Addis Ababa, Jan. 30, GNA – President John Evans Atta Mills has presented the Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award to Nigerian Scientist; Professor Oluwole Daniel Makinde, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Mills was assisted to offer the award by Madam Samia Yaba Nkrumah, Chairperson of the Convention Peoples’ Party and daughter of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President.
The Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also presented an award to Prof Maryke Tine Labuschagne, from South Africa.
The awards were conferred on the two by the African Union (AU) in honour of Dr Nkrumah, a founding father of the Organisation of Africa Unity the predecessor of the AU, for his role in the anti-colonial struggle.
The presentations were done at a ceremony at the 18th ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads ofState and Government, presided over by President Yahya Boni of Benin, Chairperson of the African Union, who was elected into office last Sunday for a one-year term.
Prof Makinde of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology received the Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation Award while Prof Marike Labuschagne of the Bloemfontein University received the Life and Earth Science Award. Each of the award winners took home a cheque for $100,000 dollars.
President Mills in a brief remark said the awards are to motivate the scientists in their work, and thanked the Union for the recognition given to the scientists.
Prof Makinde thanked the AU for the honour done them at the highest level of the Union.
He said it would not only be a morale booster for scientists on the Continent but also encourage the youth to venture into the area, as well as research in science and technology.
Prof Makinde stressed the importance of the study of mathematics, saying “without maths, there is no science, without science no modern technology and without no modern technology, there will be no society”.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has congratulated Prof Makinde on the award, describing Makinde’s achievement as “a source of pride to all Nigerians, particularly worthy of emulation by the younger generation.
“Having a Nigerian win the prestigious Nkrumah award for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, is something that should make every Nigerian proud,” President Jonathan said.
The African Union launched the AU Scientific Award Programme on September 9, 2008.
Renamed as the “African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards” in July 2010, the award is one of the holistic and deliberate measures taken by the AU Commission to maintain science and technology on top of Africa’s development, co-operation and political agenda.
The objective of the programme is to give out scientific awards to top African scientists for their scientific achievements and valuable discoveries and findings.
A jury appointed by the AU last December screened 33 scientists from across the Continent and came out with the two.
Source: Ghana Web.Com – 30 Jan 2012