AWARD announces winners of 2015 fellowships: 70 top African women agricultural scientists from 11 countries chosen
This years’ laureates were selected from among an impressive cadre of 1,109 applicants from 11 African countries. These scientists and researchers, will benefit from AWARD’s two-year career-development program that is focused on accelerating agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills.
AWARD Fellowships are granted on the basis of each scientist’s intellectual merit, leadership capacity, and the potential of her work to improve the livelihoods of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.
AWARD Fellows share a common vision: they want to translate their research and knowledge into tangible action, tangible action that will benefit smallholder farmers—especially laudable in 2015, the African Union’s Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.
According to an AWARD benchmarking study, the majority of those who produce, process, and market Africa’s food are women, but only one in four agricultural researchers is female. Even fewer—one in seven—hold leadership positions in African agricultural research institutions.
In order for African agriculture to become an engine for prosperity and well-being, it is critical to cultivate a new generation of African leaders in food and agriculture, including technically competent, confident, and influential women.
This year’s AWARD laureates represent a wide range of agricultural disciplines and cutting-edge research—from evaluating aquatic pollution, climate smart agricultural practices, aflatoxin mitigation, capacity building and empowerment of rural women, to biotechnology.
Out of the 70 winners of this year’s fellowship, 10 had prior experience within the AWARD Fellowship as junior mentees to AWARD Fellows, with four having applied for the fellowship at least once before.