L’Oreal awards young Namibian for Women in Science achievements
By Freeman Ya Ngulu.
L’Oréal-UNESCO Young Talent Women in Science 2023 Sub-Sahara Africa winner and scholar, Maria Nelago Kanyama said she is absolutely honoured to be recognized as one of 30 female achievers in science in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“This award would not be possible without the guidance of my mentors. Gratitude to Prof Fungai Bhunu Shava for her pivotal mentorship, guiding me to this achievement and illuminating the path for aspiring women scientists through her own remarkable achievements,” she said.
The event was hosted this year in Kasane, Botswana on 09 November where the President of Botswana, HE Mokgweetsi Masisi, conferred the honours.
Maria is a PhD student in Formal Sciences focusing on ‘ Harnessing artificial intelligence to fight water scarcity.’
Established in 2000, the national and regional L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Young Talent programmes annually provide over 250 grants in more than 110 countries to empower women scientists to pursue their career, and more broadly to promote and highlight the crucial importance of women in science.
Nelago also thanked Prof Clement Nyirenda, Prof Attlee Munyaradzi Gamundani, Prof Zacchaeus Oyedokun, and Prof C.Temaneh adding that their continuous mentorship is instrumental in fostering progress and bridging the gender gap in the scientific community, propelling the next generation of women scientists to greater achievements.
Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of the Fondation L’Oréal and a member of the L’Oréal Executive Committee said that the African continent represents 17.2% of the world’s population yet scientists in Africa represent only 2.5% of the world’s researchers and that women do not even make up half of this.
“These numbers shine a light on the extraordinary perseverance, force, and intelligence of our 30 Young Talents who so often had to overcome immense barriers to get to where they are today. Time and time again society has failed to give them the recognition they so rightly deserve. These women are at the forefront of finding lasting solutions to the diverse challenges affecting the continent and improving the lives of people in Africa and beyond. We can’t fail them again,” stated Palt.
That is why it is all the more important, she said, to give recognition and visibility to the 30 Young Talents of L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science for their outstanding contributions.
Maria Nelago Kanyama is one of 30 African women scientists awarded by L’Oreal UNESCO in their annual Women in Science awards, hosted this year on 09 November in Kasane, Botswana.