2023 NRF Significant Contribution Award

Dr Phil Mjwara

Director-General, Department of Science, Technology and Innovation

NRF Significant Contribution Award

Dr Philemon Mjwara has been a key figure in South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project from early in its development. His support and faith in South Africa’s ability to host such a massive and scientifically important project helped the country in its successful bid to host a segment of the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope array. Over the years, he has assisted in the development not only of the various phases of the projects but also the spinoff benefits that the SKA project has provided, including employment opportunities in construction and eco-tourism, skills development and training, and education from basic to tertiary level. Dr Mjwara holds a PhD in Physics from the University of the Witwatersrand. He served as Professor of Science and Technology Policy at UP and lectured Physics at Wits, UNISA and University of Fort Hare. Since 2006, he has served as the Director-General of the Department of Science and Innovation and recently won the NSTF’s 2023 Ukhozi Award for his contributions to the South African National System of Innovation. Dr Mjwara sits on the Board of the Square Kilometre Array Organisation.