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The Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development announces the award winners for the year 2021

Mar 09, 2022

It was jointly awarded to an African researcher and a research center in the field of health

The Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development announced that Al-Sumait Prize 2021 was jointly awarded to Dr. John N. Nkengasong and The African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in recognition of their dedication and outstanding achievements in the field of Health in Africa.

The Board said that the decision to award the prize of one million dollars jointly to Dr. John N. Nkengasong, Director of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) was in recognition of his essential role in developing Africa’s response to disease outbreak and for being the chief scientist directing Africa’s response to Covid-19. He also played a key role in providing technical support to strengthen public health and disease control in the African Union. He shaped the continent’s control over Covid-19 and initiated key programs that have impacted Africa’s outbreak response.

The Board added that The African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), which is based in Nigeria, is awarded the Prize for its leading development of the field of infectious disease genomics, through the high-quality translational research and capacity building in Africa which has significantly transformed the understanding of pathogens evolution, transmission dynamics, and applications of genomics knowledge in outbreak response.

On this occasion, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) congratulates the two laureates who have demonstrated results of far-reaching positive impact, introduced innovative programs to many African countries and responded creatively to health issues and challenges.”

The Foundation explained that through this Prize, which it administers, the State of Kuwait has helped organizations working in Africa to be recognized for their exemplary and impactful projects and programs, in addition to recognizing their dedication to improving the health of communities across various African countries. It noted that the Prize that year received 61 nominations from 26 countries.

The Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development is chaired by His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr. Ahmed Al-Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah. Other board members include: Mr. Abdulatif Alhamad, former Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development; Mr. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Kwaku Aning, Chairman of the Governing Board of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Chairman of Ghana Nuclear Energy Institute and former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Prof. Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Dr. Jaouad Mahjour, Assistant Director-General of the of the World Health Organization in charge of the Emergency Management and Response Program; Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and former Assistant and Regional Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Program in Africa; Mr. Marwan Al Ghanim, Director General of the Kuwait Fund for Arabic Economic Development and Dr. Khaled Al-Fadhel, Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

It is noteworthy that the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, which is presented annually, was launched by the lofty initiative of His Highness the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may his soul rest in peace, during the Arab-African Summit hosted by Kuwait in 2013. The Prize was launched in honor of the late Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait, the Kuwaiti physician who dedicated his life to address the health, education and food security challenges facing Africa.

The Prize aims to recognize and appreciate the best studies, scientific projects, applied research and initiatives that have a significant impact on the advancement of economic, social, and human resources and infrastructure development on the African continent.

For more information, please visit the prize website or send a message to the following email address