Africa Rice, Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance receive Kuwait's Al Sumait Prize

Al sumait winners 02.JPGThe deputy of HH the Amir of Kuwait, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah awarded the 2019 Al Sumait Prize, which comprises of US$1mn, a gold medal and a plaque at a ceremony held at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait

The joint winners of the 2019 prize are Africa Rice Center (Africa Rice) and Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA). They received half each of the US$1mn award.

Dr Robin Buruchara, director at PABRA, commented, “The award will help us scale out our achievements to reach and have an impact on our beneficiaries across Africa.”

Dr Harold-Roy Macauley, director-general at Africa Rice, said, “We will use the Al-Sumait Prize money to support the development of more efficient seed systems, particularly through the Pan African rice seed capital initiative.”

This initiative has recently been established by Africa Rice to meet the demand for quality rice seed for food security and generating jobs for youth and women.

Initiated in 2013 by HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development is designed to reward innovative and inspiring initiatives and research by individuals and organisations that address the challenges facing the African continent. The award recognises and honours individuals or institutions that help advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa.

Dr Shihab-Eldin, director-general of Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), announced that Africa Rice and PABRA's efforts had had a significant impact on achieving tangible improvements in the lives of millions of malnourished and underfed people. Additionally, their part in promoting the role of women in the agricultural sector has had a very positive effect on the sustainability of their work.

The Prize Board of Trustees includes Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Makhtar Diop, vice-president of the World Bank for Africa; Dr Daniel Gustafson, deputy director-general of FAO and Abdulatif Al-Hamad, director-general and chairman of the Board of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

The Prize, which is awarded on an annual basis, is administered by the KFAS. Nominations for the education cycle are invited and can be received until 30 June 2020.

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