Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize Recognizes CAMFED for Transformative Impact on Education in Africa

The prize valued at $1,000,000 awarded annually Honors individuals or institutions who help to advance economic and social development, human resources development and infrastructure in Africa.

Kuwait City, May 27th, 2024: The Board of Trustees of the prestigious Al-Sumait Prize for African Development proudly announces CAMFED – The Campaign for Female Education – as the recipient of the 2023 Al-Sumait Prize in the field of education. This esteemed award, chaired by His Excellency, Kuwait’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulah Ali Al-Yaha, acknowledges CAMFED’s outstanding contribution to advancing education across the African continent.

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), which oversees the Al-Sumait Prize, commends CAMFED for its relentless pursuit of ensuring that vulnerable girls are not only seen and heard, but also supported to realize their full potential. Recognizing education as a fundamental human right, CAMFED’s initiatives have not only saved lives and alleviated suffering but also upheld the dignity of young girls and women throughout Africa. CAMFED has significantly improved educational opportunities, earning global recognition for their distinguished efforts.

The Foundation explained that through this Prize, which it administers, the State of Kuwait has helped organizations working in Africa to be recognized for their exemplary and impactful projects and programs, in addition to recognizing their dedication to improving the health of communities across various African countries. It noted that the Prize, that year, received 32 nominations from 13 countries.

Under the visionary leadership of CEO Angeline Murimirwa, co-founder of the unique network of leaders and peer mentors educated with CAMFED support, CAMFED is addressing the intersecting challenges of poverty and gender inequality, particularly in rural African communities. Murimirwa, one of the first young women supported to go to secondary school by CAMFED in Zimbabwe, is uniquely positioned to bring the expertise of girls and women once excluded from education to inform policy and strategy at every level. She said, “We are thrilled to be honoured with Kuwait’s Al-Sumait Prize, and to join so many inspirational organizations committed to unlocking Africa’s extraordinary potential. Thank you for shining a spotlight on the power of girls, young women, and their communities, and recognizing that it takes all of us to ensure that every child secures their right to learn, thrive and lead change in this generation.” 

Established in honour of the late Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s noble initiative during the Arab African Summit in 2013, the Al-Sumait Prize pays homage to the legacy of Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait, a Kuwaiti doctor whose life’s work was dedicated to addressing the critical challenges of health, education, and food security in Africa. The Al-Sumait Prize underscores its commitment to advancing economic, social, and human development across the African continent by recognizing exemplary studies, scientific projects, applied research, and initiatives that leave a lasting impact on African communities.

The Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development is chaired by His Excellency Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya Kuwait’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Other board members include: Mr. Abdulatif Alhamad, former Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development; Mr. Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Kwaku Aning, Chairman of the Governing Board of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Chairman of Ghana Nuclear Energy Institute and former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Prof. Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Dr. Jaouad Mahjour, Assistant Director-General of the of the World Health Organization in charge of the Emergency Management and Response Program; Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Director at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and former Assistant and Regional Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Program in Africa; Mr. Marwan Al Ghanim, Director General of the Kuwait Fund for Arabic Economic Development and Dr. Ameenah Farhan, Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

a member of the CAMFED Association of women leaders educated with CAMFED support and trained Learner Guide — leads a My Better World life skills and self-development session with secondary students in Morogoro, Tanzania.