President Jacob Zuma on Sunday congratulated South African scientist Professor Robert Millar on winning the prestigious African Union (AU) Kwame Nkrumah award.
Speaking following Professor Millar's win of the award on Sunday, President Zuma said the development of science and technology is essential for improving the lives of Africa's people.
"The development of science and technology is essential for the improvement of the lives of Africa's people, and this is one area where we need to invest resources and encourage our youth to explore," he said of the accolade awarded during the opening ceremony of the 30th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Professor Millar won in the Life and Earth Sciences category. Each winner receives US$100 000 in prize money.
"The South African government will continue to provide a conducive environment for research and innovation as one of those areas identified in the National Development Plan," said President Zuma.
The awards which have been running since 1998, are in memory of Pan-Africanist and Ghana's first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The Summit opened on Sunday under the theme of anti-corruption.
The 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of AU, as part of the ongoing 30th AU Summit held from 22 - 29 January, brings together Heads of State and Government from AU member states, officials of the AU, representatives from partner organisations, diplomatic corps and other invited guests.
President Zuma arrived in Addis Ababa on Saturday ahead of the two-day AU Summit scheduled to end on Monday.