University of Pretoria partners with AGA to honour exceptional Africans
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The University of Pretoria has partnered with the African Genius Awards(AGA), which honour exceptional Africans who espouse the values needed to take Africa forward.
The awards which were launched last year and will be hosted today, on Africa Day , will take place at the university's Future Africa campus and institute at 6pm and will be streamed on YouTube.
One of South Africa’s most historical figures and Struggle stalwart Steve Biko is one of the nominees for the African Genius Awards.
According to the university, the awards seek to identify, and through a rigorous nomination and research process, honour outstanding individuals who contribute to Africa’s growth.
Other nominees include Thobekile Mkhize, a 35-year-old entrepreneur from Durban who founded the Mabotho brand of fashion products that tell the African story; as well as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author who asserts that narratives have power.
They are part of a group of 24 nominees.
“The awards are not about positions in society or professions, but rather about possessing a unique skill that affects society positively – the genius should have a proven constructive and encouraging impact,” the university said.
The awards are also said not to consider academic qualifications as a unique skill, although having achieved them consistently in unusual circumstances with distinction could lead to nomination.
UP vice-chancellor and principal Professor Tawana Kupe said the university’s Future Africa campus was a place where Africa’s leading scientists came together to leverage the benefits of transdisciplinary research to address the grand challenges that face Africa and the world.
“We welcome partnerships and collaborations in the co-creation of knowledge.
“Africa is brimming with talent and, in years to come, it will provide human resources to the west, which has an ageing population.
“Africa is rich in natural resources and has a growing and youthful population but has yet to achieve inclusive and sustainable development,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Plus 94 Research and Priority Performance Projects, chief executive Dr Sifiso Falala said, “we are very excited to partner with an illustrious institution such as the University of Pretoria”.
“The track record of UP speaks for itself.
“Its quest for continued relevance going into the future is admirable, and a major give-away of its visionary leadership.”