The African Union Commission launched the prestigious African Union Scientific Award Programme in 2008 with the support of its Development Partners. Under this programme prizes are awarded to top African scientists in (a) Life and Earth Science and (b) Basic Science, Technology and Innovation. The objective is to recognize, award and honor outstanding excelling African Scientists for their scientific achievements, discoveries and innovations. This raises the profile of science and technology sector in the African Union Member States and Africa as a whole and thus contributing to Africa 's sustainable development, poverty alleviation and integration efforts. This programme is implemented in three levels as below:
- The Continental Award is open to all African scientists and is the highest level of the programme. It is implemented by the African Union Commission. The two successful winners of the award each receives the current prize of 100,000 USD.
- The Regional Award level is implemented in partnership with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). It aims at promoting the participation of African women in Science, Technology and Innovation. The two winners per region receive a prize of 20,000 USD each.
- The National Young Scientists Award is implemented by Member States who have signed an Implementation Agreement with the AU Commission and its implementation partner TWAS. At the national level, the programme is implemented through National Academy of Science or National Research Councils. This award is intended for male and female young scientists under the age of 40. Two winners per country receive a prize of 2,000 USD each.
The Commission seizes this opportunity to acknowledge its partners, in particular the European Commission for funding this programme since its inception in 2008 and supporting the African Union Commission to deploy science, technology and innovation as enablers for transformative change in the continent.