UKZN professor Karim elected to head World Academy of Sciences

University of KwaZulu-Natal pro vice-chancellor for African Health, professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, has been elected president of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

Karim, who will serve as TWAS’ seventh president, is the first woman to hold the position and her term runs from 2023 to 2026.

She said it is a privilege to be elected to head TWAS.

“To have the opportunity to build on the strong foundations established over four decades by my predecessors in realising the aspirational vision of the founder, Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, on the use of science to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in the developing world,” Karim said.

She succeeds Dr Mohamed Hassan, who congratulated her and said: “She is an accomplished scholar, scientist and health policy leader with deep knowledge of what it takes to train developing world scientists and make a powerful real-world impact with her research.

“I wish the new TWAS president and council every success. I am confident that under their guidance, the academy will not only continue to build scientific capacity through research, education, policy and diplomacy but [will] also expand its activities and programmes, taking TWAS to new heights.”

Karim, who co-chairs the UN Sustainable Development Goal 10-member technology facilitation mechanism, said: “This is also an opportunity for scientific excellence in developing countries to flourish, as we continue to find solutions to the ongoing and new challenges that face the most vulnerable in our communities, and ensure that we can all realise our full potential as one people in a safe planet that ensures a sustainable future for all who inhabit it.”

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