2015 AWARD Fellowship Laureates from left: Juliana Mandha (Tanzania), Ifeoluwa Olotu (Nigeria) and Ngozi Edoh (Nigeria), attending the Mentoring Orientation Workshop, being held in Nairobi, Kenya. The three are among 70 winners from 11 countries across Africa out of 1,109 applicants who applied to participate in the two-year career-development program for top women agricultural scientists.
NAIROBI, KENYA—FEBRUARY 17 2015— “Agricultural research and development in Mozambique is an important tool for increasing production, and consequently reducing household malnutrition and poverty, particularly in children and women,” says Olivia Narciso Pedro, a lecturer and researcher at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique. “My vision for agriculture-led growth in Mozambique is to design alternatives to mitigate loss of genetic diversity, and ensure conservation of species, while improving household food security.”
Pedro is one of 70 outstanding African women agricultural scientists to have been awarded a 2015 fellowship from African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). The winners have been publicly announced this week in Nairobi, Kenya, where they have convened for an orientation workshop.
“I first found out about the AWARD Fellowship in 2009 from my colleague who worked at the veterinary faculty, and was an AWARD Fellow. Late last year when I received the notification that I had won, I felt overwhelmed, happy and excited to be part of such an outstanding network of African women scientists,” says Pedro.
This years' laureates were selected from among an impressive cadre of 1,109 applicants from 11 African countries. These scientists and researchers, will benefit from AWARD's two-year career-development program that is focused on accelerating agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills. AWARD Fellowships are granted on the basis of each scientist's intellectual merit, leadership capacity, and the potential of her work to improve the livelihoods of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.
AWARD Fellows share a common vision: they want to translate their research and knowledge into tangible action, tangible action that will benefit smallholder farmers—especially laudable in 2015, the African Union's Year of Women's Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063.