Professor Felix Toteu, President of the Geological society of Africa (SGAf) and François Pinard, Director of the international center for training and exchanges in Geosciences awarded on Thursday, November 6, 2008, the 1st CIFEG Price to Seifu Kebede, assistant professor of the University of Addis Ababa. This price rewards this young 35 year-old Ethiopian scientist for its remarkable personal contribution in the so vital field of water resources. The ceremony proceeded at the time of the 22nd Colloquium of African Geology (CAG 22) which was held in Hammamet in Tunisia from November 3rd to 7thlast.
Professor Toteu made a point of stressing that the selection committee, made up of professors Jacques Lang, Alain Durand, Joel Rolet and himself, had assessed the great quality of the candidatures and regretted not being able to award a second price.
As soon as he obtained his Master degree in 1999, Seifu Kebede undertook an intense field activity while taking part in many international programs. Its research, focused in the East-African rift, was dedicated essentially to the functioning of multi-level Ethiopian lakes whose inter-relationships are particularly complicated by the volcanic substratum. After having defended his PhD thesis on these topics at the University of Avignon in 2004 and then joined the IAEA in Vienna for one year devoted to the techniques of isotopic chemistry, Seifu Kebede, after his return in Ethiopia in 2006, diversified his activities: Teaching at the University of Addis Ababa, co-managing the MAWARI regional project of education by research (sustainable management of groundwater resources of the East-African rift), delivering regularly first-class publications, animating a regional group of researchers and very recently accepting the presidency of the Ethiopian association of the hydrogeologists.
The attribution of this 2000 euros prize thus encourages a young researcher-professor who distinguishes himself by an exemplary scientific career as well in the delivery of quality teaching as in the implementation of innovative research projects with regular production of first rank publications.
After the thanks expressed by Seifu Kebede, François Pinard concluded by underlining the support brought by companies which joined the award of this price, making thus possible the organisation of this event: BRGM, la Compagnie française de géothermie (CFG), Dunois voyages, the French committee of the international year of planet earth, Iris instruments and TOTAL. A rendez-vous was taken for the second edition foreseen in 2011 in South Africa.
The ceremony ended with a cocktail party which gathered a great number of participants around the prize winner.
Pictures gallery: pictures of CIFEG prize