DIRCO awards SA nuclear scientist, WHO DG and others during Ubuntu Awards

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The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has recognised Nuclear scientist Nomso Kana for her contributions in empowering women and girls in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region during the 6th Ubuntu Awards at the ICC in Cape Town.

The Ubuntu Awards seek to recognise the efforts of South Africans who promote South Africa’s national interests and values through their service and personal contribution towards advancing the country’s image across the globe.

Kana, who is also a South African delegation leader for the world sustainability energy forum based in Austria took home the statue for social responsibility, which she dedicated to girls she has met through her work.

Kana says, “Girls that I meet in the SADC region, with so much interest in science, they really want to contribute to the growth of our continent and this is where we believe our generation will lead in artificial intelligence. Africa, and our country, will not just consume, we’ll also participate, innovate, and also generate ideas that can put our continent in the forefront.”

Aspen Pharmacare won the Global Economic Diplomacy Award and Old Mutual won the Africa Global Diplomacy Award, during the award ceremony.

6th Ubuntu Awards Ceremony honours several eminent persons for their distinguished service:

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received the Special Ubuntu Humanitarian Award.

Ghebreyesus is currently in the country to discuss progress in making Africa self-sufficient in the production of COVID19 vaccines & related treatments.

“We hope that this year will be the end of the acute phase of the pandemic. Of course, we have to reach 70% vaccination coverage in each and every country. And we have to observe the public health measures, but I believe that the future in South Africa, our continent and the whole world will be better if we can use this pandemic as an opportunity, because it’s not just a health issue. It has exposed everything, the inequities, the inequalities and all the problems that we have,” Ghebreyesus said upon receiving the award.

Ghebreyesus said that WHO had started a hub in South Africa for mRNA technology transfer. He cited two reasons why the country was selected for the hubs.

“First, the most difficult problems in terms of vaccine equity and the major gap in terms of production, you see it in Africa. Second, South Africa, we believed, was ready and had the potential to host it as a hub. Our baby is in good hands and this hub is not just for South Africa, but for Africa and the whole world,”

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus honoured with a Special Ubuntu Humanitarian Award