during the official opening of the 28th African Union Heads of State and Government Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 30 January 2017. The awards were presented by President Alpha Condé, new Chair of the African Union and Dr. Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission. TheAward aims to encourage researchers contributing to the wellbeing and improved quality of life for the African citizens. The EU has sponsored the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards since 2009.
The 2016 laureates of the continental awards are:
For Basic Science, Technology and Innovation Award, Prof. Ali Ali Hebiesh from Egypt, for his work oriented towards responding to the global demand for cotton fabrics with exhibit improved multifunctional characteristics. He has been the President of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) in Egypt with a Ministerial Rank from 1992-1996. He is also Emiritus Professor at the National Research Center in Egypt.
For Life and Earth Sciences Award, Prof. Felix Dapare Dakora, from Ghana, for his work in the area of Plant Sciences, with emphasis on the legume/rhizobium symbiosis. He currently holds the South African Research Chair in Agrochemurgy and Plant Symbioses in the Chemistry Department of the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. In July 2012, he was joint recipient of the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.
The European Union wishes to express its congratulations to the two laureates of these prestigious awards.
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.