By Mary Hearty

Two exceptional women scientists from the Africa Academy of Sciences, Professor Agnès Binagwaho and Professor Catherine Ngila, are among the 15 women scientists who have received the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Awards.

Professor Agnès Binagwaho, Professor of Pediatrics and Vice-Chancellor of Global Health Equity University in Kigali, Rwanda, was selected as the 2022 Laureate for Africa and the Arab States.

She was awarded for her central role in expanding access to public healthcare for the most vulnerable communities in Rwanda, Africa and beyond, helping reduce the global burden of disease and improving lives.

Her work and her unwavering commitment to public health are driving access to HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, and under five health services, and universal health coverage more broadly.

Professor Agnes Binagwaho, laureate of the 2022 L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Awards

Professor Catherine Ngila, acting Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences, , and Visiting Professor of Applied Chemistry at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, was selected as the 2021 Laureate for Africa and the Arab States.

She was awarded for her ground-breaking contribution to water quality and water resource management in Africa. She has pioneered nanotechnology based analytical methods for monitoring and removing industrial water pollutants, creating a major positive impact by enabling millions of families to benefit from safer drinking water.

Professor Catherine Ngila, laureate of the 2021 L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Awards
Photo credit: UNESCO

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards have championed over 120 exceptional researchers, and 3,800 young talents; supporting the world’s most inspiring female leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics who continue to contribute innovative ways of alleviating the challenges faced in various parts of the world.

The L’Oréal Foundation and United Nations Education and Organization (UNESCO) have worked together for more than 20 years to help empower more women scientists to achieve scientific excellence and participate equally in solving the great challenges facing humanity.

Each year they honor five brilliant female scientists, promote their work globally and empower them to act as role models for aspiring women scientists and future generations.

To support women-led scientific excellence in addressing societal needs worldwide, one Laureate from each of the five major regions of the world is awarded: Africa and the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America.