Press release -

US$1Million Al-Sumait Prize nomination cycle closes for African development in the field of health

The Al-Sumait Prize for African Development sponsored by the State of Kuwait, has concluded its nomination cycle of the 2021 Prize in the field of health.

“This year the prize recognizes individuals and organisations that have a special focus on the mitigation of health crises such as Covid-19 and SARS. The current pandemic has shown us that health crises have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations, and so I’m hopeful that this years’ winner will be able to deliver new and innovative solutions to the increasingly complex problems facing the continent.” said Hassan Damluji - Board of Trustees representative for Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Board of Trustees, chaired by His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohamad Al-Sabah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the State of Kuwait, is composed of prominent, world-renowned and influential experts with extensive experience and knowledge in African development. The Board recently welcomed a new member, Mr Abdoulie Janneh, who is the Executive Director of the MO Ibrahim Foundation. Previously, Mr. Janneh served as the former Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Previous winners of the Al-Sumait Prize in the field of Health are Professor Kevin Marsh from University of Oxford and African Academy of Sciences, Kenya. For his sustained efforts to control and eradicate malaria, Professor Salim S. Abdool Karim, Director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Professor Sheila K. West, Vice Chair for Research at Wilmer Eye Institute from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Rakai Health Sciences Program.

Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, which honors individuals and/or institutions who help advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa, was established on the initiative of the late Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah. The Prize covers one of three categories each year: Health, Food Security, and Education, and is administered by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).

The Board is expected to confirm the winner of the 2021 Al-Sumait Prize in health by December of this year.


  • Economy


  • health initiatives for africa
  • covid-19
  • science in africa
  • african academy of sciences
  • the bill & melinda gates foundation

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.