By Iminza Keboge with Ogova Ondego
Published December 22, 2015
A Kenyan is among 12 sub-Saharan African women who have been honoured for displaying inventiveness and excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in 2015.
Edith Chepkorir, holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science and Technology who is currently pursuing Master’s degree studies in Medical Virology at International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi where she also doubles up as a Research Assistant Virologist, has received a €5 000 Doctoral Fellowship from L’Oréal-UNESCO’s For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Fellowships whose aim is to support women pursuing scientific careers.
The organisers, L’Oréal Corporate Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO, say the research work they considered for fellowship highlights “the changing face of scientific research and the new disciplines that are continually emerging, forging the next generation of For Women in Science fellows. These young researchers share the thrill of curiosity and discovery, and are strong believers that science can change the world.”
The 12 winners were presented with their fellowships at The Venue in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 2, 2015.
Recipients of the Post-Doctoral Fellowships of €10 000 each are:
Rasheedat Mahamood (Nigeria) – University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Zebib Yunus (South Africa) – iThemba LABS, National Research Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa
Jandeli Niemand (South Africa) – University of Pretoria, South Africa
Recipients of the Doctoral Fellowships of €5 000 each are:
Nomvano Mketo – University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Gaelle Kafira KO – Laboratory for Solar Energy and Energy Savings (LESEE), Burkina Faso
Shobna Sawry – University of Witwatersrand, Institute of Reproductive Health and HIV, South Africa
Majidah Hamid – Adiamoh – Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia and the University of Lagos, Nigeria
Jinal Bhiman – University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Olubokola Adenubi (Nigeria) – University of Pretoria, South Africa
Olotu Ifeoluwa (Nigeria) – University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Danielle Twilley – University of Pretoria, South Africa
Edith Chepkorir – International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya
“The scientific research areas covered by this year’s fellows are varied and include studies in the fields of life and engineering sciences, food and water security as well as health. New and emerging areas include laser science, nanotechnology, renewable energy and climate change science. These research studies are aimed at addressing the new sustainable development goals and building a sustainable future and planet,” the organisers say.
Speaking on the impact of the programme, Sandeep Rai, Managing Director of L’Oréal South Africa, says that more than 2000 women who have gone through the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme have ben recognised worldwide while the initiative itself “has gained recognition from the international scientific community, a springboard to enable women to go further and rise to greater heights.”
Rai streeses the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa programme, that works in partnership with UNESCO’s African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI), “has reached many women across Africa. Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, ANSTI Coordinator and one of this year’s judges, reinforced the need for ‘science for a sustainable future, we want female scientists to be counted’.”