SAHPRA appoints new CEO

Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotela has been appointed new chief executive officer of SAHPRA.

She will commence with this role in January 2020. Semete-Makokotlela holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry (North-West University) and an MSc in Management Finance and Investment from Wits Business School. She undertook postdoctoral research at the University of Nottingham, UK and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. Her research focus was on TB drug delivery systems and she has published several scientific publications, review articles and book chapters.

Health technology innovation

Semete-Makokotlela has extensive experience in the health technology innovation sector, building on her strong background in R&D and technology management. She has led numerous life science businesses, most recently as the executive cluster manager at the CSIR’s Next Generation Health Cluster. Prior to that, she was executive director for CSIR’s Biosciences. She has assisted SMMEs with technology and business incubation, and managed a biotechnology incubator at the Innovation Hub Management Company.

Dr Boitumelo Smete-Makokotela
Dr Boitumelo Smete-Makokotela new CEO of SAHPRA

Semete-Makokotlela was a McKinsey Leadership Fellow for two years, working on health sector related programmes. She serves on several thought leadership projects including the African Union Strategy for Health Research, the East Africa Community Bioeconomy Strategy and the WHO Expert Panel on scaling health innovations in Africa.

World class regulatory authority

Commenting on her appointment as CEO, Semete-Makokotlela says, ‘My international research experience and expertise in leading business will enable me to bring the required strategic positioning of SAHPRA in the sector. I am passionate about playing an integral role in making SAHPRA deliver on its mandate.’

Professor Helen Rees, SAHPRA board chairperson, says: ‘The SAHPRA Board is delighted to announce the appointment of its new CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela. ‘Tumi’ is a dynamic woman scientist and leader with a track record in management and health technology that makes her very well suited to this exciting role. Her background will be complemented by the appointment of Ms Portia Nkambule as the chief regulatory officer, who has played a crucial role as acting CEO since SAHPRA’s inception.’

Rees adds, ‘SAHPRA is at a critical and exciting juncture in its development and we are sure that our ambition to become a world class and effective regulatory authority will be fulfilled by our new and dynamic executive leadership.’