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iThemba LABS Senior Scientist Malik Maaza Receives National Order of Mapungubwe

iThemba LABS celebrates the national recognition of one of its outstanding senior research scientists, Professor Malik Maaza, who received the South African National Award of the Order of Mapungubwe  in the Silver category. Maaza proudly received his Order of Mapungubwe Silver award from the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Awards Ceremony held on 25 April 2019 at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.

South Africa annually bestows National orders on South African Citizens and selected distinguished foreign nationals in recognition of their contributions in various spheres that impact positively on South African societal advancement.

Honoured for his outstanding contribution to his specialist field of Nanosciences, Maaza is one amongst the 30 recipients to whom the 2019 South African National Orders were conferred in various categories by President Ramaphosa.  Maaza’s citation for the Order of Mapungubwe in Silver read…”For your outstanding contribution to the field of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. You are a pioneer on the African continent. Your work has improved our knowledge and made headway in the development of cutting edge modern technology.”

A naturalized South African, originally from Algeria, who studied in France when asked for a comment after accepting the Award, Professor Maaza said: “There are no words in the Harraps or the Larousse to express appropriately my full gratitudes to iThemba LABS and the NRF for the profound support I have been offered over the years to research and publish in my field without a hint of hindrance. I feel deeply honoured and privileged to receive a national award from the highest office of the land”.

Maaza’s work has received both continental and global recognition in the form of prestigious awards from organizations such as the African Union, UNESCO and the World Cultural Council.  Maaza received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Award in Scientific Excellence (AUKNASE) on 28 January 2018 for his Nanotechnology work on the African Continent, and was honoured the same year (4 June 2018) by the World Cultural Council with the prestigious Jose Vasconcelos World Award on Education which he received at the City University of Hong Kong.

Maaza remarked, “all these awards are very special to me, to the students I co-supervise and to the post-doctoral researchers I work with; but the National Order of Mapungubwe is the most special of them all”.

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Well done Professor Maaza: iThemba LABS and the NRF family at large are proud of your achievements.