Five African women scientists were honored Thursday at the African Union’s 11th anniversary celebration.
A.U. chairman Jean Ping told the crowd he wanted to do more to encourage women to participate in fields that have been dominated by men.
The five honorees include Genevieve Barro, the first female mathematics professor at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Salimata Wade, an award-winning Senegalese nutrition scientist, and Mary Abukutsa, an expert on producing indigenous vegetables in poor countries.
Hassina Mouri, a geology professor in South Africa, said she and the other the honorees hope to act as role models to inspire young girls to work hard.
Grace Murilla, a Kenyan working on drugs for parasitic diseases, urged young women to set goals, find a mentor and “never give up.”
Each received a $20,000 prize.
The A.U. says it will offer this award each year at anniversary celebrations. voa