African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence (AUKNASE) Continental Award 2020 (USD 100,000 Award)

Application Deadline: November 25th 2020

The African Union Commission is committed to ensure that science, technology and innovation contribute to our sustainable development efforts. The Constitutive Act, establishing the African Union, recognizes the need to advance the development of Africa by promoting research in all fields, and in science,technology and innovation in particular. The Commission, through its Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology implements a strategic science, technology and innovation development programme through the African Union continental Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (STISA-2024), aimed at contributing to the wellbeing and improved quality of life for the African citizens as articulated in the African Union Agenda 2063. In January 2007, the AU Heads of State and Government “declared 2007 as the launching year for building constituencies and champions for science, technology and innovation in Africa”.

The African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence Programme is implemented using these rules of procedure.
The African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence Programme (AUKNASE) shall be organized at three levels:

1.Continental Level where two awards of USD 100,000 are given each to African pioneer scientists
2.Regional Level where two African women scientists per each of the five geographical regions of Africa are given USD 20,000 each, and
3.National Level dedicated to young African researchers, where two prizes are given per country and the value of the prizes is determined by the African Union Commission.

The objectives of AUKNASE are to:

– Award and honour outstanding African scientists for their achievements and discoveries in science, technology and innovation;
– Promote scientific development in Africa through recognition of excellence among African scientists, women, and men alike and young researchers and encourage them to persevere in their research or academic careers, and nurture their ambitions;
– Popularize and promote public understanding and participation in the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063, through Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa, the Sustainable Development Goals and the AU Assembly decisions on science, technology and innovation;
– Raise the profile of science, technology and innovation sector in African Union Member States, Regional Economic Communities so that science, technology and innovation effectively contribute to Africa’s sustainable development, poverty alleviation and integration efforts.

For the purpose of this award the following definitions shall apply:

– Scientific awards are one-time monetary prizes that are given to outstanding African scientists for their scientific achievements and valuable discoveries and findings. They are not lifetime achievement awards;
– Life and Earth Sciences and Innovation[MO1]: embraces all sciences and innovation related to the planet earth, covering (but not limited to) the following disciplines, geology, geophysics and geodesy. On the other hand, we regard Life Sciences to encompass all sciences and innovations that have to do with ‘organisms’, like plants, animals and human and also may be Agro-technology, Animal Science, Plant Science, Biotechnology, Biology, Environmental Sciences, Food Sciences, Medicine, and Tissue Engineering to mention a few;
– Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation: this category will consist of all other sciences, technologies and innovations excluding those covered within Earth and life Sciences category.

These may include, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, civil etc), Artificial Intelligence, Material Sciences, Manufacturing and Production Technologies, Metallurgy, Textiles, Energy and Innovations, etc.

Eligibility Requirements

  • To be eligible for the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence, nominees shall be African scientists who have made remarkable achievements, demonstrated by number of publications, number of trained research graduate students, applicability of the scientific work to Africa’s challenges, and its patentability. The award is intended to recognize those who demonstrate excellence in research of relevance to the developmental needs of the continent.
  • Only nationals of the African Union (AU) Member States are eligible to participate in these Awards;
  • Nominees shall be Africans residing in any of the AU Member States and can be nominated only for achievements based on work conducted in an African country.
  • For the REGIONAL AWARD: for Women Scientists, applicants should have nominators with a PhD degree. If she/he is an Academic in a university, she/he must at least have a rank of Associate Professor. There is no age limit for this award. The nominee should meet at least three of the following:
  • Must have published at least five articles in journals (with impact factor greater than 1.0)
  • Must appear as senior/corresponding author in at least three of the five articles
  • Must at least have a minimum H-index of 5
  • Must have at least one international or two national patents registered
  • Must have supervised or co-supervised at least 5 PhD students
  • Must have won an international grant as a principal investigator
  • Must have written a review article in her/his field of specialization


– Nominations will be invited from any institution in the continent, from universities, research institutions, professional bodies, academies, industrial establishments, and so on.
– Nominations may be received from:
– individuals who may be senior staff/academic of the same or higher rank than the nominee;
– Heads of institutions who may have their own formalized procedure for nomination, chairpersons of committees who review the achievements of scientists in their institutions;
– The nominator is required to show the importance and impact of the research of the applicant. The focus will be on the quality of the work and not necessarily the number of publications. The nominator should provide a narrative presentation (up to five pages) of the importance, relevance, quality and impact of the work. A full CV, as well as 5-10 copies of best publications, are to be submitted together with the Nomination Form.
– All successfully completed nominations received will be acknowledged, after the opening by the Jury.

Adjudication process:

– Technical review of nominations may be performed and any nomination that fail such review will be rejected and nominators notified immediately. All such cases will be meticulously documented and reported at the first meeting of the jury. Only those nominations that are received within the given deadline will be considered.
– A Physical meeting of the jurors will be held to adjudicate and evaluate the nominations.
– The Jury will appoint the Chair for the Session.
– The jurors will hear the reports and discuss their rankings so as to determine the top three candidates for each category of Award;
– The jurors will submit a report of their findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of the AU HRST;
– All juridical processes will be conducted confidentially and each jury member shall sign conflict of interest and confidentiality declarations;
– Timing and Schedule of activities
– The call for nomination will be announced continent wide and will be posted on the African Union Commission website:
– The deadline for receipt of applications for the 2020 Edition will be 25 November 2020, but the Commission reserves the right to extend the deadline to ensure success of the programme;
– The Award conferment ceremony shall take place at an Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held the year following the launch of the awards;
– Award winners are expected to participate in Africa’s science, technology and innovation efforts following the conferment of the award;
– The award funds may be disbursed by bank transfer or bank draft payable to the recipient after the award ceremony has been held;

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the AUKNASE Continental Award 2020


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