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Sibusiso Sibisi (1955 - )

The Order of Mapungubwe in

Sibusiso Sibisi (1955 - ) Awarded for:
Excellent contribution in the field of information technology in South Africa, contributing to the development of research and development (R&D) and providing business technology with analysis and strategies.

Profile of Sibusiso Sibisi

Sibusiso Sibisi was born and raised in Marianhill in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal in May 1955. He completed his basic education at San Francis outside Durban.

Mathematics and Science so inspired him in high school that in higher learning he focused on the two subjects with intent. His parents encouraged him to follow his dreams and they became his inspiration in his quest to learn more. He went on to complete his BSc in Physics at Imperial College of Science and Technology in London in 1978.

In 1983, he received his PhD at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) at Cambridge University. In 1988, Sibisi became a Fulbright Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He returned to Cambridge in 1989 to assume a research position at DAMTP. In 1991, he co-founded a research-based small enterprise at Cambridge.

After acquiring skills and knowledge, Sibisi returned to South Africa to contribute to the development of the country’s upcoming scientists. He joined the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of Witwatersrand, in 1994. In 1997, he joined Plessey South Africa as executive director (R&D) and in January 2000 he became deputy vice-chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Cape Town. He co-founded iThemba Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd in 2001, which is focused on helping new technology business with analyses and strategies.

Sibisi is a physicist and a mathematician who is also well-versed with the workings of the corporate world. His work recognises the importance of linking the academic world of science and the commercial world of business. This is heavily influenced by where he started his work, which was at one of the world's highest-profile innovation hubs, Cambridge Science Park.

His versatility has seen him provide the vision and leadership of a team that conceptualised, planned and established the Meraka Institute (African Advanced Institute for Information and Communications Technology) in response to President Thabo Mbeki’s call in this regard. Sibisi’s commitment to its strategy and operations has ensured the growth and delivery of outputs by the Meraka Institute in support of a range of national priorities. He is strongly committed to science and is interested in aligning it with Government’s mission of promoting excellence and sustainability.

Sibisi could have chosen a profit-driven career path in countries such as England or the United States of America where he studied. Instead, he chose to come home and work for the betterment of the nation. Dr Sibusiso Sibisi is currently the President and chief executive officer of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa. He serves on the National Advisory Council on Innovation, sits on the boards of African Rainbow Minerals Limited and Liberty Life and is chairperson of the Denel Board.

He lives with his wife and two children.