Dr. Catherine Nakalembe Ph.D. 

I'm a 2022 Al-Sumait Laureate

The Board of Trustees of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development (https://www.AlSumaitPrize.org/) announced that Al-Sumait Prize 2022 was jointly awarded to Dr. Catherine Nakalembe and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation.

"The Board added that Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, from Uganda, won the Prize for being a distinguished expert in the field of crop mapping and monitoring, using remote sensing and machine learning techniques. She also leads NASA Harvest Africa program at the University of Maryland, which provides methods and systems to smallholder farmers in Africa, enhancing their skills." Press release

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, serving as the NASA Harvest Africa Lead and the Agriculture and Food Security Thematic Lead on the NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team. 

My expertise lies in researching and developing satellite remote sensing and machine learning applications for agriculture and food security, land use and land-use change mapping, humanitarian mapping, and climate change. I am a leading figure in capacity-building for remote sensing in agriculture monitoring and research, with a special focus on Africa.

My work has been recognized with several awards, including the 2022 Golden Jubilee Gold Medal, the Highest Civilian Award in Uganda, the 2020 Africa Food Prize from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and an Individual Excellence Award from Group on Earth Observations in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019.

I have also been featured in the book "Earth, Oceans, and Skies: Insights from Selected, Outstanding African Women Scientists" by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and named one of the "10 Women Scientists Leading the Fight Against the Climate Crisis" by Global Citizen. 

Some highlights from 2023 include being honored as one of Africa's Top 100 Most Influential African Leaders at the Africa Tech Festival, presenting keynotes at conferences like Tropentag 2023 and the Open Day dell'Innovazione 2023, co-organizing workshops like the ICLR 2023 Workshop on Machine Learning for Remote Sensing, and publishing papers on topics related to agriculture, food security, and earth observation in Africa. I continue to advance the use of satellite data and AI to support smallholder farmers and food security on the continent.

Awards and Honors

Recent News and Events

News and Events Prior to January 2023