UP Chancellor included in list of 100 Most Reputable Africans

Posted on August 21, 2020

Chancellor of the University of Pretoria (UP) Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu has been included in a list of the 100 Most Reputable Africans that was recently released by Reputation Poll International, a global public relations consultancy firm.

Individuals made the list based on three criteria: integrity, visibility and impact. Prof Nkuhlu is joined by former Deputy President and Executive Director of UN Women Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize; Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe; and UP graduate and Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya.

“It is both an honour and a privilege to have been included in a list that comprises the continent’s pre-eminent leaders in business, politics, sport and the like,” Prof Nkuhlu said. “One cannot help but be reminded of how far Africa has come over the past few decades. What is also encouraging is that there are almost 50 women on the list, which highlights how impactful the role of women has been in the continent’s development and growth. A united effort is of utmost importance if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

Chancellor of the University of Pretoria Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe congratulated Prof Nkuhlu and highlighted the important role that academics play not only in the generation of knowledge, but also in the formulation and implementation of policy, which impacts the lives of millions of people. This is in reference to the role Prof Nkuhlu fulfilled as an economic advisor to former President Thabo Mbeki.

“Professor Nkuhlu has had an illustrious career, and there can be no doubt that he has served with a level of distinction in each position he has occupied over the years,” said Prof Kupe. “This is something I can attest to, having worked alongside him during my tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the University. It is only fitting that he is commended for his efforts to make a positive social impact in society. It is also encouraging to see that an academic has been included on the list, which reinforces the notion that academics play an important role in the betterment of society through the work they do.”

Like former President Nelson Mandela, Prof Nkuhlu is an alumnus of the University of Fort Hare, where he completed a BCom degree. He furthered his studies at UCT and New York University, where he was awarded a Certificate in the Theory of Accounting and an MBA respectively. Prof Nkuhlu is widely regarded as a pioneer in the accounting profession in South Africa, having been the first black African to qualify as a chartered accountant, in 1976.

He has served in both the public and private sectors, but it is through academia that he rose to prominence. He was appointed as Head of the Department of Accounting at what was known as the University of Transkei. It didn’t take too long before he was promoted to Professor, and later became Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the institution, a position he held from 1987 until 1991.

In 1998 he was appointed as the inaugural Chairperson of the Council on Higher Education, which, among others, advises the minister who oversees the post-school education and training sector on policy-related matters, and provides quality assurance within the sector. Prof Nkuhlu completed his five-year term at the end of 2002, and in 2007, was inaugurated as UP’s Chancellor. In 2017, he was re-elected to serve a five-year term and still occupies that position.

Prof Nkuhlu is also passionate about development policy and implementation, and this is exemplified through his achievements as Chief Executive of the Secretariat for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). In recognition for his contribution towards the African Renaissance, he was awarded the Order of the Baobab (Silver) in 2008.

The full list can be found here.

- Author Kaya Nocanda

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