The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) welcomes their new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Humbulani Mudau, as of April 2023. His appointment follows that of Acting CEO, Andiswa Mlisa, having served for a period of one year. Mudau has over 20-years experience in the field of Space Science. Having worked at the Department of Science and Technology (DSI) as the Chief Director of Space Science and Technology prior to his appointment.
While at the Department, Mudau was responsible for the overseeing and implementation of the DSI 10-year Innovation Plan. This included the National Space Strategy and South African Earth Observation Strategy (SAEOS) – as well as the establishment of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the National Earth Observation and Space Secretariat. According to the press release, he holds a Masters in Satellite Remote Sensing from the University of Paris VI; a B.Sc. Honours in Environmental Management and Geospatial Sciences from University of Johannesburg; a Certificate in Remote Sensing from University of Johannesburg; and a B.Sc. Biological Sciences from University of Venda.
“He brings with him the ability to lead diverse teams, build long-term stakeholder relations, and develop policies, strategies and implement programmes that will be an asset for the young Agency,” said SANSA. His appointment comes at an exciting time for SANSA with the Space Infrastructure Hub and Matjiesfontein Deep Space Network node development projects, among other exciting initiatives on the horizon. He also has technical and management experience, particularly in Earth Observation systems, space technology development, as well as remote sensing, and geospatial applications.
According to Space in Africa, Mudau spent 17 years at the DSI, “As the Deputy Director of Space Programmes (2006-2009), Director of Space Science and Technology (2009-2010), Senior Scientific Representative and Expert for the Group on Earth Observations (2010-2012) and finally the Chief Director of Space Science and Technology (2012-2023).” In addition to his various research, development and innovation positions, he was also the project manager for South Africa’s first National Satellite Programme.
“He has played an instrumental role in engaging the Southern, Eastern and Western Africa regions as well as being on various African Union technical working groups and promises to contribute meaningfully to achieving SANSA’s mandate on the continent and globally,” SANSA noted.