News / Africa

Women Scientists Honored At Pan African University Launch

Prof. Dosso Mireille Carmen of Ivory Coast and Prof. Dr. Ebtehal El Demerdash of Egypt at AU headquarters to receive the Kwame Nkrumah Science Prize, December 14, 2011.
Prof. Dosso Mireille Carmen of Ivory Coast and Prof. Dr. Ebtehal El Demerdash of Egypt at AU headquarters to receive the Kwame Nkrumah Science Prize, December 14, 2011.

Several of Africa's top women scientists have been honored at ceremonies to mark the founding of a new Pan African University. 

The Kwame Nkrumah Science Awards for 2011 went to seven women for outstanding achievements and valuable scientific discoveries. The annual prize carries with it a $20,000 check and a silver medal.

Etheresia Pretorius of South Africa won for electron microscopy research into inflammations within the human body.  She calls microscopy an open field because it's an older technique, often overlooked by scientists looking for something more exciting to investigate.

"I try to use the techniques of microscopy to find something new, something that might be used as a screening tool, a cheap screening tool used to detect disease long before it's visible in the human," Pretorius said.

Pretorius tells VOA she plans to use a large part of her prize money to give orphan girls in her home town a chance to explore possible careers in science. “We've got a lot of orphan girls, and there's an orphanage not very far from my hometown, Pretoria, and I thought myself and my husband would like to contribute to a girl, [a] woman, to come up and study something, some way,” she said.

Other winners include Rose Gana Fomban Leke of Cameroon for her groundbreaking research on prevention of malaria and other parasitic infections, and Ebtehal El-Demerdash of Egypt, for  research on modern drugs used in treating forms of cancer most resistant to chemotherapy.

Dosso Mireille Carmen of Ivory Coast was chosen for studies on epidemiological surveillance of infectious diseases.  Kakou Yao Rita, also of Ivory Coast, won for her contributions to the understanding of infrared spectroscopy and crystallography.

Maureen Coetzee of South Africa, a world renowned entomologist, was recognized for malaria research, including insecticide resistance and novel ways of controlling the disease.  Nermin El Semary of Egypt was named for her investigations into the biotechnological aspects of microalgae.

The prizes were awarded at a ceremony establishing a new Pan African University, which will have five campuses, each specializing in a specific field of science.

A college dedicated to space science will be in South Africa, a college of water and energy sciences will be located in Algeria, and an institution for the study of basic sciences, technology and innovation will be hosted by the Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya.

The University of Ibadan in Nigeria will be home to a college for life and earth sciences, and the University of Yaounde in Cameroon will house a school for governance, humanities and social sciences.

The European Union is funding a large chunk of the Pan African University project.  EU diplomat Harry Debaker said the idea is to foster a European-like environment where African universities attract students from all over the continent. “I very much hope that in a future speech I could end by saying that 'across Africa, millions of students are pursuing their studies in countries which are not their own, often in languages which are not their own',” he said.

An Egyptian representative at the university launch noted that much of North Africa had gone through its Arab Spring in politics.  Now, he said, it is time for the continent to experience a spring in science and technology.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid