Leaders of Arab and African Nations Celebrate Inaugural Awards Ceremony of Al-Sumait Prize For African Development For Health And Food Security
The winners of Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development for 2015 and 2016 in the fields of health and food security today received their awards at a special gala ceremony held during the fourth Africa-Arab summit in Equatorial Guinea.
The Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah and President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Mbasosgo awarded the prizes, which comprise of one million dollars each and a gold medal to the three winners.
The 2015 Al-Sumait Health category award went to Professor Kevin Marsh of the University of Oxford and African Academy of Sciences, Kenya, for his sustained efforts to control and eradicate malaria, which affects the health of tens of millions of African children. He said, “I feel tremendously honoured by this award that will be used to continue to support the development of science in the continent, particularly through supporting emerging young African research leaders”.
The 2016 Al-Sumait Food Security category award went to two joint winners, the Sweet potato for Nutrition Team at the International Potato Centre (CIP), Lima, Peru and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of CIP, Dr Barbara Wells Director General CIP said, “We are very honoured that this work on bio fortified sweet potato has been recognised and awarded the Al-Sumait Prize for food security.”
Dr A Namanga Ngongi, representative of IITA, commented, “We are proud of this award and thank the Al-Sumait Prize for recognizing the efforts of IITA and our partners in helping African farmers and communities improve their livelihoods and enhance food and nutrition security through research and development on major food staples.”
Initiated in 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development is designed to reward innovative and inspiring initiatives and research by individuals and organizations that address the challenges facing the African continent. The award recognizes and honours individuals or institutions who help advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa.
Dr Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), which administers Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, told the audience that together all the recipients have implemented ground-breaking approaches to tackle and eradicate the scourges of malaria and under-nourishment. Dr Adnan also announced that the invitations for prize nominations for the Education field would open December 2016.
“All Al-Sumait nominees demonstrated a melange of disciplines and academic and real-life research that showed a deep passion to address the challenges facing the great continent of Africa in profound ways,” Dr. Shihab-Eldin said.
The Al-Sumait Board of Trustees, which comprises prominent international personalities in the field of development in Africa and world-renowned philanthropists. The Board is chaired by H.E. Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait.
Other trustees include Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Former President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Kwaku Aning, Former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Mr. Abdulatif Al-Hamad, Director General and Chairman of the Board of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.