The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office of sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA) announced the winner of its annual Regional Young Scientists’ award. Ms Alice Wamundiya, a Rwandan national based at the University of the Witwatersrand is the recipient of this prestigious prize. She is awarded the 2016 TWAS-ROSSA Regional Young Scientists’ Prize for her contribution to the advancement of human rights issues in sub- Saharan Africa through research and direct community interventions under the theme: Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.
This prize is awarded in fulfilment of the TWAS objective of recognising, supporting and promoting scientific capacity and excellence in the developing world. The protection and attainment of human rights is an important issue in society. Awareness creation of human rights through scientific research and practices brings commonality amongst the diverse cultures in Africa.
Wamundiya is the Chairperson of Unity for Tertiary Refugee Students (UTRS), a non-profit organisation in South Africa that she helped found and works with on a voluntary basis. She is also a member of the UTRS Lobbying and Advocacy Task Team (LATT). She holds a BA in Psychology, Language and Communication and an Honours degree in Development Studies from the University of the Western Cape where she has been on the Dean’s Merit list numerous times. She has a Masters Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Cape Town after being awarded the prestigious bursary from the Mandela Rhodes Foundation for African Scholars, and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Displacement and Migration at the University of Witwatersrand. She has been chosen as one of the 100 Brightest Young Minds in South Africa, one of 300 most influential global youth Partners of Oxfam International, and was voted on the Central Coordinating Committee (CCC) of the Mandela Rhodes Scholars for 2011. For her efforts, in 2012, she received the 2012 Inyathelo Award for Social Justice Philanthropy, presented by the South African Institute for Advancement, and in 2014 was chosen as a Clinton Global Youth Ambassador. In 2015, she was runner up for the 2015 Reconciliation Award from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.
TWAS-ROSSA is hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa. TWAS-ROSSA is one of five regional offices of TWAS which is based in Trieste, Italy.
ASSAf provides secretariat support to the regional office, and coordinates efforts to promote the activities of TWAS and its affiliated organisations in sub-Saharan Africa.