Stellenbosch – Stellenbosch University nematologist Dr Nomakholwa Stokwe can look forward to a boost to her academic career after being selected as an affiliate of The African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

“It’s an honour and I feel that it is a big thing considering the support that the AAS promised to provide. I think it is what I really need and is very good for my growth,” Stokwe told HORTGRO Science.

Stokwe was funded by HORTGRO Science during her MSc studies and has running projects with the organisation. She also lectures nematology at Stellenbosch University.

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The nomination and review to identify AAS affiliates was a highly competitive process with over 50 nominations. Nominations spanned across the African continent and included 2 (Central Africa), 6 (Eastern Africa), 4 (Southern Africa), 5 (Northern Africa), and 5 (Western Africa).

“You should, therefore, be proud of this recognition which is a reflection of your high achievements,” said the AAS announcement letter.

The AAS is a Pan African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science technology and innovation.

The ASS Affiliates Programme is to support her institution’s (Stellenbosch University) efforts to achieve the professional growth of young and early-to-mid career professionals in their effort to develop into research leaders.

Stokwe’s selection was based on her academic achievements and also her publication output.

She will receive support for 5 years between 2017 and 2012 and will be assigned a mentor and funding to attend workshops and conferences.

“I think the mentorship part of the programme is the most important for me,” she said.