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2021 Al Sumait prize laureate Dr. John N. Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC
2021 Al Sumait prize laureate Dr. John N. Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC

Press release -

The Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development announces the award winners for the year 2021. It was jointly awarded to an African researcher and a research centre in the field of health

Kuwait City 10thMarch 2022: 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.

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Kuwait's Al-Sumait Prizes are a set of annual awards designed to honor significant advances in the fields of food security, health and education in Africa. Administered by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and a Board of Trustees, the awards celebrate the work and accomplishments of Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, a Kuwaiti physician who spent his lifetime helping the poor in Africa in the field of health and education. The objective of the prizes is to recognize best studies, scientific projects, applied research, and innovative initiatives that have a significant impact and lasting influence on advancing progress to economic and social development in Africa. www.alsumaitprize.org

Advancing economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure across Africa

Al-Sumait Prize was launched in December 2015 based on an initiative by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the late Amir of the State of Kuwait. The prize honors individuals or institutions who help to advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in the African continent.

The prize is awarded annually to individuals or institutions within one of three proposed fields – Food Security, Health, and Education – and has a value of $1,000,000 (One million US dollars). The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and the Board of Trustees for the prize oversee the prize.

Celebrating the life of the late Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, a Kuwaiti physician who devoted his life towards helping the poor in Africa, the avowed aim of the awards is to contribute significantly to solving major development challenges facing African nations.

The A-Sumait Board of Trustees is composed of prominent international personalities in the field of development in Africa and world-renowned philanthropists. The Board is chaired by His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohamad Al-Sabah Minister of Foreign Affairs for the State of Kuwait.

Other board members include Mr. Abdulatif Al-Hamad , Director General and Chairman of Board of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Makhtar Diop, World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Dr. Kwaku Aning, Former Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Tareq Al-Mutawa , Executive Member of the Board of Public Gathering Charity Committee and Director General and Chairman of Board of Sadeer Company for Trading and Contracting, and Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

Al-Sumait Prize
Ahmad Al Jaber St., Sharq
PO BOX 25263 Kuwait City
State of Kuwait