Algerian, South African Scientists Scoop AU Accolades
Algerian professor Malik Maaza and South Africa’s Professor Robert Peter Miller have been honoured with 2017 Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards at the just concluded African Union (AU) Summit.
The accolade is awarded annually to African researchers and scientists for their research in various fields of technology and the social sciences.
Maaza was honoured by the African Union and UNESCO for his nanotechnology research in South Africa where he runs a research centre in Pretoria, while Peter Miller was recognised in the category of Earth and Life Sciences.
The awards ceremony took place during the opening session of the 30th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the AU, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Professor Robert Peter Miller
Prof. Miller has carried out world-class research on peptide regulators of reproductive hormones.
He pioneered the discovery of the Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) prohormone, novel GnRH structures, and the first cloning of the GnRH I and GnRH II receptors.
His research opened up market for the primary treatment of prostate cancer, precocious puberty (the sole treatment), hormone-dependent diseases in woman (e.g. endometriosis) and for In Vitro Fertilization.
Since 2016, he is the Director of the Center of Neuroendocrinology at the University of Pretoria.
Professor Malik Maaza
Prof. Maaza is the pioneer and the architect of nanosciences and nanotechnology in Africa.
His long history in stimulating academic excellence and communication between academia, researchers, local communities and society within the continent gained him the international recognition by the UNESCO, bestowing him the 1st South-South Chair: the UNESCO UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology in South Africa.
Prof. Maaza has pioneered and implemented numerous continental and national initiatives such as the African Laser Centre, the Nanosciences African Network, the National Laser Centre of South Africa (NLC SA) and the South African Nanotechnology initiative (SANi).
The prizes were presented to the winners by H.E Mr Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda and incoming President of the African Union and H.E Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Each of the awardees received a cheque of 100,000 USD to further boast their research capacity in the fields of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation and Life and Earth Sciences.
In a statement to the press, Maaza said he was “honoured by this award, which motivates him to do more and train other young researchers in Algeria and Africa”.