Nominations for the 2022 African Genius Awards now open as UP gears up to host 2nd ceremony

Posted on October 20, 2021

Nominations for the 2022 African Genius Awards (AGA) have opened, after a successful inaugural awards ceremony was held at a virtual launch hosted by the University of Pretoria (UP) earlier this year. Next year’s ceremony will be held at the University’s Future Africa Institute in May.

A partnership between Plus 94 Research, Priority Performance Projects and UP, the awards honour people of all ages who show advanced problem-solving skills, are globally competitive and committed to Africa’s development. The public is urged to nominate those Africans who have made an outstanding contribution towards the realisation of African self-determination, dignity and exceptionalism.

Plus 94 Research and Priority Performance Projects CEO Dr Sifiso Falala defined an African genius as “any individual who possesses unique characteristics and skills and has used them to address challenges or to impact African societies. This is in ways that are uplifting, transformative and build the esteem of Africans and inspire them to make significant contributions to the continent and its countries’ development in different ways.”

He said the launch of these awards this year was a success. “The message from the public and participants was that this initiative was long overdue. The AGAs have demonstrated an amazing ability to bring together society with business and the academic community. We are excited about our partnership with all these sectors of our continent and see the future of this continent being driven by a business world that is in touch with academics, and an academic world that prides itself in being relevant.”

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe said: “South Africa and our continent Africa have their own geniuses, with the likes of Dr Chris Barnard who performed the world’s first heart transplant in 1967.” UP physicist Professor Mmantsae Diale has been building scientific capacity among students since 2005 and has significantly increased the number of women in physics in South Africa, while Professor Lyn-Marie Birkholtz’s team made a major malaria research breakthrough this year, he added.

“The continent needs good leaders who are well-educated and well-skilled as well as well-rounded citizens with foresight and wisdom, in every sector. We also need strong institutions that can anchor sustainable democratic futures, inclusive economic development and social progress,” said Prof Kupe.

He explained that while Africa has the youngest population, which will provide labour to the rest of the world, it still needs to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. “Africa needs to become a knowledge-based economy so that its people find solutions to its own problems, instead of looking to the north.”

The 2021 AGA winners were renowned activist, the late Bantu Stephen Biko; businessman Aliko Mohammed Dangote; and award-winning author Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe.

Nominations close on 31 January 2022  at Nominees scoring between 90% to 100% will be awarded trophies. Those who score between 80% to 89% will be awarded medals.

Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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