achievers honoured

30/03/2010. Ndidi ngwakula, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Kgaogel Amanda MaswanganyeSonia Woudberg and Pascaline Fonteh  were awarded the inaugural L'Oreal and Unesco Regional Fellowships for Women in Science in Sub saharan Africa. PIC: VATHISWA RUSELO. 30/03/2010. © SOWETAN
30/03/2010. Ndidi ngwakula, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Kgaogel Amanda MaswanganyeSonia Woudberg and Pascaline Fonteh were awarded the inaugural L'Oreal and Unesco Regional Fellowships for Women in Science in Sub saharan Africa. PIC: VATHISWA RUSELO. 30/03/2010. © SOWETAN

THE inaugural L'Oréal and Unesco Regional Fellowships for Women in Science in sub-Saharan Africa were awarded to five outstanding young women at a ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday night.

THE inaugural L'Oréal and Unesco Regional Fellowships for Women in Science in sub-Saharan Africa were awarded to five outstanding young women at a ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday night.

The high achievers are South Africans Kgaogelo Amanda Maswanganyi and Sonia Woudberg, Nigeria's Ndidi Ngwuluka, Nonhlanhla Mkhize from Swaziland and Cameroon's Pascaline Fonteh.

The women, each a qualifying candidate for a PhD research project, were chosen for their remarkable achievement and promise in scientific research.

The women were chosen by a jury of six professors from countries within the sub-Saharan Africa region, four of whom are distinguished laureates of the L'Oreal-Unesco Award.

The L'Oréal Corporate Foundation awarded each woman R146646 towards completion of their PhD studies in their chosen field of study.

Developed as an extension of the International Fellowships, the L'Oreal-Unesco National Fellowships, with the support of the National Commissions of Unesco, anchor the For Women in Science programme around the world.

The For Women in Science Fellowships programme aims to assist women scientists in sub-Saharan Africa countries to undertake important scientific research in all fields of science, engineering and technology.

Beatrice Dautresme, vice president of L'Oréal and chief operating officer of the L'Oréal Corporate Foundation, said the scarcity of women in scientific research had prompted the L'Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science partnership.

Since the inception of the partnership in 1998, the foundation has been striving to counteract this under-representation by highlighting women as role models in the sciences and by supporting the ambitions of promising young women.

"Through the creation of this new regional fellowship programme, we aim to help young African women pursue their scientific vocations at a critical time in their professional lives," said Dautresme.

The fellowships, organised in conjunction with the African Network of Scientific Institutions, are a three-year pilot programme that aims to recognise and assist women to realise important scientific research in their chosen fields.

Joseph Massaquoi, director of Unesco's Regional Bureau for Science in Africa, said they saw the Regional Fellowships for Women in Science in sub-Saharan Africa as a recognition of exceptional women in science who are helping to change the world in general and their countries in particular.

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