Twelve female scientists from across Sub-Saharan Africa have been honoured this week for their work and impact in the scientific field. On Tuesday, the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO announced the recipients of the 2015 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Fellowships.
Through the great diversity of their research, this year’s Sub-Saharan African Fellows highlight the changing face of scientific research and the new disciplines that are continually emerging, forging the next generation of For Women in Science fellows. These young researchers share the thrill of curiosity and discovery, and are strong believers that science can change the world.
“This year we received applications from 19 countries which is testament to the increasing awareness of the programme and our commitment to advancing women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)” said L’Oreal’s spokesperson in Johannesburg.
The fellows who receive a Euro10,000 grant are Rasheedat Mahamood (Nigeria) from the University of Johannesburg; Zebib Yunus from the iThemba LABS at the National Research Foundation in Cape Town; and Jandeli Niemand from the University of Pretoria.
The fellows who receive a Euro5000 grant are Nomvano Mketo from the University of Johannesburg; Gaelle Kafira KO of the Laboratory for Solar Energy and Energy Savings in Burkina Faso; Shobna Sawry from the Intsitute of Reproductive Health at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg; Majidah Hamid-Adiamoh of the Medical Research Council Unit, in The Gambia and at the University of Lagos in Nigeria; Jinal Bhiman from the University of the Witwatersrand; Olubokola Adenubi (Nigeria) from the University of Pretoria; Olotu Ifeoluwa (Nigeria) from the University of Johannesburg; Danielle Twilley from the University of Pretoria; and Edith Chepkorir from the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Kenya.
The scientific research areas covered by this year’s fellows are varied and include studies in the fields of life and engineering sciences, food and water security as well as health. New and emerging areas include laser science, nanotechnology, renewable energy and climate change science. These research studies are aimed at addressing the new sustainable development goals and building a sustainable future and planet.
According to Sandeep Rai, Managing Director of L’Oréal South Africa “For the last 17 years, with the For Women In Science programmes, we have been fighting to advance the cause of women scientists. Much has been achieved: more than 2000 women have been recognised worldwide and the programme has gained recognition from the international scientific community.”