L'Oreal-UNESCO Honors Two African Scientists

Two women early-career scientists from Africa were honoured as International Rising Talents at the 22nd L'Oreal-UNESCO International Awards For Women in Science (FWIS). They were recognized alongside 15 young women scientists from all over the world.

The awards acknowledge outstanding women scientists for the excellence of their research in a variety of fields from quantum mathematics to materials science and molecular biology.

They were announced on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science marked on 11th February, a day that focuses on the reality that science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to data from the UNESCO, fewer than 30% of researchers worldwide are women, and their work rarely gains the recognition it deserves, and only three per cent of Nobel Prizes for Science have ever been awarded to women.

From South Africa, Georgina Nyawo a researcher from Stellenbosch University's Division of Molecular Biology was highlighted for studying the microbiome in the context of extra-pulmonary TB.

The other African was Dr Nowsheen Goonoo, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Mauritius. Her research focuses on the development of high-value-added materials using locally available resources such as seaweeds for the treatment of burns, ulcers, and bone defects.

The scientists’ achievements will be celebrated at an awards ceremony on March 12, 2020, at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, France.

Every year since its creation in 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has honoured fifteen International Rising Talents from all regions across the globe. Last year from Africa Dr Zohra Dhouafli of Tunisia, Dr Menattallah Elserafy of Egypt and Dr Priscilla Kolibea Mante of Ghana were honoured

Photo courtesy / UNESCO

Article by Jedidah Mwangi