The L’Oréal–UNESCO for Women in Science Programme has awarded fellowships to fourteen exceptional young women scientists

Alexandra Palt VP, L’Oreal Foundation

L’Oréal – UNESCO for Women in Science Programme


The programme was created in 1998 to support African female scientists. Since its inception, the programme has raised the profile of 3,100 women scientists. However, the glass ceiling still remains in the scientific field. Considering that only 3% of the Nobel Scientific Prize has been awarded to women there’s still a long way to go.

During the ninth sub-Saharan African fellowship ceremony, the L’Oréal foundation reiterated its strong commitment to contributing to the development of  African female scientists and the scientific excellence of women in Africa.

“The world needs science, and science needs women: nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than in African countries, which face significant challenges including climate change, access to energy or food security. Science and technology are key to addressing these challenges, and this will not be possible without women. Their talents and perspectives enrich relevant research,” said Alexandra Palt, Executive Vice President of the L’Oréal Foundation.

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During the conference, she also added, “After eight editions in South Africa, we decided to host our ceremony in Nairobi to reinforce our commitment to giving all sub-Saharan African women scientists an opportunity.”

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Fellowship winners


Olanike Akinduyite – Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
: Computer science
Title of project:
Fingerprint-based key-binding biometric cryptosystem

Rima Beeso 

Rima Beeso– University of Mauritius, Mauritius
: Biology – Biochemistry
Title of project:
Investigation of the biochemical characterisation, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic potentials of some selected marine invertebrate species.

Takalani Cele

Takalani Cele – UNISA, South Africa
: Environmental science -Condensed matter physics
Title of project: Platinum group metals (PGM) nano-particles & hybrid nano-composites by gamma radiolysis/EISA.

Dr Maralize Everts

Dr Marilize Everts – University of Pretoria, South Africa
: Mechanical engineering – Fluid mechanics
Title of project: Heat transfer and pressure drop of high viscosity fluids in solar receiver tubes.

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Charlene Goosen

Charlene Goosen – Stellenbosch University, South Africa
: Health Sciences – Epidemiology
Title of project: Effect of oral iron supplementation on the gut microbiome in HIV-infected children.

Lerato Hlaka

Lerato Hlaka – University of Cape Town, South Africa
: Health sciences – Infectious diseases
Title of project: Characterization of minor groove binders (MGBs) as novel lead compounds and the use of non-ionic surfactant vesicles (NIVs) to improve their efficacy for treatment of tuberculosis.

Harshna Jivan

Harshna Jivan– University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
: Physics – Nuclear physics
Title of project: Study on the influence of nuclear deformation on the pygmy dipole resonance in samarium isotopes.

Dr Priscilla Kolibea Mante

Dr Priscilla Kolibea Mante – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
Speciality: Environmental science – Neuroscience
Title of project:
Anticonvulsant activity of cryptolepine and its solid-lipid nanoparticles in the management of neurocysticercosis-induced epilepsy.

Gladys Mosomtai

Gladys Mosomtai – International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya
: Environmental science – Geoscience
Title of project: Influence of landscape dynamics, microclimate variability and agronomic practices in the coffee pathosystem of smallholder farms in Murang’a County, Kenya.

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Fiona Mumoki

Fiona Mumoki – University of Pretoria, Kenya
: Biology – Entomology
Title of project: Role of brood pheromones in inhibiting dominance in Apis mellifera capensis reproductive parasites.

Shalena Naidoo

Shalena Naidoo– Stellenbosch University, South Africa
: Health sciences – Immunology – Virology
Title of project: The Longitudinal perspective on the impact of immune Status on the HIV-1 latent reservoir and neurocognitive outcomes in virologically suppressed children.

Olaperi Okuboyejo

Olaperi Okuboyejo – University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Speciality: Computer science – Artificial intelligence
Title of project: Enhanced automatic feedback generation for the learning of regular expressions.

Andrea Wilson

Andrea Wilson – University of Pretoria, South Africa
: Biology – Genomics
Title of project: Sexual reproduction in Huntiella species.

Madelien Wooding

Madelien Wooding – University of Pretoria, South Africa
: Chemistry -Health sciences
Title of project: Chemical communication between the malaria-carrying mosquito, Anopheles arabiensis, and its human host.




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