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African women who are Nobel Prize Winners


African women who are Nobel Prize Winners

List of African Women who are Nobel Prize Winners

Nobel prize is awarded annually to people across the globe who have performed exemplary in areas such as peace, medicine, physics, medicine, or psychology. The prize has been awarded to more than 800 individuals since 1969. Among the many winners across the world, we have several African women in different fields who have received the prize.

  1. Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist was awarded the prize in 2004. She was recognized for her efforts in democracy, development, and peace. Through her ‘Green belt movement’ she led a campaign against deforestation in 1977. She also led women in planting trees not only in Kenya but the whole Africa continent.

The Nobel committee felt that her movement was not only about development but also promoting women rights  and democracy.

”There comes a time when humanity is called….to reach a higher moral ground”-Wangari Maathai

She was the first  black African woman to win the nobel price at the age 0f 64. She passed away in 2011 while rceibing treatment in Nairobi, Kenya.

2. Nadine Gordimer

The South African Author was one of the strongest voices against apartheid. She published several novels and short stories narrating the drama that came with human life and the societal emotions brought by the white minority ruling for decades. Some of her books were however banned by the apartheid community.

”The truth is not always beautiful, but the hunger for it is,”-Nadime Gordimer

Some of her top works include Burger’s daughter(1979), The conservationist(1974) and July’s people(1974)

She won the the nobel prize in literature in 1991

3. Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

Dorothy was an English scientist born in Cairo . She won the nobel prize for chemistry in 1964 aftr she was recognized for her “determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances”, including of penicillin and vitamin B12.

4. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Elllen is the first woman to be elected as President in Africa. She won the 2011 nobel peace prize for her efforts to fight for the safety of women.

She became Liberia’s president in 2006  while the country was still rebuilding itself from the civil war. She was awarded at the age of 73 years.


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Wamaitha is an economist, writer, and content creator based in Nairobi, Kenya

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