Rabat – Morocco’s Rachid Yazami has added a new award to his repertoire. On Tuesday, September 17, the scientist received the Arab Investor Award in the “Green Application” category.
The award is in recognition of the scientists’ research and inventions.
The scientist received the award at a ceremony held at the UNESCO headquarters.
The award is an initiative of the International Forum of Arab Investors (FIIA).
A Fez native and world-renowned battery researcher, Yazami is well known for inventing the graphite anode that is still the number one electrode used in rechargeable lithium batteries.
The batteries are used in laptops, cameras, mobile phones, and other technological devices.
Talking to Morocco World News about the award, Yazami said, “It was kind of a surprise to me, I did not expect it at all.”
Referring to the awards ceremony at the UNESCO headquarters, he said: “It was a good surprise for me to see many Moroccans attended from several sectors, companies, industries, and entrepreneurs.”
Innovation in the Arab world
He told MWN, “More and more, the Arab world is starting to pay attention to the inventors and the guys who are making innovations and taking some risk in technology and other areas.”
Yazami added that the Arab world has a history of innovation, and that it is just starting to reignite that historic passion. “Little by little I feel that the Arab world is just waking up,” he said.
An impressive career
The award is one of the many prizes the scientist has won for his scientific achievements.
In November 2018, the scientist received the Scientific Innovation Award as part of the Takreem 20018 initiative.
Yazami also received the Charles Stark Draper award in 2014 from the Washington-based National Academy of Engineering in recognition for his work in developing reloadable lithium batteries more than 30 years ago.
In 2014, King Mohammed VI honored Yazami with a decoration on Throne Day.
Yazami graduated from the Moulay Rachid and Moulay Driss high schools in Fez. He then obtained his baccalaureate in mathematical sciences in 1971.
After a year at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Yazami moved to the French city of Rouen where he joined preparatory classes for the grandes écoles, before enrolling at the Institut Polytechnique Grenoble (INP) in 1978.
Yazami began his career at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CRNS) in France, where he later became the research director in 1998.
The future for Morocco’s innovators
Talking about his achievements, Yazami told MWN, “I am glad and very happy that I was given the opportunity to show that Morocco..that Moroccan people who studied in public schools can [come from] a very modest family and become a renowned and a recognized person. There is always hope.”
He emphasized that young people should be ready to face the challenges of the 21st century. He added that education is the only means to face the changes and revolutions.
“We have to educate our young generations to be ready to face all of these challenges,” including the climate crisis.
The scientist concluded his statement, emphasizing that his career is a “love story” for his country, family, and for humanity.