Media Call

/Media Call
Media Call2018-10-19T12:42:52+02:00

The SFSA Secretariat wants to thank all applicants for the interest shown in the Media Grant Call. Also, we want to thank the independent selection panel for their hard work and quick turn around time.


  1. Algeria: Hichem Boumedjout, El-Massa Newspaper / SciDevNet:
  2. Cameroon: Mohamadou Houmfa: Voice of America:
  3. DRC: Gabrielle Nina Mitch, INSTANT NEWS:
  4. Egypt: Ahmed Hassan Balah, Springer Nature / Scientific American:
  5. Ethiopia: Mekonnen Teshome Tollera, New Business:
  6. Ghana: Alice Aryeetey, GHOne TV (EIB NETWORK LTD):
  7. Kenya: Justus Wanzala, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation:
  8. Lesotho: Marafaele Antonia Mohloboli, Lesotho Times:
  9. Malawi: Ananiya Alick Ponje, Times Group:
  10. Nigeria: Adam Alqali, African Newspage:
  11. Nigeria: Victor Azu: Nigerian Television Authority (NTA):
  12. Somalia: Daud Abdi Daud, Somali Media for Environment Science Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA):
  13. Tanzania: Yusuph Magasha, Sahara Media Group Ltd / Radio Free Africa:
  14. Uganda: Carolyn Ashaba: Uganda Broadcasting Corporation [UBC TV]:
  15. Zimbabwe: Jeffrey Murimbechi, Capitalk100.4 FM:

Open Call for Applications (Closed)

  1. Purpose

Created by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) of the government of South Africa, the annual Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) meeting is the largest pan-African general science gathering dedicated to scientific research and innovation. The two-and-a-half-day programme will bring more than 3500 participants together for discussion and debate in plenary sessions, panel discussions and interactive talks.

SFSA2018 will, like the previous editions, serve as an open, public platform to debate the science and society interface. Leading scientists, researchers, young researchers, journalists, business people, entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers, science and technology communicators and the general public discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that research is taking in the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

Speakers and panelists are distinguished and carefully chosen thought-leaders from around the world, drawn from science, academia, government, policy and industry. The focus is predominantly about pan-African developments and how they interlink with global trends. In this regard, an increasing number of continental groups such as the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) or the African Union Panel on Emerging Technologies (APET) etc. attend SFSA in force. Yet, the meeting also attracts a significant number of non-African speakers and partner organisations from Brussels to Beijing and from Toronto to Tokyo.

SFSA2018 has also initiated a dedicated track of parallel sessions focused on Youth in Science.
The large exhibition space, where demonstration events are regularly held, allied to a strong social programme, enhances this ‘melting pot’ of ideas, cultures, experiences and connections that past delegate feedback recognises as the hallmark of SFSA (see further details below).

  1. The new media scheme

One of the main objectives of SFSA2018 is to build links between media and delegates. Our aim is to offer a platform whereby print and audio-visual journalists, editors, bloggers and social media can rub shoulders with speakers and delegates to discuss and report on the latest scientific, policy and civil society developments.

SFSA2018 is thus adding a travel & accommodation grant scheme to support pan-African science journalism. This is being done in partnership with the World Congress of Science Journalists (WCSJ) & SciCom – Making Sense of Science.

  1. Who can apply?

African-based journalists irrespective of their gender, age, nationality, place of residence and media (paper, radio, TV, web) are welcome to apply. Media accreditation will be required, as will proof of intention or commission to cover the conference programme.

  1. Application procedure

To submit an application, complete the form below.

On submitting the application form for travel grants, you agree to the full acceptance of the rules and to the decision taken by the Selection Committee.

 The deadline for submitting an application is Sunday 30 September 2018, 18:00 pm CET.

  1. Selection Committee and decision

The Selection Committee is composed of:

  • Mohammed Yahia, President of the World Federation of Science Journalists
  • Ignatius Annor, Africanews
  • Dominique Leglu, Editor-in-Chief, Science et Avenir
  • Aidan Gilligan, CEO at SciCom – Making Sense of Science

The selection of candidates will be based on:

  • The applicant’s CV;
  • Motivation statement & interest in the conference programme; &
  • Impact of the proposed media outlet.

The Selection Committee reserves the right to remove incomplete applications or candidates failing to adequately prove that they are employed communicators.

Candidates contacting or directly lobbying members of the Selection Committee will be disqualified.

A list of 15 successful candidates will be posted on the SFSA conference site on Monday 15th October.

Those selected will be given a liaison person at the Department of Science & Technology and must immediately research flight options and take care of any visa requirements.

Note that no flight booking should be made without the express approval of the liaison officer.

A reserve list will also be compiled.

This will not be posted online, and potential awardees will be contacted on a case by case basis should the initial grantees drop out for whatever reason.

  1. Payment conditions

 In addition to ample interviewing opportunities and a reserved media working area, successful candidates will be provided with:

  • free conference registration;
  • free accommodation from 12 – 14 December inclusive;
  • free onsite catering;
  • free access to all programme and side-event activities;
  • airport shuttles to and from Pretoria;
  • hotel shuttles to and from the conference; &
  • a lump sum of maximum $750 towards proven travel costs.

Please note that the pre-agreed economy flight costs up to a maximum of $750 will only be reimbursed to grantees onsite at SFSA2018. This means that all applicants must be able to finance their own travel first with reimbursement later. Please think this through carefully.

 In addition to free registration and travel support, onsite accommodation is being provided. Candidates are not to make their own hotel reservations. This will be coordinated by the conference organisers.

Onsite catering and hotel shuttle services to and from the conference are also provided.

Transport to and from Johannesburg Airport will also be provided.

If a journalist fails to show for whatever professional or professional reason, the grant support is forfeited.

If a journalist is receiving full or partial travel support from an employer or commissioning news outlet, this must be declared.

Mandatory participation throughout the conference and in any press briefings organised during SFSA2018 is required.

Grantees are expected to publish at least one article or AV news report in any language about SFSA2018 and to forward details to the organisers.
A simple feedback questionnaire regarding the scheme will also be circulated.

  1. Information

Everything a candidate needs to know is included in this briefing. A Department of Science & Technology employee will liaise only with successful candidates. For any other pertinent issues about the Grant Scheme, please contact Aidan Gilligan:

Note that media can request SFSA2018 participation at their own expense via the online registration page. The needs of non-attending but interested media will also be facilitated.

This open call for applications is being coordinated with the World Federation of Science Journalists, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation, representing 59 science journalists’ associations of science and technology journalists from Africa, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Its current President, Mohammed Yahia, is also from the African continent – Egypt!

We would encourage all candidates to research their national or pan-African branch and to become a member:

  1. Programme updates

SFSA2018 will, as indicated above, emphasise Pan-African Science, Technology and Innovation. Candidates are encouraged to keep a close eye on the SFSA2018 programme online as it develops in the run up to the meeting.

When preparing your short motivation statement, the following themes may provide some guidance as to your specific interest areas and speakers you might like to meet:

  • “Shaping Humanity” the focus in this track will be on how social sciences shape our human experiences and behaviours to improve the quality of life for all human beings, and the world we live in, including a better understanding of what is required to uplift people in a sustainable manner.
  • “Preparing people for the knowledge economy” the focus in this track will be on the attitudes, education, experience, and abilities required individually and collectively to succeed in the knowledge economy, with a specific focus on achieving gender and racial balance in an optimal functioning system of innovation.
  • “Open science and open innovation for Africa’s development” the focus in this track will be on what the impact will be on Africa’s development if a concerted drive were made to intensify collaboration among all stakeholders in the scientific and innovation enterprise, including through the enhanced dissemination and sharing of research results to maximise impact.
  • “Science transforming society” the focus in this track will be on how science, technology and innovation is changing society, how it is contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of all citizens and how we ensure ethical considerations are addressed and science-driven development is equitable and sustainable.
  • “A Better World” the focus in this track will be on the sustainable solutions that science, technology and innovation can provide to global challenges like poverty, inequality, inclusive development and a secure society, with an emphasis on the value of enhanced international collaboration in addressing these shared global challenges.
  • Innovation shaping the industry of tomorrow” the focus in this track will be on how the exponential pace of progress in science, technology and innovation is disrupting every industry in every country and how the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another.

We genuinely appreciate your interest in attending Science Forum South Africa 2018. At present, we can offer 15 fully-funded grants, but aim to add more, so watch this space and good luck!

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