Kenya’s Becky Nancy Aloo & Ruth Kihika are among winners of the Young Talent Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 Awards for women researchers in science. The winners included 20 women from 15 countries in Africa.
The winners were announced in Dakar, as part of the 10th edition of its regional program For Women in Science that are organized by the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO.
“The number of women in Science is not yet significant: only 2.4% of the world’s researchers are African scientists, of whom 30% are women. Through the Young Talent Award for Sub-Saharan Africa, we promote and support the continent’s remarkable female researchers. They play a key role to develop inclusive research in Africa, for Africa and conducted by Africans”, explains Alexandra Palt, Executive Director of the L’Oréal Foundation.
Created in 1998, the For Women in Science program, led by the L’Oréal Foundation in partnership with UNESCO, aims to promote women in the field of scientific research, where the glass ceiling remains a reality. Over the past 21 years, more than 3,400 women researchers from 118 countries have been awarded. The program has supported 129 doctoral and post-doctoral students in Africa.
In 2019, in addition to the 7 women scientists awarded in South Africa, 15 doctoral and 5 post-doctoral candidates from 15 sub-Saharan African countries, including 2 from Senegal and Kenya, have been honored. They were selected for their scientific excellence out of nearly 400 applications.
The Young Talents will receive financial support for their scientific work, with allocations of Ksh. 1.1 million (€10,000) for doctoral students and Ksh. 1.6 million (€15,000) for post-doctoral students. The 20 researchers have also benefited from a training program designed to give them more resources to pursue their careers. This four-day training course, given by international experts selected by the L’Oréal Foundation, covered different dimensions: leadership, management, negotiation, public speaking, media training and personal branding.
The Young Talent Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 Award winners are;
1 – Regina Esinam ABOTSI – Doctoral candidate – Ghana – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Discipline: Health Sciences
Research project: Determining antibiotic resistance in potentially pathogenic bacteria present in the respiratory tract of HIV-infected children.
2 – Becky Nancy ALOO – Doctoral candidate – Kenya – Laboratory, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha City, Tanzania
Discipline: Biological Sciences
Research project: Identifying novel species of Irish potato to enhance yields.
3 – Fatoumata BA – Doctoral candidate – Senegal – Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis
Discipline: Fundamental medicine
Research project: Studying sleep to better fight metabolic diseases.
4 – Mercy Temitope BANKOLE – Post-Doctoral candidate – Nigeria – Federal University of Technology, Minna Niger State
Research project: Healing open wounds faster and better thanks to a nanocomposite.
5 – Najah Fatou COLY – Doctoral candidate – Senegal – Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar
Discipline: Biological sciences
Research project: Better understanding infections during delivery to fight neonatal mortality
6 – Funmilola FAGBOLA – Doctoral candidate – Nigeria – Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
Discipline: Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Research project: Detecting misinformation with proof and deep learning models, and nature-inspired algorithms