The 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Fellowships: Honouring Women in Science


womenJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 29, 2016/ — For the past 18 years, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science ( programme has encouraged, promoted and honoured women scientists all over the world. More than 2,500 researchers from 112 countries have been distinguished for their extraordinary discoveries and supported at key moments in their careers.

Impacting the lives of people around the planet, their discoveries are offering new solutions and answering vital questions. Their ground breaking innovation is advancing entire fields of research and even opening new ones. The fellow’s work and research is contributing to curing diseases, increasing food supplies, enabling sustainable development, helping ensure the survival of our planet to better understand our universe, adding to our knowledge of the very foundations of life.

 “Our changing world has never been in greater need of women and their discoveries. With the For Women in Science programme, the L’Oréal Foundation is committed to promoting these women in science who will change the world. We are determined to fight for science and to build a more beautiful world together,” stated Sandeep Rai, Managing Director, L’Oreal South Africa

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As part of the programme, 14 female scientists from across Sub-Saharan Africa have been honoured for their work and impact in the scientific field. This year applications were received from 26 Countries which is testament to the increasing awareness of the program and our commitment to advancing women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

 The recipients of the Post-Doctoral Fellowships of 10 000 Euros each are:

Stephanie Fanucchi, South Africa, University of Cape Town and CSIR

Title of project:  Deciphering the roles of non-coding RNAs in immune gene regulation

Raquel Garcia, Angola, Centre for Invasion Biology,Stellenbosch University

Title of project:  Effects of plant invasions on native ectotherms under a warming climate

The recipients of the Doctoral Fellowships of 5 000 Euros each are:

Penelope Dobrowsky, South Africa, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town

Title of Project: Legionella Species Persistence Mechanisms in Treated Harvested Rainwater

Usisipho Feleni, South Africa, University of Western Cape

Title of Project: Smart bio-electrochemical sensing and signaling of inter-individual responses to breast cancer treatment

Xandri Schoultz, South Africa, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Title of Project: Novel rhenium-benzazole complexes as anti-cancer agents

Juliet Sackey, Ghana, University of South Africa (UNISA)

Title of project: Biomimicry of the multi-scaled architecture on selected butterfly wings for photonic applications

Millicent Akotam Agangiba, Ghana, University of Cape Town

Title of project: Investigating E-government Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Developing Countries – The Case of Ghana

Madina Mohamed Adia, Uganda, Makerere University

Title of project: Bioactivity, Toxicity and Phytochemistry of selected medicinal plants used by Rukararwe and Prometra Herbalists in treatment of malaria in Uganda

Luicer Anne Ingasia Olubayo, Kenya, University of Witwatersrand

Title of project: Construction and functional characterization of Genotype E of Hepatitis B virus replication competent plasmids with authentic endogenous promoters

Angela Karoro, Uganda, University of South Africa (UNISA)

Title of project: Solar selective properties of the ‘Laser treated tubular cobalt-alumina nanocomposite.’

Bibi Nafiisah Chotun, Mauritius, University of Stellenbosch

Title of project: Hepatitis B virus-related liver cancer in South Africa: Investigations into the risk profile of a previously unscreened population from the Western Cape, South Africa

Colette Njiki Chatue, Cameroon, University of Dschang

Title of Project: Petrogenesis of the Numba granitic pluton (SW – Cameroon)

Rokhiya Dia, Senegal, Université de Thiès

Title of Project: Numerical simulation of velocity and pressure fields for fluid flow through microtubes with complex geometries: Application to the flow dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid along a shunt device in patients with hydrocephalus pathology

Eseoghene Umukoro, Nigeria, University of Johannesburg,

Title of project: Experimental and computational study of the electrochemical and photo-electrochemical oxidation of organic pollutants at carbon based-semiconductor composite electrodes

Our L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa program in partnership with UNESCO’s African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI) has reached many women across Africa.

The prestigious ceremony where fellows were presented with the fellowship took place on the evening of 28th September at The Venue Greenpark, Johannesburg.

The keynote address was delivered by International Laureate from the 2016 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Award, Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director: CAPRISA, PI: CAPRISA Clinical Trials Unit, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology Columbia University and Honorary Professor in Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Professor Abdool Karim was chosen from the Africa & Arab States region for her remarkable contribution to the prevention and treatment of HIV and associated infections, greatly improving the quality of life of women in Africa.

The recently launched manifesto For Women in Science has already been signed by numerous people across the world. This Manifesto aims to take a stand against the under-representation of women in the sciences. It is available on  so that everyone can support this cause.

Distributed by APO on behalf of L’Oréal Group.

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Media Contacts:  
Helen Da Fonseca
L’Oreal South Africa
Tel:  011 286 0742

About the L’Oréal Foundation:
Accompany. Value. Communicate. Support. Move boundaries. The convictions, the core values which drive the L’Oréal Foundation’s ( commitment to women every day. A commitment divided into two main areas – science and beauty. Through its’ For Women in Science program, a worldwide partnership with UNESCO, the L’Oréal Foundation motivates girls in High School to pursue scientific careers, supports women researchers and rewards excellence in a field where women remain underrepresented. Through its beauty programs, the Foundation assists women affected by illness, who are economically disadvantaged or isolated, to recover their sense of self-esteem and femininity in order to feel better and to fare better. Its’ actions also include providing training programmes for beauty industry professions.

Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization supports international scientific cooperation as a catalyst for sustainable development and for peace between people. UNESCO assists countries in the development of their public policies and in building their capabilities in the fields of science, technology, innovation and scientific education. In addition, UNESCO leads several intergovernmental programs for the sustainable management of freshwater, ocean and terrestrial resources, for biodiversity protection and to promote science’s role in combating climate change and natural disasters. To meet these goals, UNESCO is committed to ending discrimination of all kinds and to promoting equality between women and men.

Four tiers of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme:  L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate Awards: Only five women globally – one leading woman per continent – receive this prestigious award every year and these outstanding scientists are known as Laureates. The award is for accomplished scientists who are honoured for their impact in the field of science.

L’Oréal-UNESCO International Rising Talents recognises the fifteen best fellows each year selected among the winners of the national or regional fellowships covering each of the five regions: Africa & Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.

L’Oréal–UNESCO National Fellowship Programme: These fellowships anchor the For Women in Science programme in 47 countries around the world where L’Oréal has a subsidiary, and thus assures the management and promotion of the programme.

In 2010, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership started the For Women in Science Regional Fellowships including the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa Fellowship programme. The objective of the Regional Fellowships is to bring support to young women pursuing scientific careers in dozens of countries throughout the world where L’Oréal does not have a subsidiary. The Sub-Saharan Africa Fellowship programme covers 49 countries.

L’Oréal Group