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French honours leading Wits cities researcher

- Wits University

Emeritus Professor Alan Mabin has been awarded the French National Order of Merit.

French Ambassador Christophe Farnaud (right) presents Professor Alan Mabin with the French National Order of Merit. ©French Embassy in South AfricaFrench Ambassador Christophe Farnaud presented Mabin with the Ordre National du Mérite: Chevalier (rank of Knight), on Monday, 15 May.

Mabin, an Emeritus Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at Wits, has for over 30 years been a key figure in the fields of urbanism, development and town planning. He is the co-founder of Planact, in 1985, a NGO working with township communities and has been involved, as a consultant and board member, in town planning in several municipalities.

In presenting the award, Farnaud said: “Professor Mabin have been a partner and a friend of IFAS-Recherche since the very first days of the Institute. He spent a lot of time in France where he researched and developed joint programmes, and to teach as a visiting professor, particularly at Paris-Nanterre University and at the Institute of Political Sciences “Sciences-Po”. Professor Mabin is a pillar of Franco-South African scientific and academic cooperation. French geographers, in particular, have benefited a lot from his knowledge, his help, and last but not least his enthusiasm”.

This award takes place within the framework of the French Institute of South Africa, CUBES, and the Wits School of Architecture and Planning programme on urban studies research, titled: Experimenting/Experiencing the city, held at the University of Witwatersrand and elsewhere from 11 – 20 May 2017.

About the National Order of Merit

The National Order of Merit is a French order awarded by the President of the French Republic. It was founded in December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle. The order was established to create an award for French citizens as well as foreign nationals for distinguished civil or military achievements.

There are five degrees: Knight (Chevalier), Officer (Officier), Commander (Commandeur), Grand Officer (Grand Officier), Grand Cross (Grand-Croix).

South African citizens who have been awarded the order: educator David Kramer and Rear Admiral Paul Alexander Wijnberg.