Dr. Segenet Kelemu among recipients of the Women Economic Forum's highest recognition, Women of the Decade Award
New Delhi, India, 26 April - 1 May 2018: Dr. Segenet Kelemu, the Director General of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), is among the recipients of the 2018 Women of the Decade award, the highest recognition conferred by the Women Economic Forum (WEF). A global conference of the ALL Ladies League (ALL), WEF is the largest women chamber in the world, with about 70,000 members in 150 countries.
Dr. Kelemu received the award in the Natural and Sustainable Ecosystems category at this year’s WEF event, held under the theme: The Economics of Goodness: Empowering Potential, Engineering Change.
In a heartfelt speech delivered to over 2000 people from across the globe, Dr Kelemu spoke about her journey from rural Ethiopia, to graduate studies in the United States, and 15 years at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia, first as a Senior Scientist, and later Leader of Crop and Agroecosystem Health Management.
She emphasised: her upbringing, mentorship and support of family and community; vast experience of the challenges and successes associated with agricultural research; colleagues, mentors and mentees; and global research partners, as the key factors that have shaped her career and professional growth, and vision for science-led development in Africa.
"As a scientist and a scientific leader, my dream has always been to assist in the building of an excellent world-class research capacity in developing countries, and in particular in Africa, where such competence is most urgently needed," Dr. Kelemu said.
"This recognition, and its title, Women of the Decade Award, presents a chance to retrospect on my contribution towards this goal over the past 10 years; a significant period for the continent," she added noting that in August 2007, after 25 years away, she decided to return to Africa, to find a continent at crossroads, emerging from years of economic distress to remarkable growth.
Between 2007 and 2012, as the Director of the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub, based in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Kelemu played a role in changing the face of African Biosciences, opening up new possibilities for addressing agricultural constraints.