The winners of Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development for 2015 and 2016 in the fields of health and food security today received their awards at a special gala ceremony held during the fourth Africa-Arab summit in Equatorial Guinea.

The Al-Sumait Prize for African Development is designed to reward innovative and inspiring initiatives and research by individuals and organizations that address the challenges facing the African continent. The award recognizes and honors individuals or institutions who help advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa. The prizes are one million dollars each and a gold medal to the three winners. The Al-Sumait Board of Trustees is chaired by Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait, and includes Mr. Bill Gates, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Former President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Kwaku Aning, Former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Mr. Abdulatif Al-Hamad, Director General and Chairman of the Board of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. 

The 2015 Al-Sumait Health category award went to Professor Kevin Marsh of the University of Oxford and African Academy of Sciences, Kenya, for his sustained efforts to control and eradicate malaria, which affects the health of tens of millions of African children. He said, “I feel tremendously honored by this award that will be used to continue to support the development of science in the continent, particularly through supporting emerging young African research leaders.”

The 2016 Al-Sumait Food Security category award went to two joint winners, the Sweetpotato for Nutrition Team at the International Potato Centre (CIP), Lima, Peru and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.


Dr Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), which administers Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, told the audience that together all the recipients have implemented ground-breaking approaches to tackle and eradicate the scourges of malaria and under-nourishment. Dr Adnan also announced that the invitations for prize nominations for the Education field would open December 2016.

“All Al-Sumait nominees demonstrated a melange of disciplines and academic and real-life research that showed a deep passion to address the challenges facing the great continent of Africa in profound ways,” Dr. Shihab-Eldin said.