South African Professor Wins Africa’s Prestigious Science Prize



The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) has announce Professor Daniël Christiaan de Wet Swanepoel from University of Pretoria, South Africa, as the winner of the 2018 Olusegun Obasanjo Prize for Scientific Breakthrough and/or Technological Innovation.

Prof Swanepoel was selected for the prestigious award prize for his innovative and highly impactful research work in tele-health and mobile health (mHealth), specifically in the field of audiology. He has collaborated on and conducted numerous research studies on using smartphone technologies to provide equitable access to hearing healthcare services, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Professor Felix Dapare Dakora, the President of the African Academy of Sciences, says, “Congratulations to Prof Daniël Christiaan de Wet Swanepoel for achieving this feat. This award is a testament to his ingenuity in audiology and his dedication to improving the quality of life of Africans suffering from hearing impairment.

“Prof Swanepoel has pushed the boundaries in science to come up with innovative and impactful solutions to improve ‘ear and hearing care’ in Africa. As I extend my congratulations to him, I also welcome him to our growing membership of Fellows.”

The AAS awards the Olusegun Obasanjo Prize for Scientific Breakthrough and/or Technological Innovation every two years to honour African scientists who have made outstanding contributions in scientific discovery or technological innovation. Winners automatically become Fellows of the AAS as individuals who have reached the highest level of excellence in their field of expertise and have made contributions to the advancement of the field on the African continent.

“It is an honour to receive this prestigious award and it serves as a further inspiration to see access to healthy hearing become a reality for every African” Prof Swanepoel said.

Named after former President of Nigeria, H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the prize will be given to Prof Swanepoel at the 12th AAS General Assembly (GA), themed, Converging the Sciences, Changing the Culture. As the third South African to win the AAS Prize, Prof Swanepoel will receive a prize of $5,000 and also give a public lecture at the GA event, which is taking place from 7-9 December 2020, virtually due to the current global circumstances.

Professor Swanepoel is a Full Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria and Senior Researcher at the Ear Science Institute Australia. He has 20 years of experience in ear and hearing research and is widely recognised as a leading international scholar with more than 160 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. Professor Swanepoel’s research capitalises on the growth in information and communication technologies to explore, develop and evaluate innovative technologies and service delivery models to improve ear and hearing care.



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