A former astronaut, Claudie Haigneré has accepted to chair the jury of the DStv-Eutelsat Star Awards. Haignere, now special advisor to European Space Agency’s (ESA) Director General, is the first woman to take on the assignment, a step organisers say is “a strong incentive for students dreaming big, especially young women, to live up to their full potential.”

Nearly 6,000 secondary school students have entered the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards competition since it was established by Eutelsat and MultiChoice Africa in 2011. The sixth edition shows sustained interest from African learners aged 14 to 19, adding fresh impetus to the mission shared by MultiChoice and Eutelsat to encourage young minds to positively change their world via innovative thinking in science and technology.

The essay, poster winners and runners-up of this year’s edition will be revealed at a ceremony to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on 7 February.

Haigneré will preside over an international panel of skilled industry experts, alongside government and academic world members.

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