Amir decorates winners of Al-Sumait Prize
Award honors efforts for Africa development
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday decorated winners of Al-Sumait Prize for Africa Development in recognition of their roles in improving health and food security of African nations.
In the presence of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Mbasogo, Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abul Gheit, African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Zuma and a plethora of African and Arab dignitaries, His Highness the Amir honored the winners of the annual Kuwaiti prize for Africa development.
Dr Kevin March of the Kenya-based African Academy for Sciences and Oxford University received Sumait Prize of 2015, $1 million dedicated for health, for his relentless work to improve children’s lives in the African continent.
The 2016 prize, also $1 million and dedicated for food security, was shared by the Peru-based CIP’s Sweet Potato for Nutrition Team and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), based in Nigeria. Dr Barbara Wells, of the Sweet Potato for Nutrition Team, and Dr Namanga Ngongi of the IITA received the awards on behalf of their organizations.
“We are delighted to recognize tonight the monumental achievements of the recipients of the awards,” Dr Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Governor of Al-Sumait Prize Board of Trustees, said at the ceremony held the Equatorial Guinea’s capital on the sidelines of the 4th Afro-Arab Sumait.
“Together, the three winners have undertaken, with unwavering commitment, ground-breaking applied research and field work to tackle and overcome the scourges of two major impediments to development in Africa, malaria and under-nourishment,” he added.
Shihab-Eldin, also Director General Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), extended heartfelt congratulations to the laureates who tried through their initiatives and work to create brighter future for Africa.
“Their award winning seminal works provide a brighter future for the lives and wellbeing of tens of millions in Africa, especially children,” he said. He also thanked His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for launching the prize in the 3rd Arab-African Sumait that was held in Kuwait in November 2013.
“I must above all thank His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah for his initiative to launch the Prize, which is part of his continued leadership of worldwide Humanitarian initiatives for which he has been recognized by the UN.”
Meanwhile, Dr Marsh expressed his pleasure to be among the first winners of Al-Sumait Prize. “It is an enormous honor and privilege to be here today to receive the Al Sumait prize,” he said.
Dr March, who would receive the $1 million prize, won the award for his sustained efforts for around three decades in scientific research, training and building of institutions with the objective of controlling and eradicating Malaria.
“This prize is especially exciting for a number of reasons; first because it is about Africa, the continent to which Dr Abdulrahman Al Sumait dedicated his working life; it is also the continent which I have called home for most of my adult life,” he elaborated. “Secondly because it is a bold initiative which turns our eyes away from what we might call the traditional sources of support for research and development in Africa.” He concluded that these prizes will act as a stimulus and inspiration to researchers across the continent.
Laureate Dr Barbara Wells of the Sweet Potato Team expressed gratitude for Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled AlSabah, KFAS, and Al-Sumait Prize Board for this great honor. “This award is a recognition of the ground breaking orange flesh sweet potato work that CIP’s scientists have done,” she said. She noted that the team together with its partners have impacted 2.8 million households in 10 countries across SubSaharan Africa. “With the generosity of this most prestigious award, we will accelerate our delivery of impact to scale, reaching millions more households than would otherwise have been possible. Our goal is to impact 15MM households by 2023,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dr Namanga Ngongi stated that his institution the IITA, for almost 50 years, has partnered with African Governments, the international development partners to strengthen the food security in Africa. “IITA is therefore happy to have been recognized for its efforts to support food security on the continent through its many years of research on Africa’s Staple Food Crops,” he said. “These crops, especially Cassava, bananas, plantains, yams, maize, soybean and cowpeas, that are at the core of the food basket of millions of Africans had previously been neglected for many decades in the research agendas of many institutions.”
He added that “IITA pledges to make good use of the prize money to further strengthen its partnership with African research and extension institutions in the common effort towards achieving food and nutrition security on the continent”.
Al-Sumait Prize honors individuals or institutions that help advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa through their sustained research and or innovative projects that result in major impact on the lives and welfare of the people of Africa especially the poor and underprivileged. The prize was announced by His Highness the Amir during the 3rd Arab-African Sumait that was held in Kuwait in 2013 in appreciation of Al-Sumait’s humanitarian legacy in the African continent. —KUNA
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah meets with heads of the GCC delegations participating at the fourth AfricaArab Summit.— Amiri Diwan photos
MALABO: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and other officials pose with winners of Al-Sumait Prize for Africa Development.— Amiri Diwan photos
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah awards Dr Barbara Wells of the Sweet Potato for Nutrition Team.
MALABO: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah meets with Egyptian President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah awards Dr Namanga Ngongi of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture.
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Mbasogo welcomes His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the venue.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah awards Dr Kevin March of the Kenya-based African Academy for Sciences and Oxford University.
Dr Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Governor of Al-Sumait Prize Board of Trustees delivers his speech.