South African scientist and academic Robert Millar and Algerian-South African Professor Malik Maaza have been awarded the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Award for Scientific Excellence (AUKNASE) - a major recognition at a continental level for their pioneering work in science and technology.
The award is the AU recognition of the highest level of the AUKNASE programme, and celebrates top African scientists for their valuable achievements, research and discoveries.
Maaza, who is also the UNESCO Africa chair in nanotechnology, received the award, presented by the African Union and UNESCO, for his nanotechnology research in South Africa. Miller was recognised in the category of Earth and Life Sciences for his work in neuroendocrinology, which has seen him publish more 400 publications, secure 18 patents, and be cited more than 20,000 times.
Aside from the honour, both Maaza and Miller have been awarded a prize of almost $100,000 (~R1.2-million).
President Jacob Zuma congratulated their important contributions in a statement, which said: "The development of science and technology is essential for the improvement of the lives of Africa's people, and this is one area where we need to invest resources and encourage our youth to explore.
"The South African government will continue to provide a conducive environment for research and innovation, as one of those areas identified in the National Development Plan."