An impressive prize winner—Malik Maaza

Prof Malik Maaza accepted the 2018 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education at the 35th World Cultural Council Award Ceremony in Hong Kong last week. He says that the award reflects not a personal achievement but recognition of African excellence per se. He is seen here delivering his acceptance speech.

“I accept this unique recognition in the humblest manner and pledge to carry out the noble legacy of the late Honourable José Vasconcelos and instil it in the hearts, minds, and souls of African youth and all those whose paths I cross from this moment on,” said Unisa’s Professor Malik Maaza, receiving the 2018 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education.

He was speaking at the 35th World Cultural Council (WCC) Award Ceremony, hosted in Hong Kong and the Greater China region for the first time, at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 8 November 2018.

Maaza, who is the incumbent of the UNESCO-Unisa Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, receives the award in acknowledgement of his efforts in promoting education for societal development and sustainability. It recognises his international and humanistic approach to science education, as well as his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists in Africa.

Watch the tribute to Unisa’s Professor Malik Maaza here.

Professor Jean-Pierre Changeux, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience at the Institut Pasteur and Collège de France, was granted the 2018 Albert Einstein World Award of Science for his exceptional scientific achievements and leadership in the field of neuroscience, and especially for his pioneering contributions to the understanding of neuroreceptors over the past 50 years at the ceremony.

Over 300 distinguished guests attended the ceremony, which was officiated by, among others, Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU; Professor Sir Colin Blakemore, President of the WCC; and Dr Choi Yuk-lin, Under Secretary for Education, HKSAR Government.

Click here to watch the 35th World Cultural Council Award Ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kuo said, “It is our great honour that CityU has this opportunity this year to host this influential academic award ceremony. We are proud that we are the first university in Hong Kong, and in the Greater China region, in fact, to host such a major event.”

Blakemore said, “Over the years, our distinguished jury members have identified an impressive list of prize winners, selected not only for their scientific, educational or artistic merits, but also for their contributions to the well-being of humanity and their qualities as role models who can inspire future generations.”

Prof Malik Maaza, recipient of the 2018 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education, Prof Sir Colin Blakemore, Dr Choi Yuk-lin, and Dr Esteban Meszaros Wild at the 35th World Cultural Council Award Ceremony, held at City University of Hong Kong on 8 November 2018.

Guest of honour Choi thanked CityU for bringing this signature event to Hong Kong. She said, “The development of science is indeed closely linked with school education. Nurturing talent with different science and technology expertise is not only essential for meeting the challenges of today's world, but also significant for enhancing the long-term development and competitiveness of Hong Kong.”

The WCC Award Ceremony also granted special acknowledgements to young researchers and scholars from Hong Kong who have achieved outstanding performances in the fields of science, education or the arts.

“I am pleased to see nine of our own CityU scholars receiving special recognition diplomas from the WCC today,” Kuo said. “Coming from engineering, creative media, science and public policy disciplines, they have outstanding records of giving back to society through their research.”

*Compiled by Sharon Farrell

Publish date: 2018/11/12