Prof. Alta Schutte of the North-West University


The Department of Science and Technology (DST) congratulates the South African scientists who received African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence (AUKNASE) for 2018.  Prof. Alta Schutte of the North-West University and Prof. David Richardson of Stellenbosch University were among four scientists recognised for their work.


Both award recipients have long-standing relationships with the DST through its centres of excellence programme and the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI).


The AUKNASE programme, an African Union Commission initiative, has recognised scientific excellence in Africa since 2008.


Schutte received an award for her fight to improve the health of all Africans. A biomedical scientist and research professor at the North-West University's Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART), she is internationally acknowledged in her field.


Schutte is full professor of Physiology and the SARChI Chair in the Early Detection and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in South Africa, which is hosted by HART. She is also the Director of the South African Medical Research Council's Extramural Unit for Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease, and Vice President of the International Society of Hypertension.


The award is one of the professor’s many accolades; in 2017 she won the Distinguished Women Researcher: Natural and Engineering Sciences category at the DST’s South African Women in Science Awards.


Richardson received an AUKNASE award for his significant contribution to the management of biological invasions and the mitigation of their impact on biodiversity and human livelihoods.

 Prof. David Richardson of Stellenbosch University


A distinguished professor in Stellenbosch University’s Department of Botany and Zoology, Richardson is also a James Marsh Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont in the United States of America, and a director at the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB).  The CIB is one of the world's most productive and influential research groups in the field of biological invasions, which are a rapidly growing threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in Africa and many other parts of the world.


Schutte and Richardson won two of three Laureate of Life and Earth Sciences awards. The third recipient was Prof. Naziha Atti from Tunisia. Egypt's Prof. Abdel-Shafy Fahmy Obada received a Laureate of Basic Science, Technology and Innovation award.


The winners were each given $100 000.


Issue by the Department of Science and Technology


For more information please contact Julian Leshilo-Sebake on 060 961 2194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.