Round 12018-08-31T13:00:20+02:00

Round 1

7 December 2017 | 9:00-10:30

The enabling power of science

Over 900 science leaders from over 100 countries gather at the World Science Forum 2015 Budapest calling for a more responsible and ethical use of science to address pressing global challenges in environment and health.

At the Opening Ceremony of World Science Forum 2015 under the theme of ‘The Enabling Power of Science’ a panel of global thought-leaders declared renewed intent to fight poverty and promote just, equitable and inclusive social development based on the restoration, protection and sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystems. Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, opened four days of events, addressing a large audience of diplomats, global science stakeholders and key influencers.

President of WSF 2015 and of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Lászlo Lovász called upon delegates to do more to accelerate the accumulation, use and diffusion of scientific knowledge and its application in technological innovations capable of reshaping our world for the better. Accentuating the positive, he remarked that: “science is enabling us to confront hunger and diesease, to tackle our ever-growing demand for energy and to connect and communicate with immediate effect, while providing the social and economic foundations for an improved quality of life for ever-increasing numbers of people. We should be proud of these achievements”. Warning against complacency, however, he went on to add that: at the same time, science has revealed the complexity of the world and laid bare the extent of human civilisation’s impact on the Earth’s fauna, flora and climate, that it has overused its natural resources and has become a threat for the life of present and future generations. How meetings like this rise to the challenge of building greater consensus about how to apply the best of science will certainly play, in no small part, a major role in determining humankind’s success or failure in the 21st century. There is no margin for error”.

Delegates from over 100 countries, speakers from over 50

WSF 2015 sets new standards in igniting self-critical conversations about the applications of science for all of society. Perhaps the most representative of the flagship global generalist conferences, every effort is made to ensure that all regions are represented and that all voices are given the chance to be heard. Not only are panels comprised of the talking heads of the world’s large research infrastructures and membership bodies, science ministers and their advisers, but experts from academia, entrepreneurship, civil society, young researchers and media are equally invited to discuss critical global issues. Several speaker organisations also use WSF as a platform to announce the latest findings in environmental and health sciences.

This year’s programme offers 6 main plenary sessions: a key component is a ‘sustainability update’, bringing together leading decision-makers in the run-up to the December 2015 Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris and very much influenced by the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development announced in September. Two further plenaries deal with ‘confidence in science’ and ‘communicating with society’ where the issue of ethics and scientific integrity come to the fore. What is new for 2015 is a strong focus on science business and the ‘innovation ecosystem’ where the views of innovators, educationalists and economy-watchers collide. A timely discussion on ‘challenges in global cooperation’ brings together, amongst others, the Vice-President of Iran responsible for S&T and the Deputy-Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The end of conference plenary brings together 8 well-known current and former ministers, science advisers and the ‘suppliers’ of public research to examine the strengths and weaknesses of ‘science in policy-making’.

This year’s programme offers 9 thematic sessions: over 50 organisations were invited in to enrich questions and answers style-debates with delegates on a broad range of topics. From ‘global health policies’ looking at responses to Ebola, autism, HIV/Aids and substance addiction; the latest in ‘brain research’ or ‘building climate resilience’ and ‘disaster risk reduction’; to insights into ‘science governance in Africa’, ‘science for peace’ or the ‘international year of light, a truly who’s who of experts are on-hand at WSF 2015. Details of all presentations and announcements, plus recordings of keynotes addresses, are made publically available on the conference site:

More side-events and high-level meetings than ever-before being facilitated: a particular feature of WSF is its readiness to engage and encourage third-party groups to maximise its unrivalled meetings opportunities. In this way, specific scientific or diplomatic networks, established projects or emerging forces can broaden their visibility, appeal and memberships. For example, WSF is acting as a catalyst for a large meeting of the European Union Science Journalist Associations (EUSJA), UNESCO’s Campus Africa and the International Consortium of Young Researcher Staff Associations, amongst many others. For the first time also, WSF is hosting the Forum of Global Fora whereby the organisers of Science Agora JapanScience Forum South Africa, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Euroscience Open Forum 2016 Manchester (ESOF) and Her Royal Highness, Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, host of the next WSF in 2017 under the theme of ‘Science For Peace’, are coming together to share updates and best practices. As another first, WSF 2015 held the follow-up meeting of the newly formed International Network for Governmental Science Advice (INGSA) where the EU’s proposed Science Advisory Mechanism (SAM), the OECD’s recent work on science advisory principles and the UN’s emerging science advisory team are being presented. Finally, WSF 2015 marks a new departure insofar as, following a global open call, science media grants have been offered to over 25 promising journalists to join their peers at the conference.

A conference declaration to be reckoned with

It is expected that the legacy of WSF 2015 will be an unequivocal wake-up call to scientists and science diplomats to better understand the impacts climate change will have on the natural and social systems of the earth. In this regard, the conference will make a special plea for greater empowerment of scientists to hold decision-makers to account for the targets they set as legally binding agreements on climate.

Secondly, conference leaders will call for a greater application of scientific solutions in areas of disaster risk reduction and resilience building to natural and human made disasters, particularly in areas of dense populations.

Thirdly, conference leaders will applaud and support recent global trends towards a more pronounced use of science in policy-making and the efforts to bridge the difficulties inherent in the roles of scientists and policy-makers which must allow for greater stakeholder inclusion.

Fourthly, conference leaders will call for more to be done to tackle inequalities between countries and regions. WSF welcomes the strong participation of delegates from many African, Asian and Latin American countries here to promote cooperation and integration to build and accumulate capacities to harness and govern modern sciences. Despite clear advances in a number of emerging economies and societies in transition, the knowledge and economic divide is widening, thus curbing the potential of science and technology to contribute to global human and economic development.

Finally, in deciding to host WSF 2017 in Jordan after a successful event in Brazil in 2013, the organising parties are building knowledge and facilitating integration in those countries and regions that need it most.

Further information

  • Media enquiries: Aidan Gilligan, & +32 474042602
  • Conference site, presentations & speaker lists:

Statement on the Cabinet meeting of 18 November 2015

Read the Cabinet statement in all official languages

1. Implementation of key government programmes

1.1. Cabinet commends the progress made by the Department of Human Settlements in the Savanna City Integrated Human Settlements project in the Sedibeng District Municipality.

Completion of the sustainable and integrated, new town development project, in ten years, will provide 18 399 Integrated housing units which include “Breaking New Ground Houses” and bonded houses, educational facilities, clinics, crèches, churches and retail sites

Since the beginning of construction early this year over 1 000 of the 18 399 houses are being built with over 100 completed. Prominent South Africans joined industry stakeholders, including mayors and officials from the Sedibeng District Municipality, in working on three houses for the oldest beneficiaries.

1.3. Cabinet welcomes the upgrading of the R25 (P6-1) road, a 42-kilometre roadthat links Gauteng and Limpopo. The project, which stretches between Bapsfontein and Bronkhorstspruit, has employed more than 200 people. It will also benefit the agricultural and mining sectors in the area by promoting faster movement of freight trucks that transport goods and services.

2. Key Cabinet decisions

2.1. Cabinet was briefed by the Department of Science and Technology, which will be hosting a major public science week: Science Forum South Africa 2015 under the theme: “Igniting conversation about science” from 8 to 9 December 2015, in Pretoria.

This event provides stakeholders from South Africa, the continent and international partners with a platform for debate and policy learning on the interface between science and society.

2.2. Cabinet approved that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) World Maritime Day Parallel Event be hosted in South Africa in 2020. The Ministry of Transport will therefore convey this decision of Cabinet to the IMO Council meeting scheduled to take place from 23 November to 04 December 2015.

3. Upcoming events

3.1. President Jacob Zuma will host his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for a two-day State Visit from 2 to 3 December. The visit aims to finalise the China-South Africa 5-10 Year Framework on Cooperation that will further entrench the implementation of our agreements since the conclusion of the Beijing Declaration in 2010. It will further deepen and expand on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that the two countries share.

South Africa’s relations with China remain central to realising its developmental agenda through its foreign policy as it increases efforts to implement the NDP, collaborate in agriculture, environmental affairs, trade and industry and finance as the country continues to drive the agenda of moving South Africa forward. It is also provides an opportunity to review progress on existing areas of trade and cooperation between the two nations, and to expedite and finalise new areas of cooperation.

3.2. President Zuma will lead a delegation to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th Session of the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11) to be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris, France.

The international negotiations for a new legal agreement will frame the response to climate change, which will come into effect from 2020 onwards. In line with South Africa’s national interest as an African and developing country that will require post-2020 support, South Africa will continue to defend the UNFCCC’s core principles of equity and differentiation.

At the Group of 77+China meeting, South Africa will seek to maintain and strengthen the unity of developing countries to obtain a Paris Agreement that is fair, ambitious, science-based and that produces the development space of developing countries.

3.3. President Zuma will launch the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children campaign on 25 November 2015 in Naauwpoort, Mahikeng under the theme: “Count Me In: Together Moving a Non-Violent South Africa Forward”. This campaign is commemorated as part of the 365 Days of Activism, which is a continuous campaign that raises awareness on violence against women and children, and mobilises individuals to be counted in the year long activism. Cabinet calls on all South Africans to support this campaign and to use this period to mobilise communities and partner with government to end violence against women and children – #CountMeIn.

3.4. Deputy President Ramaphosa will lead a government delegation in its regular engagement with the South African National Editors’ Forum on 21 November 2015 as part of government’s commitment and ongoing programme to strengthen relations with the media. Government will brief editors on key issues and upcoming plans while affording the editors an opportunity to raise areas of interest with government.

3.5. South Africa will mark World AIDS Day under a theme – “Towards an HIV-Free Generation: RISE. ACT. PROTECT. ZERO” – which is a call to action by communities. This year’s theme is informed by the United Nations World AIDS Day theme for 2011 to 2015 is: “Getting to Zero”. The 2015 World AIDS Day will further strengthen the dialogue around stigma and discrimination, and mobilise communities to respond to and expand access to prevention, treatment and support services.

The main event to commemorate World AIDS Day will be held in KwaZulu-Natal. This will set the tone for South Africa’s hosting of the 21st International AIDS Conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 17 to 22 July 2016. South Africa continues to make progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS, having expanded the country’s HIV treatment programme, with over three million people on antiretroviral treatment, further reducing mother-to-child transmission and recording improved tuberculosis indicators.

3.6. Cabinet encourages South Africans to participate in the Izimbizo events planned across the country during National Imbizo Focus Week from 30 November to 6 December 2015. This platform enables citizens to engage with members of the Executive.

National Imbizo Focus Week will take place under the theme: “Together we move South Africa forward” and will update communities on government’s implementation of the Nine-Point Plan towards igniting economic growth and creating jobs, as outlined by President Zuma in his February 2015 State of the Nation Address. Members of the Executive will also use the opportunity to galvanise community participation in tackling various social ills, including matters relating to violence against women and children.

3.7. December is Reconciliation Month and South Africa will mark Reconciliation Day on 16 December in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape under the theme: “Bridging the divide: Building a common South African nationhood towards a national developmental state”. The month has a special significance for the nation as it promotes reconciliation, peace and social cohesion on which the country’s new democratic dispensation was founded.

Cabinet encourages all South Africans to use the month to reach out to one another as the nation continues to work together to build a united and prosperous nation.

3.8. Cabinet reminds taxpayers who have not yet submitted their tax returns for the 2014/15 tax year that the deadline for submission is 27 November 2015. Cabinet thanks all taxpayers for partnering with government in providing much-needed services that help improve the lives of thousands of communities across the country.

3.9. Cabinet congratulates the Department of Social Development’s Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) for winning the Global Best Contact Centre Award in Las Vegas, USA, on Thursday, 5 November 2015. The GBVCC is a 24-hour call centre dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender- based violence. This is another success story that shows a caring government that is resolute in the fight to stop Gender based violence.

3.10. Cabinet congratulates Eskom for operating 100 days without cutting power supply (load-shedding). Eskom reached this milestone on Tuesday, 17 November 2015. The 100 days of uninterrupted electricity supply does not suggest we must be complacent. Instead, Cabinet calls on communities to continue observing the energy saving interventions.

3.11. Cabinet congratulates nominees of the 2015 SA Sport Awards to be held on 22 November 2015 at the Sand du Plessis Theatre in Mangaung, Free State. The awards, convened under the theme: “Excellence is not being your best; it is doing your best”, celebrates 10 years of recognising and honouring individuals and teams who have excelled both on and off the field. South Africans are encouraged to support the event by voting for the 2015 Sports Star of the Year.

4. Cabinet’s position on key issues in the environment

4.1. Cabinet joined President Zuma and the international community in strongly condemning the  recent terrorist attacks that  took place in Beirut (Lebanon), Baghdad (Iraq), Yola  (Nigeria) and Paris  (France), which resulted in the loss of innocent lives and destruction of property. South Africa stands firm in its condemnation of all attacks targeting innocent civilians and reiterates its stance that terrorism, in whatever form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.

4.2. Cabinet supports the actions of the Government Committee of Ministers on Water Scarcity and Drought to mitigate the effects of the drought and urges communities to use water sparingly in order to secure future supply.

Government has added R96,6 million to the initial R352,6 million set aside to support the country’s drought relief efforts. This includes the purchase of 45 water tankers for the distribution of water to affected areas, borehole drilling and rehabilitation, water conservation and demand management, and water source augmentations.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will in the worst affected regions allow the relocation of livestock onto state-owned land where there is still better pasture. In addition the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has coordinated with Mayors to implement various water saving measures under the guidance of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

These include introducing water restrictions; monitoring adherence to water restrictions; applying penalties where necessary; prioritising the repair of water leaks; promoting water-efficient technologies such as low-flush toilet cisterns; rainwater harvesting and the use of grey water for irrigation.

4.3. President Jacob Zuma led the South African delegation to the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya, Turkey from 15 to 16 November 2015. The theme of the summit was inclusiveness, investment and implementation. South Africa is among 51 countries that signed the Agreement on Automatic Exchange to Tax Information in Berlin, Germany in October 2015. Countries will begin exchanging information in 2017, which will be underpinned by legislation currently before Parliament. President Zuma welcomed the conclusion of the 15 action items of the G20/Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, which were critical to ensuring fairness and securing sub-Saharan Africa’s revenue base.

4.4. Members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Council of Ministers met on 11 November 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia on the eve of the inauguration of the SACU headquarters and the informal discussion by the SACU Heads of State and Government. The council used the opportunity to reflect on the progress made on the Six-Point Plan since their last meeting and re-emphasized their commitment to SACU. The council agreed that SACU should move beyond revenue-sharing to a developmental initiative that will support integration in the region. Members also adopted a roadmap and work plan towards the summit that will be held in June 2016.

4.5. Cabinet welcomes the 2014-15 Audit Outcomes of national and provincial government. The report shows consistent improvement in almost all aspects of national and provincial government audit outcomes. It points to a steady trend towards good governance and sound financial management and reinforces good governance as more departments have received clean audits. The improvement further shows that government is working hard to ensure accountability in all areas of its work.

Despite this improvement, government has resolved to continue supporting departments with negative findings and to ensure that the whole government machinery is functioning optimally.

4.6. Cabinet welcomes the appointment by President Zuma of Judge Mandisa Muriel Maya as the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal in terms of section 174(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 and Justice Nonkosi Zoliswa Mhlantla as a judge of the Constitutional Court in terms of Section 174(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 respectively.

The appointments strengthens South Africa’s commitment to gender equality at the highest level and advances the transformation of the judiciary. Cabinet congratulates both judges and wish them all the best in the execution of this critical responsibility in the South African Judiciary.

4.7. Cabinet congratulates Dr S’thembile Ngidi who made history when she graduated from the College of Medicine South Africa as KwaZulu-Natal’s first black female oncologist and only the second in the country.

4.8. Cabinet commends South African filmmaker Reina-Marie Loader whose documentary ‘Horn’ received many accolades, including a nomination for the Rhino Conservation Awards 2015 in July in the category Best Awareness, Education and Funding, and winning the award for the Best Conservation Film at the 2015 International Film Festival in New York City, USA.

4.9. Cabinet extends its condolences to the family and friends of the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms Pamela Tshwete, on the loss of her mother, Mama Ruth Nomzi Zondeki.

4.10. Cabinet extends its condolences to  the government of New Zealand , family, friends and the New Zealand Rugby Union on the loss of the rugby superstar, Jonah Tali Lomu, who has made a huge impact on the game.

5. Appointments

All appointments are subject to the verification of qualifications and the relevant clearance.

5.1. Extension of the Contract for five years of Mr Maswahle Diphofa – Director-General (DG): Department of Public Service and Administration.

5.2. Extension of the Contract for twelve months of Ms Nonkululeko Sindane – DG: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

5.3. Mr Livhuwani Tommy Makhode as the Deputy DG: Institutional Planning and Support in the Department of Science and Technology.

5.4. Mr Rory Gallocher as the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority.

5.5. Dr Pradish Rampersadh as the new Executive Director for the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.

5.6. Mr Mark Barnes as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the South African Post Office.

5.7. Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa:
i. Mr Jabulani Philip Moleketi – (re-appointment and Chairperson);
ii. Mr Msokoli Frans Baleni – (re-appointment and Deputy Chairperson);
iii. Ms Martie Janse van Rensburg – (Non-Executive Director);
iv. Ms Malijeng Theresa Ngqaleni – (Non-Executive Director); and
v. Ms Kameshni Naidoo – (re-appointment as Executive Director).

5.8. Board of the South African Special Risk Insurance Association Limited:
i. Ms Margaret Octavia Ndlovu – (re-appointment and Non-Executive Director); and
ii. Ms Bulelwa Mnkangisa – (re-appointment and Non-Executive Director).

Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 501 0139

Minister Naledi Pandor On Science Forum South Africa


African countries are striving hard to improve and strengthen their research, development and innovation (RDI) capacity. Much of this work goes unnoticed and is rarely the subject of national debate. On 8 and 9 December 2015, the DST will host a major public science event, ‘Science Forum South Africa’. The Science Forum, with strong international participation, will be held at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.

In addition to the main Science Forum programme in Pretoria, there will be satellite communication and outreach events, including here in the Western Cape.

This is the first time in the history of our young democracy that such an event has been held in South Africa, but we hope that it will become a regular part of the science calendar. The Science Forum will contribute towards a culture of open discussion and access to science, technology and innovation.


The event is inspired by the “open science” conferences, convened with great success elsewhere in the world, like the European Science Open Forum or the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Science, Technology and Society Forum in Japan.

We hope that the South African Science Forum will provide Africa with a platform for dynamic and robust debate on science and society. The event will bring together scientists, government officials, industry leaders, students and representatives of broader civil society from our country and continent, and all over the world.

The event aims to create a platform for a national debate on the interface between science, technology and innovation and society, specifically in the context of South Africa’s National Development Plan; and to serve as a vehicle for strengthening South Africa’s strategic international science, technology and innovation partnerships.


We have themed the Forum, “Igniting conversations about science”, because we want it to be a platform not only for African scientists to talk about their work (and there are many success stories to be told), but also for scientists and all spheres of society to engage on the interface between research and their needs.


The Science Forum’s programme was compiled from suggestions made by stakeholders and the public who responded to a competitive call for proposals put out by the Department of Science and Technology.

The programme comprises several parallel sessions, addressing a diverse range of science and society-oriented themes. There will be a special focus on the African science agenda and how research and innovation can best be harnessed for the continent’s growth and development. The African Union Commission, NEPAD, the African Academy of Science and African colleagues will all join in the discussion.

  • The topics to be discussed include:
  • harnessing innovation to advance sustainable development, especially in the context of fighting poverty;
  • the role of science, technology and innovation in mitigating the effects of climate change;
  • scientific advice for policy and decision-making;
  • the role of science in addressing societal challenges; and
  • the challenges associated with developing human capital for the knowledge economy.
 The first South African Science Diplomacy Awards will take place at the Science Forum. Our planet remains a fragile one, and science diplomacy plays a critical role in boosting international solidarity and mutual support. The awards will celebrate partnerships that have made a significant contribution towards making the world a better place.


Delegates from more than 45 countries and a number of multilateral organisations have confirmed their participation. They include the eminent international leaders, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (Chairperson of the African Union Commission), Prof. Martial De-Paul Ikounga (the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology), and Prof. Sir Peter Gluckman (Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and founding co-chair of the International Network for Science Advice).

Dr Gordon McBean, (eminent Canadian earth scientist and President of the International Council for Science or ICSU), Mr Koji Omi (founder of Japan’s renowned Science, Technology and Society Forum), Prof. Anil Gupta (the celebrated global thought leader on grassroots innovation), and committed champions for science in African such as Prof. Calestous Juma will also attend.

The Science Forum will also see the launch of the new Science International partnership involving the ICSU, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the Inter-Academy Panel, and the International Social Science Council. Dignitaries and office-bearers of these influential world science bodies will be in attendance.

Great care has been taken in the organisation of the Forum to focus on women in science, technology and innovation. Several sessions will interrogate how gender imbalances in this sector can best be eliminated, and how the contribution of women scientists and engineers can be maximised. While we sincerely value their contribution, men will not be dominating the conversation. More than 40% of speakers and panelists will be women. While this is not quite gender parity, few events of this kind can boast a similar ratio.

In summary

The Science Forum programme was designed to ignite discussion on the science and society interface, and our partners in the media have a critical role to play in enriching the debate. The Forum is not the traditional, formal kind of conference, but a place for the exchange of ideas, and where protocol will give way to challenging debate.

Department of Science and Technology

African scientists to converge on Pretoria for international forum in December

South Africa will next month host its first international science conference, showcasing homegrown research and innovation.
The South African Science Forum, which will be held at the CSIR international convention centre in Pretoria, aims to emulate the likes of the Euroscience Open Forum in Europe, the Japanese Science, Technology and Society Forum and the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the United States. It is free to attend the conference.

“We hope that the South African Science Forum will provide Africa with a platform for dynamic and robust debate on the interface between science and society,” science and technology minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday.

The 2015 event, themed ‘Igniting conversations about science’, “will bring together stakeholders – scientists, government officials, industry leaders, students and representatives from broader civil society – from our country and continent, and all over the world”, she said. “We want it to be a platform not only for African scientists to talk about their work – and there are many success stories to be told – but also for scientists and all spheres of society to engage on the interface between research and their needs.”

The department of science and technology, which is organising the event, has pulled diplomatic strings to bring some big names to the event – from African Union head Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to Prof Anil Gupta, grass-roots innovation expert – and delegates from more than 45 countries.
Daan du Toit, the deputy director-general for international co-operation and resources at the department, said: “Our goal… is to put science at the service of the country and discuss in an open forum how best to harness science for the benefit of society.

“It’s not a strict policy conference and neither is it a purely scientific conference, where scientists are speaking to themselves.”
He hoped that the forum would become an annual event on South Africa’s science, technology and innovation calendar.

There will be several parallel sessions, including: “responding to societal challenges”; “skills for the knowledge economy”; “showcasing South Africa’s best”; “African eyes on the sky”; “science agenda for Africa”; and “what does the scientist say”.

The range of topics will also vary dramatically. A session on the role of research and development in “water wars” will run concurrently with the “science of harm reduction: advice for healthy lifestyles”, while some panelists discuss “Open data in a big data world” and others the World Bank report into a decade of science, technology, engineering and maths in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The forum programme was designed to ignite vibrant discussion on the science and society interface,” Pandor said. “[It] is not the traditional, formal kind of conference, but a vibrant marketplace for the exchange of ideas, and where protocol will give way to challenging debate.”


Seven goals of the Science Forum

The Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) is a two-day science conference held at the CSIR in Pretoria to foster public engagement on science and technology and also showcases science in the country. Seven things that Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor wants people to do at the end of SFSA are:

– To call on governments and institutions to invest in science and innovation in Africa;

– For communities to be informed about science and be encouraged to value it;

– Partnerships between government and other institutions around science;

– Increased investments in the health sciences as this will be direct investment in improving the quality of life;

– More effort be put in fostering African and global science collaboration;

– For youth to be encouraged to prize knowledge.

World experts gather for Science Forum SA

Pretoria – History is being made in Pretoria on Tuesday when the Science Forum South Africa kicks off at the CSIR International Convention Centre with a view to stimulate debate about the role of science in addressing societal challenges.

Under the theme, Igniting conversations about Science, the two-day conference will see about 1 500 participants from 45 countries exchanging ideas on the interface between science, technology and innovation in building a better society.

South Africa is widely expected to utilise the conference as a vehicle to strengthen its strategic international science, technology and innovation partnerships.

Pandor has pushed repeatedly for greater investment in research and development, as well as human capital in South Africa.

During her budget vote earlier this year, she warned that inadequate resources for research and innovation would deny the government the opportunity to “realise the full potential of the difference science and innovation can make in a society”.

While acknowledging restraints on the government, she has lobbied for more money, asserting that investment in research and innovation will lead to greater prosperity, more jobs, and more entrepreneurs. “I hope to show today that science and innovation are catalysts for future growth and new jobs,” she said at the time.

The conference is inspired by other “open science” conferences, such as the European Science Open Forum, American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the Science, Technology and Society Forum in Japan, and Pandor’s belief is that to lead in innovation, countries have to form partnerships.

During the programme, there is an opportunity for organisers of international events with a similar orientation, such as the Japanese Science Agora or the European Open Science Forum, to make presentations.

When proceedings get under way on Tuesday morning, scientists, government officials, industry leaders, students and civil society representatives will exchange ideas on ways to harness innovation and advance sustainable development, especially in the context of fighting poverty, among other topics.

Among the talking-points will be challenges associated with developing human capital for the knowledge economy and a topic on how research and innovation can best be used to promote the continent’s growth and development. Climate change and agriculture also feature on the agenda.

Lectures will be given on a variety of subjects, including large-scale research infrastructures, with a focus on the Russian perspective on mega science projects, such as the Square Kilometre Array: Big Telescope, Big Science, Big Data.

Focus will also be on the Square Kilometre Array project titled, The SKA in the Public Sphere in South Africa.

The SKA is a radio telescope which will help scientists understand how the universe evolved, as well as the formation and change of stars and galaxies. The conference will be addressed by its project director Dr Bernie Fanaroff.

“Public health will again be in the spotlight with a lecture focusing on what the guidelines for development are, and the effective use of point of care diagnostic tools when managing diseases in poor-resourced clinics in South Africa,” said Pandor, who is to deliver the opening address at the event.

Another science lecture, Understanding the Keys to Longevity, will focus on lessons of longevity learnt from the life of former president, Nelson Mandela.

Chief executive of South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency, Barlow Manilal; and Professor Martial De-Paul Ikounga, the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, will be among the dignitaries. Also attending are a host of academics and leaders from institutions like the CSIR and other research bodies.

More than 50 South African and international organisations, including a number of embassies, will showcase their work at an exhibition forming part of the forum.

As part of the conference, the first South African Science Diplomacy Awards will be hosted to celebrate partnerships that have made a significant contribution towards making the world a better place.

The new Science International partnership involving various science prominent bodies will also be launched.

* To follow the Science Forum, visit the website at or download the SFSA 2015 app from your Play Store (on Android) or iTunes (on Apple devices).

SA’s first science scrumdown

Science Forum South Africa provides a platform for all stakeholders, writes Naledi Pandor.

I will convene in Pretoria, the first “Science Forum South Africa”.

The event is designed as a “public science” event open to all interested stakeholders to provide a platform for discussion and debate on the role of science in South Africa and African society, as well as globally.

The programme is bringing together more than 1 500 participants for discussion and debate in four plenary sessions, 32 (parallel) short seminars and 18 individual lectures – labelled “Science talks”.

With the current international negotiations on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris enjoying huge public attention, the Science Forum will include a plenary debate on the science, technology and innovation response to climate change.

Chaired by the chairwoman of South Africa’s National Advisory Council on Innovation, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, and introduced by renowned South African systems ecologist and contributor to the International Panel on Climate Change, Professor Bob Scholes, the debate will include contributions from experts from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. These will include Dr Tanya Abrahamse, of the SA National Biodiversity Institute, and member of the scientific advisory board of the UN secretary-general.

The second plenary debate will focus on how to best harness science, technology and innovation for South Africa’s National Development Plan, drawing on international experience. The debate will be moderated by the chief executive of South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency, Mr Barlow Manilal, and introduced by the Department of Science and Technology’s Director-General, Dr Phil Mjwara.

Panellists will include national and international experts such as Dr Ben Ngubane, democratic South Africa’s first minister of science and technology; Professor Tebello Nyokong, a member of the UN high-level panel on the Technology Bank and Science, Technology and Innovation Support Mechanism, proposed to support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals; as well as Professor Anil Gupta of India – an internationally celebrated expert on “grass-roots innovation”.

The closing plenary discussion will see the awarding of the “SFSA Science Diplomacy Awards”, which will recognise excellence and achievements in international scientific co-operation.

A report highlighting the main messages emanating from the forum will be compiled and presented by young officials of the Department of Science and Technology, on which international science policy thought leaders will comment, before I and Professor Romain Murenzi, executive director of the World Academy of Sciences, close proceedings.

Of special note is the “Science talks” programme, a series of 18 lectures of 30 minutes each delivered by eminent thought leaders. These lectures will run concurrently with a networking reception and as with the short seminar programme, forum participants will be able to move freely between lectures and the networking reception according to their areas of interest. The aim is to create a dynamic and lively discussion environment enabling a vibrant exchange of ideas, fostering partnerships and co-operation.

The first cycle will notably include a lecture by the director-general of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology on “Modern biotechnology and the African challenge”. International partnerships will be on offer in a presentation of “Skoltech – a new English-speaking university in Russia: strategy and international networking”.

The scientific response to societal challenges specifically with regard to energy will be presented in a lecture on “A renewable-based South African energy system”.

The Science Forum has been actively supported by the Non-Aligned Movement Centre of Science and Technology and the first cycle of the science talks will include a lecture by the centre’s director-general on “Science, technology and innovation policy-making in developing countries – initiatives in emerging economies”.

The last two lectures in the first cycle will focus on large-scale research infrastructures, with firstly a Russian perspective on “Mega science projects” and secondly the “Square Kilometre Array: Big Telescope, Big Science, Big Data”.

The second cycle continues with a focus on the SKA project with a lecture on “The SKA in the Public Sphere in South Africa”. Public health will again be in the spotlight with a lecture discussing “What are the guidelines for the development and the effective use of point-of-care diagnostic tools when managing diseases in poor resource clinics in South Africa?” The health sciences will also be the focus of the third lecture in the second cycle examining “Biomedical research infrastructures for Africa”.

The Science Forum takes place shortly after the second anniversary of the death of democratic South Africa’s first president, Nelson Mandela. A lecture in the science talks will focus on “Understanding the keys to longevity and the lessons of longevity learned from the long life of the late President Nelson Mandela”.

Large-scale research infrastructures will be in focus in the second cycle with a presentation of the “African Light Source”. International co-operation in astronomy will be reviewed in a talk focused upon the African European Radio Astronomy Platform.

The third and concluding cycle of the science talks also comprises a programme which should stimulate the Science Forum debate. A lecture will discuss “Hi-tech health for low-income countries: Possibility and pipe dream”. Industrial technology will get a hearing in a talk devoted to “Efficiency and advanced manufacturing”, while the African agenda for science will remain in the spotlight during the talk on “Operationalising the science agenda for Africa: where is the human capital?”

The cycle will include a focus on science’s response to day-to-day questions with a lecture on “Skin colour and hair: myths and mysteries”, while science’s role in boosting economic growth through green technology will be the focus of the talk on “Unlocking the economic potential of the waste hierarchy through science, technology and innovation”.

The climate change and agriculture interface will be the focus of the cycle’s final talk: “The role of Soil and Biochar-fertilisers’ interactions in improving soil fertility and climate change”.

More than 50 South African and international organisations will participate in the Science Forum exhibition to showcase their work in order to foster partnerships.

The exhibition will include several national country exhibits. As part of the forum’s science communication focus, public outreach activities with a focus on science education for the youth will be conducted in several metropolitan areas concurrently with the Science Forum. In order to support the international science and society debate, during lunch on the second day the forum programme will include an opportunity for presentations by the organisers of other international events

Further information, including the full programme, is at

* Pandor is the minister of science and technology.

** The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Independent Media.

Cape Times

Let’s talk about science – Pandor

Cape Town – We need to talk about STI.

No, not the type nobody wants to share – the type that stands for Science, Technology and Innovation, and is well worth getting excited about.

On Tuesday, South Africa’s first Science Forum kicks into gear at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, and the theme is “Igniting Conversations About Science”.

“I thought we should use this forum to introduce the public to science in South Africa and the African continent,” Pandor said. “I’m hoping young people will sit up and take notice, and the media will become more appreciative of what’s happening in science.”

Inspired by European open science forums, the Science Forum South Africa will be accessible through a website and a mobile app, and it will also be broadcast on screens in science centres and public places around the country.

“Let’s ignite the conversation, and get us talking about science,” Pandor said. “We talk misery, we talk crime. We talk all the awful things, which we must talk about, but there’s very little appreciation of science and technology and innovation.”

The forum will be an opportunity for young scientists from South Africa to network with business and science leaders from around the world. Pandor said it is also about bringing knowledge into the public domain, and making the latest research available and accessible to South Africans.

“Is it likely that we’ll get an HIV vaccine soon? Are we putting enough money into malaria research? What about cancer treatment? It’s about what research is being done, who’s doing it, and what young people should be aspiring to in the future.”

Pandor said that while the African continent has plenty to be proud of, we are still trailing behind the rest of the world in the fields of science, technology and innovation.

“There is some progress, but compared to the rest of the world we’re lagging behind,” she said. “Much more investment is needed. We are lagging behind on funding, we are lagging behind on human capital. Progress is being made, but clearly, much more needs to be done.”

Pandor said we can be particularly proud of projects such as CAPRISA, an HIV/Aids research unit at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and the projects run by the CSIR.

She said scientists presenting their research at the forum would make an effort to explain their work in a way that a lay person can easily understand.

It may seem that science happens in laboratories, shut off from the real world. But scientists in South Africa are using their skills to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face in our everyday lives, such as HIV, tuberculosis and cancer. Climate change is also a massive topic of interest, as South Africa currently faces a drought that is threatening food security.

“Our daily life is a life of science, a life of technology. We are saying to the public, to policy makers, to NGOs, that science matters to you.”

To follow the Science Forum, visit the website at or download the SFSA 2015 app from your Play Store (on Android) or iTunes (on Apple devices).


Science can fix SA ills

Pretoria – Science was perceived to be less significant than water scarcity, food security and disease burdens, yet all of these could be addressed through science.

This was according to Minister for Science and Technology Naledi Pandor, in her opening address to the Science Forum South Africa at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria on Tuesday. The minister used her remarks to lobby for governments to support science initiatives.

The summit got under way on Tuesday and concludes on Wednesday, with at least 1 500 participants representing 45 countries.

The inaugural summit is themed, Igniting conversations about science, and will be characterised by discussions and debates in more than 36 sessions.

Science was still at the margins of government attention, she said. “It is seen as less significant than water scarcity, food security and disease burdens. Yet, all of these can be addressed through science.”

Efforts were being made, she said, to enhance the status of science and increase investment in research development and innovation.

Pandor called on participants to lobby for government support to invest in science and technology.

There was a need for increased focus to develop a robust national system of innovation, she said.

Communities need to be encouraged to value the potential for development intrinsic to science, technology and innovation, she stated.

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, African Union (AU) Commission, who gave a keynote address, said the summit objectives ought to be reconciled with the African Union Agenda 2063.

The AU agendas were aimed at developing an Africa that was prosperous, peaceful, integrated and able to play a dynamic role in improving the quality of lives.

She reiterated the need to channel more investment into science projects to eradicate poverty and uplift economies across the continent. The most precious resources to invest in should be the people.

Dlamini Zuma said Africa had a young population and that put it on a good stead to attract more investment. She appealed to governments to invest in health, science and educational skills. “To make sure that our economy is knowledge-based we will need to have science and maths teachers,” she said.

Science should also play a critical role in improving Africa’s agricultural productivity, she said.

This, she said, was informed by the fact that Africa spent at least $80 billion on food every year to import foodstuffs.

She highlighted the importance of investing in young people, saying they could be great assets if “we can invest in them but they can also be a liability if we don’t”.

Dlamini Zuma discouraged the tendency by African countries to depend more on assistance from the outside world. She said there was a need for manufacturing because “we don’t want to be the recipients of the equipment that comes from somewhere else and be installed in the continent”.

She stressed the role of women in taking part in the science initiatives, emphasising that they must be an integral part of science projects.

Founder of Science and Technology in Society Forum, Koji Omi, said Japan had vast of experience in science to share with Africa through co-operation.

That forum, he said, was used by scientists, academia, businesspeople, engineers and science policy experts to exchange ideas on how they could use science to advance the socio-economic agenda.

Africa was facing many challenges like improving its infrastructure, and science was key in solving those problems, he said.

Omi also announced that Japan would host its science forum next October, and invited the African science community to attend.

#SFSA: Businesspeople look for answers

Pretoria – The Science Forum South Africa is primarily about scientists and researchers showcasing the latest science innovations in the country but enterprising businesspeople are also looking to it to figure out what the opportunities of the future might look like.

One of these people was a Pretoria businessman, who declined to be named, who attended a session on the Science of Cities and Urbanisation to see how that would help him in planning for his business.

The man said he was at the talk to see what ideas he could get and how they could help him when seeking business from the City of Tshwane.

At the session, Professor Philip Harrison, from Wits University, said cities were complex and fluid and therefore hard to design and plan for.

“The city is far more complicated. It is an assemblage of things that are not tangible and we might attempt to model aspects of it and we should, but we have to understand the limits of our knowledge,” Harrison said.

He said researchers needed to understand economic drivers as an important part in planning.

Even though it was hard for scientists to plan for the future cities, it was important for them to look into how cities would survive.

“If we get population data wrong in planning; if we ignore the realities of geology and water solutions what will the consequences be?

“As planners we have to make the best possible decisions as we can through making ethical choices,” Harrison said.

These decisions have to be done in understanding that more and more people live in urban areas, said Elsona van Huyssteen, from the CSIR.

“More than 70% of our population are living in urban areas. Planning is more than about cities but about the science to create space,” she said.

Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina, of the South African Cities Network, argued that when researchers conducted work in cities they must also pay attention to people who live in them.

“We need to expand the scope of questions. We need more grounded approaches. We need to be humble and take the science of cities in a robust way and not use communities as a checkbox or a side issue but as complex core,” Karuri-Sebina said.

Harrison agreed with her, saying: “The city is about the people who inhabit the city.

“It has to be about understanding their aspirations and needs but for researchers the trick is how do you do that.”

The Science Forum got under way at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria on Tuesday and concludes on Wednesday, with at least 1 500 participants representing 45 countries.

Science can solve many of Africa’s problems – Pandor

PRETORIA – Despite receiving minimal attention from most governments across the world, the science and innovation sectors had the potential to solve numerous perennial problems like water scarcity, South Africa’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Tuesday.

“Africa cannot advance without investing in science. At present, there are efforts to enhance the status of science and to increase investment in research development and innovation,” Pandor told delegates in her opening remarks at the inaugural Science Forum South Africa taking place in Pretoria.

“Unfortunately, science is still at the margins of government attention – seen as less significant than water scarcity, food security and disease burdens. Yet, all of these can be addressed through science.”

She said the forum was “not a platform for resolutions or declarations”, but when the two-day summit ends at the CSIR international convention centre in Pretoria, delegates should call on their respective governments and institutions to invest more into science and innovation in Africa.

Some of the more than 1,500 delegates included cabinet ministers from African countries, civil society, think tanks and students.

Pandor said the summit would prove that Africa was seriously engaged in science and technology. It would also show that the continent was growing its capacity for research and innovation.

“Our key motivation is to foster public engagement on science and technology, to showcase science in South Africa and to provide a platform for building strong African and global partnerships. We have many more parallel sessions than originally planned; this is because we were overwhelmed by the very enthusiastic response from speakers, and institutions.

“We are very pleased at the participation and presence of several international organisations and thank them for their support for the forum. Our primary rationale for this conference resides in our conviction that science, technology and innovation can and must play a central role in achieving sustainable development.”

In a keynote address to the summit, AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said improved investment in science and technology was critical for Africa to wean itself from food imports which cost the continent dearly.

“Africa is unique in the sense that it has 60 percent of the world’s unused arable land. That is unique. It is even more unique and scandalous that the same Africa imports $80-billion (R1,17-trillion) worth of food every year,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

“For me that is really a situation that should not attain (sic) in Africa where we have so much arable land but we are importing so much. Those dollars could be invested into science.”

She said science was very critical in introducing better seeds, to improve agriculture and processing and to understand climate patterns.

Dlamini-Zuma, however, warned that young people should be at the centre of the innovation and industrialisation drives.

“We want to industrialise. All these young people we boast about are a big asset if we invest in them. They are a big liability if we don’t,” she said.

“By industrialising in Africa, we mean beneficiating and adding value to our natural and mineral resources. All that needs science. It doesn’t just need science for the sake of it. We need science for our industrialisation. The effect is that young people will get jobs.”

She also said women should be at the centre of the science and innovation drive.

“Women should be involved: not only because it is their right, but it is also an economic imperative. It makes sense that women should be involved. Companies that have women at their top echelons are more competitive than those that do not have,” said Dlamini-Zuma.

The forum will also feature the first South African Science Diplomacy Awards “to celebrate partnerships that have made a significant contribution towards making the world a better place”.

Delegates were drawn from at least 45 countries.

Science and technology can be answer to Africa’s challenges

Despite receiving minimal attention from most governments across the world, the science and innovation sectors had the potential to solve numerous perennial problems, such as water scarcity, Minister Naledi Pandor said at the opening of the inaugural Science Forum South Africa at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria on 8 December 2015.

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Looking back at Science Forum South Africa 2015

Science Forum South Africa: igniting conversations about science

The government of South Africa hosted the first pan-African general science conference, Science Forum South Africa, on 8 and 9 December 2015 in Pretoria. EuroScience Secretary General Dr. Peter Tindemans, who attended this landmark event gives an account of it in EuroScientist, the EuroScience online publication dedicated to science and scientists’ issues across Europe.

Minister Naledi Pandor of Science and Technology of South Africa, a regular guest at recent ESOF meetings, was the driving force behind the Science Forum and recognised in her opening remarks her inspiration by the ESOFAAASAGORA (Japan) and the World Science Forum conferences.

Participants discussed and demonstrated the importance of science, technology and innovation for development and the crucial role of an African science community. The event gathered 1,500 attendees, many from South Africa but also from other African countries as well and quite a few from all over the world. Sir Peter Gluckman, the science adviser to the Prime Minister in New Zealand, Luke Georghiou, co-champion of ESOF2016 in Manchester, and Gordon Bean, the president of ICSU were among them.

Several thematic threads were constantly woven through the fabric of the conference’s presentations and discussions. These included Inspiration, giving young scientists a platform, stressing the need to attract many more women students and scientists, pointing out the vital importance of integrating social sciences and humanities in tacking the many challenges South Africa, Africa and the world as a whole are facing.

Africa wants and needs to be part of the global science efforts. And South Africa leaves no stone untouched to underline that it wants to be a key contributor to and player in this…

Read the full version of the article on Science Forum South Africa 2015 in EuroScientist.

Government South Africa hosts Science Forum South Africa

On 8 and 9 December, 2015 a landmark event took place in Pretoria, South Africa. The government of South Africa hosted the first pan-African general science conference, Science Forum South Africa. Minister Naledi Pandor of Science and Technology of South Africa, a regular guest at recent ESOF meetings, was the driving force behind the Science Forum and recognised in her opening remarks her inspiration by the ESOF, AAAS, AGORA (Japan) and the World Science Forum conferences.

Participants discussed and demonstrated the importance of science, technology and innovation for development and the crucial role of an African science community. The event gathered 1,500 attendees, many from South Africa but also from other African countries as well and quite a few from all over the world. Sir Peter Gluckman, the science adviser to the Prime Minister in New Zealand, Luke Georghiou, co-champion of ESOF2016 in Manchester, and Gordon Bean, the president of ICSU were among them.

Several thematic threads were constantly woven through the fabric of the conference’s presentations and discussions. These included Inspiration, giving young scientists a platform, stressing the need to attract many more women students and scientists, pointing out the vital importance of integrating social sciences and humanities in tacking the many challenges South Africa, Africa and the world as a whole are facing.

Africa wants and needs to be part of the global science efforts. And South Africa leaves no stone untouched to underline that it wants to be a key contributor to and player in this. The Square Kilometer Array, the world’s largest radio telescope ever to be built figures, of course, prominently. It is an international collaboration to be constructed in South Africa–and other African countries–and in Australia. And it will no doubt drive not just science, but also education, innovation and entrepreneurship.

But many others were presented in a considerable number of parallel sessions, like in ESOF’s case, based on competition between submitted proposals. A fine example is a breakthrough in prevention of HIV infection among pregnant women, which affects in some age categories more than 50% of women. After many years, South African researchers have identified and validated a vaccine, which has recently made it to a WHO guideline.

Other interesting insights concern one of the biggest challenges of all: global climate change. Here it is important to realise the regional impact varies enormously–a 2 degrees C temperature increase will be a 4 degrees C increase in South Africa. But it is also necessary to realise that ecosystems evolution is not simply the consequence of global drivers such as increase in CO2 content. It is important to take into account local drivers such as fires, herbivores and land management. A careful study of the 8 different biomes in South Africa shows that the impact is not at all what one would expect based on global climate drivers only. And forest encroachment of the grassland savannas is far from an unmitigated blessing, probably to the contrary.

Such examples illustrate that global cooperation and learning about global variation are vital. The Science Forum South Africa shows that Africa is becoming attractive for young scientists all over the world. Much needs to be done, and building up things under sometimes difficult conditions may provide opportunities less obvious elsewhere.

There will no doubt be a new edition of the Science Forum which then may be the Science Forum Africa. But first, the Next Einstein Forum will be held in Senegal form March 8-10, 2016. It has the same overall goals, contributing to giving African science a face and a voice, and in particular creating a platform for some twenty selected young brilliant African scientists from all over the continent to present themselves and meet African scientific, political and business leaders, as well as representatives from around the globe.

European scientists should enthusiastically welcome these opportunities and try to get involved as much as possible. EuroScience will try to get grants for young African scientists to come to ESOF2016 in Manchester so that we can continue the dialogue.

Peter Tindemans Secretary General EuroScience

Photo credit: SKA organisation

Eager to continue to Ignite Conversations about Science

Eager to continue to Ignite Conversations about Science and to build on the success of the first Science Forum South Africa (held in December 2015) the South African Department of Science and Technology will be hosting the second Science Forum South Africa on 8-9 December 2016, at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, South Africa. The Forum will again serve as a large, open, public platform for debating the science and society interface. SFSA2016 will have a specific focus on the social sciences and humanities, as well as the role of science in Africa’s development.

Here are a few quotes from last year’s satisfied attendees:

“I would like to thank you very much for receiving the delegation from the Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) on the occasion of the Science Forum South Africa. … I am glad to report that the numerous visits undertaken during our stay in South Africa proved very successful … I also take this opportunity to congratulate once more you on organizing such a successful and useful event to bring institutions and actors active in science on the African continent together and to wish you all the very best for the coming year.”
– Dr. Phillippe Gillet, Vice-président, Pour les Affaires académiques, Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

“I deem it my privilege at having been invited last week to attend the ‘Science Forum South Africa – Igniting Conversations about Science’, as well as the first ever ceremony on Science Diplomacy Awards instituted by your Ministry. Let me reiterate that these are not only the visionary initiatives taken by Your Excellency for the growth of the African nations but are also the symbols of hope for the entire developing community across the globe. … I sincerely believe that it has proved to be a ‘Think Tank’ where new ideas would transpire.”
– Prof. Arun P. Kulshreshtha, Director-General, NAM S&T Centre (Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries)

“We were happy to be part of the successful forum and participated in many of the plenary and parallel sessions. We were pleased to see many Fellows of our Academy participate in many sessions …. We greatly appreciate your thoughts and advice during your opening address and we carried home the ‘seven messages’.”
– Prof Berhanu Abegaz, Executive Director, The African Academy of Sciences

The SFSA2016 Coordinating Committee is looking forward to receive you on 8-9 December 2016 to be part of the people that will Ignite Conversations about Science to the benefit of South Africa, Africa and the world. Please register online to attend.

Special Report | Science Forum South Africa 2016 – Mail & Guardian

We have 18 000 researchers working in universities, research councils and industry, trying to understand South Africa and its people, and to find solutions to its problems. But that is not a face of South Africa — and Africa, for that matter — that is often seen by the rest of the world, or by most South Africans. This is why events like Science Forum South Africa are so important. “It is one place where we showcase scientists,” Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said ahead of the forum. “We want to make a tradition of science in Africa.”

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Talking science year-round

Creating conversations about science and technology can help drive innovation and progress for everyone, says University of the Western Cape Research Head Prof Thandi Mgwebi.

Speaking on the sidelines of the second annual Department of Science and Technology (DST) Science Forum South Africa last week, Prof Mgwebi said it was in everyone’s interest to embrace science and understand its impact on everyday life.

“If we found ways to encourage everyone to appreciate science, more people would harness it in their everyday lives, in areas ranging from agricultural development to more controlled water usage and saving the planet. If the conversations around science filtered down to communities and families, more youngsters would be inspired to work in the sciences, our businesses would become more innovative, and motivating for research budgets would be easier.”

While the DST aims to see 1.5% of GDP invested in research by 2019, South African investment in research currently stands in the region of 0.76% of GDP. Prof Mgwebi believes that increased investment in research will support innovation and result in a better quality of life for all.

Prof Mgwebi notes that efforts are being stepped up to make science more accessible to everyone. The DST has developed a Science Engagement Framework which aims to:

* “Popularise science, engineering, technology and innovation as attractive, relevant and accessible in order to enhance scientific literacy and awaken interest in relevant careers through science education support, science literacy for the public and career support.
* Develop a critical public that actively engages and participates in the national discourse of science and technology for societal benefit.
* Promote science communication that will enhance science engagement in South Africa through science communications media, and science communication as a profession.
* Profile South African science and science achievements domestically and internationally, demonstrating their contribution to national development and global science, thereby enhancing the public standing of South African science.”

The annual DST Science Forum South Africa at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria raises awareness and brings together the science community and its stakeholders, as well as the broader community, business and public sector. The event’s outreach programme, Science on the Street, takes the latest developments in many fields of science out to the public in the form of interactive exhibits and workshops, reaching potentially thousands of people.

The events form part of the DST’s broader engagement strategy, which aims to raise awareness about the impact of science. However, bringing science into the conversation need not be the preserve of science-focused events such as these, she says. “For example, at community level, we owe it to our communities to promote the science conversation when looking at topical issues like how to manage water restrictions. Journalists could make more of an effort to report on science and technology issues. Schools could strive to make the sciences more engaging.”

The DST White Paper promotes the inclusive participation of society in science. To enable this inclusivity, society must understand the contributions of science, technology and innovation to national prosperity and to sustainability. The investment made by the Department in science promotion and engagement is in line with international shifts in the public-science interface, from ‘science literacy’ to the ‘public understanding of science’ paradigms and more recently to a ‘science and society’ agenda.

“While government departments and private sector organisations are starting to contribute to raising awareness, we still have a long way to go. We need to see much more communication around the impact of science and technology. Having conversations at community, regional and national level year-round would contribute to South Africa becoming a more knowledge based society,” she says.

Professor Mgwebi further states that it is widely recognised and acknowledged that the influence of science on people’s lives is growing. Technological innnovations, for example, have had major impacts on individuals, communities and on the environment. Such impacts need to be communicated. This can be effectively done when science is more multidisciplinary and where scientists promote co-operation and integration between the social and natural sciences. The approaches should draw on the contributions of the humanities, (such as visual history, philosophy, etc) local knowledge systems, and the multitude of cultural values. A powerful example for such an approach is work conducted through the DST-NRF Flagship in Critical Thought in African Humanities at the University of the Western Cape ( The Flagship recently staged a production “I love you when you are breathing” at the launch of this year’s Science Forum SA event in Cape Town. The production highlighted a multidisciplinary approach to the human condition.

Disadvantaged SA universities see promise in research fairness scheme

The University of Fort Hare and Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) could be among the first South African research institutions to evaluate the fairness of their research practices using a recently-launched benchmarking scheme.

The two ‘historically disadvantaged’ institutions joined four others—including heavyweights like the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University—at a workshop in Cape Town on 2 to 3 October to learn more about making submissions to the nascent Research Fairness Initiative.

According to Prem Govender, SMU’s director of research and postgraduate studies, the RFI holds promise for South Africa’s smaller universities. “We’re a new university, a health-focused university, and the RFI gives us a toolbox that we can use to audit where we are at and where we are going,” he said.

The RFI, managed by the Switzerland-based Council on Health Research for Development, is designed to help institutions probe a range of issues related to ethical and fair research, such as benefit-sharing, equal partnerships and good conduct. It was created in response to complaints from developing country researchers of unfair treatment in partnerships, as well as concerns about intellectual property management.

Universities, research institutes or funders can submit institutional evaluations to the RFI, which the initiative then validates. The final report is not of ‘pass or fail’ type, but a narrative of where institutions are performing well and where they can improve. Institutions with validated reports can display the RFI logo on their website, and will be listed as “RFI compliant”. They can keep the reports internal, share them with partners, or display them publicly.

Three African institutions—all based in Senegal—have already submitted reports, which are undergoing validation. A fourth, the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Portugal, is in the process of compiling a report. However, the initiative’s staff are hopeful that more institutions will join, and that donors will help fund the initiative.

Voster Muchenje, professor of meat science at the UFH, told Research Africa that he believed RFI validation would benefit his university. The 17 topics covered by the submission survey document, ranging from relevance of research to communities to IP negotiations, offer “a good tool for self-evaluation”, he said.

Going through the evaluation process would help avoid unethical practices, he added, and also help the university get its documentation in order to comply more easily with the reporting requirements of international research funders.

According to SMU’s Govender, the workshop threw up surprising commonalities between his small, new university and the challenges faced by research heavyweights like UCT and Stellenbosch. “Even they don’t have all of this in place. There’s a little bit of solidarity there,” he said.

He added that engaging with the RFI had given him “ammunition” for asserting SMU’s rights in partnerships with better-resourced institutions, both international and local. There are benefits to being small and new, he said. “It’s easier to turn a smaller ship.”

Article information

By Linda Nordling


Publication date: 05 Oct 2017

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This article was published on *Research Professional, the UK’s leading independent source of news, analysis, funding opportunities and jobs for the academic research community.

British High Commission to South Africa

Organisation: British High Commission to South Africa

Name of Exhibition: UK-SA Science and Education Collaboration

Exhibition Summary:

The UK in South Africa is committed to strengthening partnerships and collaboration in Science, Research and Innovation; to deliver this we have a number of programmes and initiatives to build capacity and create new links between South Africa and the UK. These initiatives include Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships, the UK-SA Newton Fund, the Science and Innovation network and prosperity Fund. The exhibition will provide more information about these and offer advise on how to access the programmes.


Victoria Bungane
Tel/Mobile: 012-421 7786 / 078-281 1250

Embassy of Finland

Organisation: Embassy of Finland

Name of Exhibition: Finland in South Africa

Exhibition Summary:

Finland: Europe’s most competitive country; bringing innovation and technology to South Africa and the world.


Attaché Sanna Leminen
Tel/Mobile: 012-343 0275/6 /071-302 5866

Embassy of Hungary

Organisation: Embassy of Hungary

Name of Exhibition: Hungarian Scholarship Programme

Exhibition Summary:

The Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program launched by the Hungarian Government offers 100 full university scholarships for South African students. All study courses (over 130 to choose from) are taught in English language and students can apply for Bachelors, Masters or PhD programs in fields such as agriculture, IT, environmental management, water management, natural science, business studies, social studies, international relations etc.
Students travelling to Hungary in the framework of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship program are offered the following provisions by the Hungarian Government: tuition, accommodation, monthly allowance and medical insurance for the full duration of their studies. Applications are open until 15 January 2019 on the website.


Agnes Juhasz
Tel: 012 430 5614

German Embassy Pretoria

Organisation: German Embassy Pretoria

Name of Exhibition: Research and Study in Germany

Exhibition Summary:

The exhibition portrays the German science research landscape and the organizations involved in German-South African research cooperation.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and AGNES will be present to give specific information on study and research opportunities for students in Germany.


Helen Crafford
Tel/Mobile: 012-427 8983


Organisation: GreenMatter

Name of Exhibition: GreenMatter Partnership

Exhibition Summary:

GreenMatter is an initiative that drives transformation in graduate level skills for Biodiversity. Co-founding partners SANBI (the South African National Biodiversity Institute) and the Lewis Foundation led the development of a Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy (BHCDS) in 2009-2010. The strategy is aimed at producing specialist, research and management skills for all organisations with biodiversity mandates, objectives, interest or impact, in the context of skills shortages, the need for social transformation, and opportunities for growth and employment in the greening of the South African economy.

GreenMatter activates through the involvement of a range of organisations, institutions and partners (which include NGOs, SMME’s, parastatals, national and provincial government departments), Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), SETA’s and Business, in delivering through a shared implementation model on the needs for quality skills and transformation.


Janavi Jardine
Tel/Mobile: 011-447 5112 / 084-884 3732

Human Sciences Research Council

Organisation: Human Sciences Research Council

Name of Exhibition: Human Sciences Research Council

Exhibition Summary:

The human sciences are often overlooked when it comes to scientific engagement. The HSRC’s exhibition will focus on creating an accessible way to engage with delegates on the relevance of human sciences and what it entails. We will showcase the work that we do, in print and video format, inviting visitors to engage with our existing and upcoming research. We see the Forum as an opportunity to present scientific research in various formats. Last year we reproduced our institutional info in a ‘did-you-know’ fact sheet format. In addition, we created an origami fortune teller with institutional facts. We push the boundaries in communicating the science that we do in order to create opportunities for igniting conversations about science. The image attached is a collection of images from the Mini Science Forum that we hosted last year, along with our participation in SFSA last year.


Bridgette Prince
Tel/Mobile: 021-466 7968 / 082-491 2026

South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions

Organisation: South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions

Name of Exhibition: SACNASP

Exhibition Summary:

The South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) is a registration and regulation authority for natural science professions in South Africa as sanctioned by Natural Scientific Professions Act (Act no. 27 of 2003). The core business of the Council is the registration of natural scientists. It also promotes the practice of natural science professions in South Africa, exercise control over the standard of professional conduct of professional natural scientists and recognise education and training which is a prerequisite for registration in terms of the Act. SACNASP is supported by 50 Voluntary Associations (VA’s) and has a network of over 12 500 registered scientists from 25 different fields of practices. Most of the professional expertise that supports the Council’s operations resides within these VA’s. The exhibition at the Science Forum South Africa 2018 will serve as a platform to converse about the immense diversity that exists within the science community and just how science affects all our lives. Marketing material, including the voluntary association report on science, will be displayed.


Matshidiso Matabane
Tel/Mobile: 012-748 6501 / 082-352 6296

South African National Space Agency

Organisation: South African National Space Agency

Name of Exhibition: SANSA

Exhibition Summary:

South Africa’s strives to be a leader in space on the continent with solutions to local challenges whilst developing the necessary human capital and innovative technologies. In partnership with local and international academia, industry and stakeholders, SANSA is able to provide substantive collaborations for the benefit of society.


Vaneshree Maharaj
Tel/Mobile: 082 851 9317 | 012 844 0399

Stellenbosch University

Organisation: Stellenbosch University

Name of Exhibition: Stellenbosch University

Exhibition Summary:

The exhibition will focus on research activities of Stellenbosch University. It will feature the MACE award winning annual report, which provides a snapshot of research at SU, with the focus to highlight activities where SU can contribute to the National Development Plan of Government, where our research has made an impact and where it can benefit society. It is also a product which aims to make science accessible to a broader audience and ignite conversations about science. The exhibition will also provide information on our CoE`s and Chairs, with a focus on highlighting opportunities for further studies for postgraduate students. We will also provide brochures and further information on specific areas of research expertise where opportunities for further national and international collaboration with stakeholders from the HE sector and industry exist. It will also feature information about the SToRM project: “Strengthening of collaboration, leadership and professionalisation in Research Management


Maryke Hunter-Husselmann
Tel/Mobile: 021-808 4623 / 082-438 8408

JIAS – Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study

Organisation: JIAS – Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study

Name of Exhibition: JIAS

Exhibition Summary:

Showcasing the University of Johannesburg and its research, innovation and academic expertise, achievements and exciting international partnerships. The Global Excellence and Stature strategic initiative focuses on our contribution to the region, country, continent and global community and advancing the 4th industrial revolution. Among several of entities is Pan African Institute for Thought and Conversation which ignites conversation on matters related to driven by and affecting Africa, and the Confucius Institute stimulating South Africa China cultural and partnerships. The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) promotes advanced research in the humanities and natural sciences, beyond the regular teaching and research activities at institutions of higher learning.


Reshmi Singh
Tel/Mobile: 011-559 1784 / 072-786 2226

Academy of Science of South Africa

Organisation: Academy of Science of South Africa

Name of Exhibition: Science for Society

Exhibition Summary:

Igniting conversations about how research can address challenging national issues, shape national discourse and offer possible solutions while shining a spotlight on the source of problems.


Tsepo Majake
Tel/Mobile: 012-349 6645 / 083-732 5659

IRD-CNRS-CIRAD Joint Office for Southern Africa and The French Embassy in Pretoria

Organisation: IRD-CNRS-CIRAD Joint Office for Southern Africa and The French Embassy in Pretoria

Name of Exhibition: French cooperation in science, technology and innovation, French Embassy, IRD, CNRS, Cirad

Exhibition Summary:

The IRD-CNRS-CIRAD Joint Office in South Africa has a strategic partnership with the Cultural & Cooperation Service of the French Embassy (SCAC). With a particular focus on collaborative research and capacity building, together we drive our coordinated actions in ST&I cooperation with South Africa and the region.

We will showcase our three research institutes profiles in ST&I cooperation, instruments, on-going projects & programmes, and new partnership opportunities. The French Embassy flagship Master and PhD bursary program and ground-breaking research activities with South Africa such as the F’SATI, the F’SAGRI and IFAS-Research should be also set out. Several brochures, posters and banners will be displayed.

This exhibition will serve as a platform to point out France and South African ST&I cooperation.

This exhibition will serve as a platform to showcase our main collaborative research programs in the following fields: health and environment, agronomy, earth and planetary sciences, marine sciences, paleosciences, physics and chemistry. Dissemination material such as IRD, CNRS and reports should be displayed and documentaries would be screened.

Finally, a quiz will be proposed on some of the key scientific questions of 2018.


Dr Jean-Pascal Torréton
Tel/Mobile: 012-844 0117/0118 / 082-600 5682

HySA Infrastructure

Organisation: HySA Infrastructure

Name of Exhibition: Renewable Hydrogen Production and Storage Technologies

Exhibition Summary:

HySA Infrastructure will give a full display of the hydrogen roadmap by showcasing a variety of working small scale demonstrators and supporting exhibition materials.


Neels le Roux
Tel/Mobile: 018-285 2461 / 082-551 1119

Biosafety South Africa

Organisation: Biosafety South Africa

Name of Exhibition: Biosafety South Africa – Sustainable Biotech Innovation

Exhibition Summary:

Biosafety South Africa (SA), a service platform of the Technology Innovation Agency, operates within the national biotech innovation system, under the auspices of the Department of Science & Technology (DST). The core business of Biosafety SA is to provide value-adding services and investments aimed at enabling the sustainable development and use of biotechnology in South Africa.
Since its inception Biosafety SA has not only established itself as the biosafety service provider of choice for South African regulators, researchers and technology developers, but also for those in Africa. A biosafety and sustainability focus has been included in the agendas and actions of many national stakeholder groups based on the prominence it was given through this platform. Biosafety SA is now a prominent and trusted brand within the regional biosafety governance space. The continued solicitation of Biosafety SA’s services by international organisations, regional regulatory authorities, local government departments, and numerous local research and development organisations and companies, attest to its relevance and the quality of the services it offers.

Although Biosafety SA was initially established based on the premise of biosafety governance, and in particular genetically modified organisms (GMOs) biosafety governance (hence its name), its scope and impact has evolved over time to include other biorisk governance matters and eventually to the broader concept of “sustainability by design”. Sustainable biotech products are safe to humans, animals and the environment, economically viable and appropriate within a particular socio-political context. Effective and sustainable biotech innovation therefore depends on the proactive, integrated consideration of the safety and viability of the biotech products under development along the entire biotech product/ stakeholder value chain.

Biosafety SA adds value by:
• Improving accessibility to biotech information, sustainability data, services and funding.
• Encouraging discovery in strategic sustainability R&D and biotech innovation.
• Increasing capacity in sustainability R&D, risk analysis and sustainable biotech innovation.
• Developing partnerships to collaborate, access funding and influence policy.
• Encouraging innovation in sustainable biotech products.


Jhill Johns
Tel/Mobile: 021-850 0531 / 078-273 0321

ScienceLink | SciBraai

Organisation: ScienceLink | SciBraai

Name of Exhibition: #SciComm in the Digital Age

Exhibition Summary:

ScienceLink and SciBraai are sister organisations focused on research communication. ScienceLink helps researchers reach their audiences through social media, data visualisation, digital story-telling, interactive apps, images, video and sound. SciBraai is a proudly South African NPO dedicated to science communication, science journalism and outreach.


Anina Mumm
Tel/Mobile: 011-477 2193 / 072-217 5544

Science CEO Academy

Organisation: ScienceCEO Academy

Name of Exhibition: STEM Education

Exhibition Summary:

ScienceCEO Academy is a world leading change agent of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) in schools, communities and research environment; founded as a non-profit company in 2015 (Reg: 2015/365815/08) by STEM Professionals.

The principal aims of the Academy is to increase number of matriculants that qualify to study degrees in STEM through providing them with tutorials at High School level mainly at under-resourced Schools, to mentor and guide them on career choices; to equip educators with necessary technological tools (e-learning) to further develop their competency in delivering of the curriculum; and to promote innovation.

The Academy will showcase the projects that it has conducted in KwaZulu Natal and services that it offers which are the following:

  • Tutoring Program
  • Mentoring Program
  • E-Learning Systems
  • STEM Career guidance
  • Girls-In-STEM Program
  • Teachers-In-STEM Program
  • Educational workshops

The Academy provides the above mentioned services through partnership with Department of Basic Education, Department of Higher Education; and companies.


Nozibusiso Gumede
Tel/Mobile: 031-941 6020 / 072-761 9863

Southern African Development Community

Organisation: Southern African Development Community

Name of Exhibition: Promoting Regional Cooperartion and Integration

Exhibition Summary:

Sharing information with stakeholders on the mandate of SADC as an organization and giving out information through books and publications. The publications and books to be displayed and given to the public will be those about science so as to “Ignite Conversations about Science”


Peter Mabaka
Tel/Mobile: (+267) 364 1830 / (+267) 74 256 463

Embassy of Japan

Organisation: Embassy of Japan

Name of Exhibition: Embassy of Japan

Exhibition Summary:

“The exhibition will emphasize on several Japan-South Africa research cooperation with universities, research institutions and beyond.
Information on opportunities for studying/researching in Japan will also be given.”


Sarama Tsunoda
Tel/Mobile: 012 452 1545


Organisation: AfricaBio

Name of Exhibition: AfricaBio

Exhibition Summary:

AfricaBio is an independent, non-profit biotechnology stakeholder association. It was established in 1999 to provide accurate information and raise awareness about biotechnology and biosafety in South Africa and Africa. Our members include consumers, retailers, manufacturers, biotechnology companies, industry associations, farmers, agricultural organisations, students, professionals, scientists, and research and tertiary education institutions. Biotechnology has an important role to play in addressing the agricultural, medical and industrial needs of Africa. AfricaBio supports science based assessment of biotechnological products to protect the well-being of people, animals and the environment.


Penelope Mahlangu
Tel/Mobile: 012-844 0126 / 072-453 7255

Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management

Organisation: Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management

Name of Exhibition: SASSCAL Exhibition

Exhibition Summary:

Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) is a joint regional initiative of SADC countries, namely, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and the international partner, Germany. SASSCAL exhibition its products and services including the research achievements and capacity developments done in the region.


Peter Shisani
Tel/Mobile: 012-481 4319 / 072-551 3528

National Science & Technology Forum

Organisation: National Science and Technology Forum

Name of Exhibition: Your Civil Society Forum

Exhibition Summary:

We give people insight into the work that NSTF does, that includes the NSTF-South32 Awards, the NSTF Discussion Forums, The NSTF Youth Programmes (Brilliants Programme, Science Bursaries Directory and Share ‘n Dare Programme) and membership.


Fulufhelo Gelebe
Tel/Mobile: 012-841 4591 / 072-882 2332

National Research Foundation

Organisation: National Research Foundation

Name of Exhibition: Advancing research excellence for societal benefit

Exhibition Summary:

The National Research Foundation(NRF) contributes to national development through supporting and promoting research and human capital development; provision of critical research infrastructure; supporting and promoting science engagements; and promoting the development of the national science system. The NRF also promotes South African research interests internationally, and together with research institutions, industry and international partners builds bridges to the benefit of all partners and the country. The NRF exhibition at the SFSA will showcase funding opportunities available at the NRF for postgraduate students and researchers; opportunities for research collaboration; the NRF research facilities and research outputs (publications) produced.


Lerato Mpetshwa
Tel/Mobile: 012 481 4357

Cape Citizen Science

Organisation: Cape Citizen Science

Name of Exhibition: Cape Citizen Science

Exhibition Summary:

Cape Citizen Science is a program that engages nonscientists in research and provides opportunities for South Africans to advance scientific discovery. The program has pioneered many methods of engagement with an interdisciplinary balance between education and research that has ignited many conversations about science. More information about the program can be found at


Joey Hulbert
Tel/Mobile: 073-871 3066

Africa Evidence Network

Organisation: Africa Evidence Network

 Name of Exhibition:Africa Evidence Network

 Exhibition Summary:

The Africa Evidence Network (AEN) is community of over 1500 people across the continent, supported by a secretariat at the Africa Centre for Evidence at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Our membership is free and includes researchers, civil society, practitioners and decision-makers from universities, NGOs and government. The aim of the Network is to link people and activities across various initiatives, organisations and fields working to produce and use better evidence. This brings opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing in the evidence-informed decision-making field (EIDM). The activities undertaken by the AEN are all focused on facilitating a connection between EIDM practitioners within Africa.


Precious Motha
Tel/Mobile: 011-559 1935

African Academy of Sciences

Organisation: African Academy of Sciences

Name of Exhibition:Transformed lives through science

Exhibition Summary:

Our booth is on ‘Dreaming of an Africa where Science, Technology and Innovation has been unleashed’. We want visitors to our booth, to spend a few minutes imagining/dreaming of what an Africa where science, technology and innovation has been unleashed would look like, write it down and enter their dream into a word cloud and then engage us in conversation on their dream. In return we will tell them the current updated figures/situation of STI in Africa and engage them on what we need to do to achieve their dream including the role they play.


Deborah-Fay Ndlovu
Tel/Mobile: +254 20 806 0674/6 / +254 727 660 760

NEPAD – Southern Africa Network for Biosciences

Organisation: NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Biosciences

Name of Exhibition: NEPAD SANBio – Southern Africa Network for Biosciences

Exhibition Summary:

The Southern Africa Network for Biosciences is a regional network which facilitates collaborative biosciences research, development and innovation in the SADC region with a focus on the impact areas of health and nutrition. SANBio will be showcasing its initiatives as well as products developed by its projects and partners through the support of the Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme BioFISA II.


Markku-Eemeli Pekonen
Tel/Mobile: 012-841 4039 / 079-720 8696

The Conversation Africa 

Organisation: The Conversation Africa

Name of Exhibition: The Conversation Africa

Exhibition Summary:

The Conversation is a not-for-profit initiative serving universities and the research sector in Africa. Our mission is to mainstream the voices of science and support science communication activities. We do this by working with academics and scientists, who themselves write and provide fact/evidence/research-based analytical articles on various societal issues and articles about their research findings as well. Our editors work with academics and researchers to publish short these articles, +/- 800 words. Our objective is to make the knowledge produced in the academy
accessible, easy to understand and freely available for the public. Articles are published daily on our website –

. We publish under a Creative Commons Licence and advocate for open access. All articles can be republished. Since launching, cumulatively all articles as at the end of June 2018 have reached over 50 million reads online globally.


Pfungwa Nyamukachi
Tel/Mobile: 011-717 8881 / 082-556 5181

The Netherlands

Organisation: Netherlands Education Support Office

Name of Exhibition: The Netherlands

Exhibition Summary:

The Netherlands is known for its innovative and entrepreneurial approach to societal issues. At the exhibition we will present opportunities for academic development and cooperation with the Netherlands. Examples are the NRF-Nuffic PhD programme, other study opportunities and innovative ways of triple helix cooperation like a South African-Netherlands Living Lab Smart Cities.


Mervin Bakker
Tel/Mobile: 012-346 0982 / 071-372 1528

University of Pretoria

Organisation: University of Pretoria

Name of Exhibition: University of Pretoria

Exhibition Summary:

The University of Pretoria (UP) is one of leading research-intensive universities in Africa and beyond. UP exhibition will showcase research activities conducted by its nine Faculties and over 100 research institutes and research centres. In addition, academic programmes offered by the university through its Faculties will be exhibited.


Dr Aceme Nyika
Tel/Mobile: 012-420 6851

Technology Innovation Agency

Organisation: Technology Innovation Agency

Name of Exhibition: Technology Innovation Agency

Exhibition Summary: TIA Bioprocessing Platform

The TIA Bioprocessing Platform is the epicentre for activities that support biotechnology projects with a commercial potential, and diagnostics-based projects. The Platform supports technology development by providing a conducive technical and business environment to entrepreneurs and researchers, therefore allowing for the development of new biotechnology products and processes, as well as diagnostic solutions within South Africa.

The facility has four (4) dedicated fermentation suites, two (2) microbiology laboratories, and one (1) analytical laboratory, which are all designed to support fermentation process development and downstream processing of whole broths, clarified suspensions, and an array of biological materials, including agricultural by-products.

In addition, the diagnostics unit is equipped with Hybridoma, Low Humidity, Protein and Molecular Biology laboratories to support the development of monoclonal antibodies together with other protein based bio-solutions. The Platform is located within the Umbongintwini Industrial Complex, south of Durban and is strategically positioned in an area suitable for industrial bioprocessing as well as research and development.


Sani Gumede
Tel/Mobile: 031 904 9753/66

Department of Science and Technology-R&D Tax Incentive

Organisation: Department of Science and Technology – R&D Tax Incentive

Name of Exhibition: R&D Tax Incentive

Exhibition Summary:

The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is aimed to encourage private sector investment in scientific and technological R&D in South Africa in terms of section 11D of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No. 58 of 1962). The incentive allows companies undertaking R&D in the country to deduct 150% of R&D expenditure when determining taxable income. For a company with a corporate tax rate of 28%, the incentive translates into 14 cents per Rand spent on R&D. The incentive can be accessed by companies of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy. This forms part of the policy package to promote R&D and innovation in the country.


Dr Nangula Mavhungu
Tel/Mobile: 012-843 6521 / 076-510 0971

Botlhale Village

Organisation: Belgium Campus

Name of Exhibition: Botlhale Village

Exhibition Summary:

The Bothlale Village ecosystem design stands for a systems approach to building a dynamic, diverse interactive network of relationships that breeds sustainable innovation, and recognises the important position and roles of local and public stakeholders in developing innovation capacity and activity locally, regionally and nationally.

In building a diverse community, that nurtures an active collaborative approach and equitably involves multiple stakeholders that co-exist, co-evolve and co-adapt with each other, Bothlale Village creates “relationship capital” that valorises sustained incremental and transformational ICT value co-creation to the benefit of all stakeholders and across different application domains.

Enrico Jacobs
Tel/Mobile: 012 542 3114 / 082 687 0886

Department of Science and Technology – IK-Based Innovations

Organisation: Department of Science and Technology – IK-based Innovations

Name of Exhibition: IK-based Technology Innovations

Exhibition Summary:

Variety of RDI products derived indigenous knowledge. Natural products e.g, Cosmeceuticals, Health Beverages and Nutraceuticals like Moringa


Mammone Tang
Tel/Mobile: 012-843 6314 / 079-519 4396

Scifest Africa

Organisation: Scifest Africa

Name of Exhibition: Scifest Africa

Exhibition Summary:

Scifest Africa, South Africa’s National Science Festival, was established in 1996 to promote the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation. Using inexpensive consumables and unsophisticated and accessible equipment this exhibition will demonstrate how the general public can engage with science in ways that are interactive, accessible and fun. Activities will include a range of demonstrations that can be repeated at home or in the classroom, as well as simple and fast workshops with take away components and resource material. The National Science Festival is supported by the Department of Science and Technology.


Pumza Tshebe
Tel/Mobile: 046-603 1106 / 073-206 7706

Department of Science and Technology- IB Portal

Organisation: DST Innovation Bridge Portal

Name of Exhibition: Innovation Bridge Portal

Exhibition Summary:

The Innovation Bridge Portal- The IBP is an online platform that aims to create linkages and networks between regional, national and international innovators, industry, public and private technology developers and commercialisation funding partners. The IBP is created to serve as online technology matchmaking platform for researchers, innovators, technology developers, and entrepreneurs, to present their technology innovation offerings, and funders and technology seekers to present challenges that can be addressed. The Portal achieves this through its multifaceted functionalities.

The IBP was officially launched by the Minister of Science and Technology on 15 September 2017 at the second Innovation Bridge technology matchmaking and showcase event. The Portal now serves as a virtual and online complement to the biennial showcase event so that innovators, technology developers and funders can collaborate throughout the year. The Innovation Bridge Portal is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology.


Poloko Motsoapong
Tel/Mobile: 012-841 2821 / 073-718 6188

Africa Business Integration (Pty) Ltd

Organisation: Africa Business Integration (Pty) Ltd

Name of Exhibition:

Exhibition Summary:

There’s never been a more urgent need for comprehensive security and surveillance solutions to augment our human resources. Because we can’t be everywhere and see everything that’s going on around us, we need tools to help.

Traditional security and surveillance systems function like additional sets of eyes, helping us keep watch over multiple locations simultaneously using remote cameras and centrally located CCTV monitors. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have transformed this concept into something much more robust, with software that can analyze what’s happening on the screen and proactively alert authorities when something isn’t quite right.

We thus present the Intelligent Security and Surveillance systems which are more complex than their predecessors because their tasks are more complex.


Tebogo Nakampe
063-048 5733

Central University of Technology, Free State

Organisation: Central University of Technology, Free State

Name of Exhibition: The Central University of Technology, Free State

Exhibition Summary: “Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) is the foremost higher education institution in the heartland of South Africa, dedicated to quality education and training in science, engineering and technology. CUT has developed into a leading institution able to take its place on the national, as well as international, higher education landscape.

CUT is a leader in many technology and innovation fields ranging from learning programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) a broad field in which CUT has approximately 48% of enrolments, much higher than South African universities, especially the universities of technology (UoTs).

CUT is a small and dynamic university where students get all the personal attention that they need.

CUT’s tuition fees are comparatively affordable compared to other universities’ tuition fees.

CUT is leading innovation and entrepreneurship education agenda for universities of technology.

CUT has newly revamped and demand-driven learning programmes which are unique in South Africa.

CUT boasts pockets of excellence, including a premier hotel school and leading research and innovation platforms; i.e. world-class 3D printing technology through medical product development.

CUT has the highest percentage of staff with doctorates in the University of Technology sector.
The university has a favourable pass rate.

There is a unique emphasis and focus on Work Integrated Learning (WIL) in all of CUT’s diploma programmes, which enable students to graduate with much-needed experience in their chosen fields.

CUT offers a wide range of qualifications in its four faculties, namely Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Management Sciences, and Faculty of Humanities. CUT also commands respect with its relevant research.

CUT, Thinking Beyond


Ikageng Hoko
Tel/Mobile: 051-507 4307 / 073-929 5115

Centre for High Performance Computing

Organisation: Centre for High Performance Computing

Name of Exhibition: Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC)

Exhibition Summary:

The Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) provides world-class high performance computing that enables cutting-edge research. It is one of three primary pillars of the National Cyber-infrastructure System (NICIS) of South Africa supported by the Department of Science and Technology and managed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The South African National Research Network (SANReN) and the Data Intensive Research Infrastructure of South Africa (DIRISA) are the other pillars of NICIS and compliment the CHPC through the provision of high-bandwidth connectivity and effective curation of a variety of large and critical databases.


Nox Moyake
Tel/Mobile: 021-658 3987 / 072-026 6762

Clarivate Analytics

Organisation: Clarivate Analytics

Name of Exhibition: Surviving the 6th extinction: African scientific research and development toward solving the world’s problems

Exhibition Summary:

The ferocious effects of climate change are increasingly more evident closer to home as Day Zero Looms.
Over 180 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone could die as a result of climate change by the end of the century.Greenpeace Africa.
As Africa and the rest of the world seek solutions to slow global warming and the adverse effects it has on food production, water levels and disease burden, there has never been before such a need for data and key insights into scientific and clinical research, collaboration and funding opportunities as well as developments in potential lifesaving innovations.


Gail van der Merwe
Tel/Mobile: 064-759 4188

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Organisation: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Name of Exhibition: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Exhibition Summary:

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, commonly known as the CSIR, is a world-class African research and development organisation established through an Act of Parliament in 1945. The CSIR undertakes directed, multidisciplinary research and technological innovation that contributes to the improved quality of life of South Africans. The organisation plays a key role in supporting government’s programmes through directed research that is aligned with the country’s priorities, the organisation’s mandate and its science, engineering and technology competences.

Key issues that the CSIR seeks to address through various interventions include: creating a vibrant economy and employment opportunities; building a capable state that is able to consistently deliver high-quality services for all South Africans; contributing to the development of economic and social infrastructure like transport, energy, water resources and ICT networks.

Impact is at the core of the CSIR’s mandate. To improve its research focus and ensure that it achieves maximum impact in industry and society, the organisation has identified six research impact areas. The research areas are: the built environment, defence and security, energy, health, industry and the natural environment. To make an impact in these areas, the organisation draws on a rich, multidisciplinary science base and proficiency in enabling technologies such as nanotechnology, materials science, synthetic biology, photonics and information and communications technology.

The CSIR’s state-of-the-art research infrastructure includes laboratories, testing facilities, scientific instruments, equipment, machinery, clean rooms and pilot plants that enable the translation of CSIR research into solid scientific output. Two-thirds of the CSIR’s staff consists of scientists, engineers and technologists, who share a passion for shaping a better future through science and technology innovation.

It is this combination of excellence in research, highly skilled staff and world-class infrastructure that puts the CSIR at the cutting edge of research and technological innovation to ensure a better future through science.


Kediemetse Mahlase
Tel/Mobile: 012 841 3412 / 076 732 1437

SA-EU Science & Technology Cooperation

Organisation: SA-EU Science & Technology Cooperation

Name of Exhibition: SA-EU Science & Technology Cooperation

Exhibition Summary:

The Strengthening technology, research and innovation cooperation between Europe and South Africa (ESASTAP 2020) is a project funded by the European Commission in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology. Together with the European Union Delegation in South Africa, ESASTAP 2020 will have a joint exhibition stand envisioning the SFSA 2018 theme: “IGNITING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SCIENCE”. The project aims to enhance cooperation through the participation of South African researchers in EU-funded projects and reciprocal arrangements for European innovators. It also seeks to develop new joint SA-EU science and technology initiatives. The stand will communicate the message of the importance of creating networks in the context of international collaboration (and highlight funding opportunities that are available to South African researchers who are looking to collaborate with their European counterparts. On display will be interactive artefacts that seek to ignite conversation about science diplomacy at all ages.


Seipelo Kgosiejang
Tel/Mobile: 012-843 6402 / 076-520 5674

Dynamic Science Network (DSN)

Organisation: Dynamic Science Network

Name of Exhibition: Strenghtening Research Community Network

Exhibition Summary:

There is a rapid change in research and innovation globally aimed to alternate the strategic management of national publication policy to improve the standard that can fit the local research journals in the future. This change of national publication policy may also improve the impact factors of the local research journals. Dynamic Science Network (DSN) is aimed to:
– Encourage and promote research collaboration or research awareness among research communities (academics, institutions, scientists, researchers, etc.) to strengthen research network;
– Encourage publication of research findings in accredited local journals for socio-economic transformation.


Dr Zelo A Mangombo
Tel/Mobile: 083-949 5684

Embassy of Sweden

Organisation: Embassy of Sweden

Name of Exhibition: Team Sweden

Exhibition Summary:

A joint exhibition between the Embassy of Sweden and Business Sweden to promote Sweden’s advanced position in science, innovation and research. Inform about Study in Sweden and Sweden’s scholarship program with South Africa. Stimulate the discussions about women in science and connect it to Sweden’s female foreign policy. Spreading knowledge about the Swedish Nobel Prize.


Oskar Nielsen
Tel/Mobile: 012-426 6400 / 078-403 0325


Embassy of Switzerland

Organisation: Embassy of Switzerland

Name of Exhibition: Swiss South Africa Joint Research Programme

Exhibition Summary:

The exhibition will be a photo exhibition on a selection of the Swiss South Africa Joint Research Projects implemented from 2008 – 2018 as a highlight of the ten years of research collaboration between Switzerland and South Africa. Early 2018 the Swiss Embassy commissioned a South African photographer to take photos of the Swiss South Africa joint research projects of which half were taken in South Africa and the other half of the projects were taken in Switzerland.

The 62 joint research projects falls within the domains of communicable diseases; non-communicable diseases; clean technology; sustainable systems; social sciences and big data (astronomy). The idea is to do individual mounting of the chosen projects and photos with a small write-up on each project which could be mounted across the public spaces of the Science Forum.

Making use of the public spaces of the science forum present an excellent opportunity for embassies to showcase their joint collaboration with South Africa. Having in mind that the Swiss SA joint research projects are now in the tenth year of implementation making it relevant to accept this unique exhibition format from the Swiss Embassy.

It is proposed that the exhibition will be jointly developed between the Swiss embassy and DST because of the nature of the exhibition being the joint research programme between Switzerland and South Africa but with the lead by DST.


Jacquelene Friedenthal
Tel/Mobile: 012-542 3114 / 061-410 6222

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa

Organisation: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa

Name of Exhibition: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa

Exhibition Summary:

The cooperation in science, technology and innovation is an integral part of South Africa-China comprehensive strategic partnership.Over the past twenty years, following the principle of reinforcing each other’s complementary advantages and win-win cooperation, South Africa and China have been working to break new grounds on the approach of cooperation, consolidate the foundation of cooperation. Remarkable achievements have been made. Cooperation in science, technology and innovation has become the new highlight and driving force of South Africa-China partnership for mutual benefit and is playing an important role in promoting the upgrade of bilateral relations.


Ms Yu Pang
Tel/Mobile: 012- 430 6551 / 078-585 7094

Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute

Organisation: Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute

Name of Exhibition: Tree Health Biotechnology Platform at FABI

Exhibition Summary:

Keeping Trees Healthy. Tree health biotechnology aims to promote the health of trees native to South Africa and woody hosts through the use of biotechnology. The focus is primarily on abiotic (climate change and plant genetics) and biotic (pathogens and pests) factors that affect tree health. This exhibit aims to showcase examples of bacteria, fungi and insects that affect South African trees to engage the public on the importance of tree health. This exhibition will provide a scientific conversation starter as it will educate the public on tree diseases, their effects, causes and prevention.


Juanita Avontuur
Tel/Mobile: 012-420 4204 / 081-049 0831

H3Africa: Human Heredity and Health in Africa

Organisation: H3Africa: Human Heredity and Health in Africa

Name of Exhibition: H3Africa: Human Heredity and Health in Africa

Exhibition Summary:

The Human, Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative is a partnership among the National Institutes of Health (U.S.A), Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), Wellcome Trust (U.K) and the African Society for Human Genetics. H3Africa aims to enhance the use of genomic approaches to the study of the genomic and environmental determinants of disease in Africa. The initiative supports African population-based genomic studies of common, non-communicable disorders such as heart and renal disease, as well as communicable diseases such as tuberculosis. The studies, are led by African scientists, and use genetic, clinical and epidemiologic methods to identify hereditary and environmental contributions to the risk of illness.


Dr Michelle Skelton
Tel/Mobile: 021-650 19 47

International Science Council ( ISC)

Organisation: International Science Council

Name of Exhibition: ROA Science Plans and other scientific materials

Exhibition Summary:

Exhibiting ISC Regional Office for Africa Science Plans, published books and other scientific relevant materials.


Bongani Mahlalela
Tel/Mobile: 012-003 4518 / 076-986 2296

Italian Embassy in South Africa

Organisation: Italian Embassy in South Africa

Name of Exhibition: Reveal history through science

Exhibition Summary:

Modern archaeology relies more and more on scientific diagnostic methods and techniques to discover, preserve, keep, identify and understand the ancient manufacts whose value is often immense. In a collaboration with the Egyptian Museum in Turin (, the Italian Embassy and the Italian Institute of Culture are planning to showcase the scientific techniques and methods which form the core of modern archaeology and are at the forefront of archaeological research (including the conservation techniques).

3-D reconstruction of manufacts and sites, laser scanning, image processing, photogrammetry, 3-d printing, tomography, neutronic radiography and diffraction, georadar, ultrasounds, CAT scans are some of the techniques currently used by the Egyptian Museum in Turin to perform up-to-date investigations and achieve the best understanding of its outstanding collection. Modern scientific instruments and large scale scientific infrastructures play a crucial role, being the analysis tools capable to realize accurate investigations and to achieve important results. The stand will showcase the links between science, technology, history and culture.


Dr Pierguido Sarti
Tel/Mobile: 012-423 0036 / 079-602 6335

Johnson & Johnson

Organisation: Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Name of Exhibition: Johnson & Johnson Innovation – Champions of Science

Exhibition Summary:

Science impacts our world in a multitude of ways. But it also can seem complex and mysterious. It can be difficult to make the connection between research done in a lab and the impact it has on our daily lives. Through the Champions of Science platform, Johnson & Johnson is aiming to make science simple, relatable, relevant and human, and engage more people in supporting science and pursuing science careers.


Diane Pressman
Tel/Mobile: +1 908 927-6171 / +1 908 295-0857

Moshabi Analytical Services And Training Solutions Pty(Ltd)

Organisation: Moshabi Analytical Services And Training Solutions Pty (Ltd)

Name of Exhibition: Density and Titration

Exhibition Summary:

We are the company which is based in Middelburg busy with all the coal testing /analysis. Our daily task is to run all the tests which includes the proximates ,total sulphur and calorific value in addition we do set the densities on a daily basis for washability purposes/float and sink and we do run the titration(AFT and reducing and oxidising) and currently we did managed to recruite 200 unemployed leaners with maths and science in order to give them the skill and training on the above mentioned tests and we do have labs we work with for placements.


Timothy Makwena
Tel/Mobile: 071-5797 993

SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit

Organisation: SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit

Name of Exhibition: Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex

Exhibition Summary:

The University of Sussex is a leading research-intensive university near Brighton. We have both an international and local outlook, with staff and students from more than 100 countries and frequent engagement in community activities and services. Over 75% of research activity at Sussex is categorised as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) in terms of originality, significance and rigour. With over 50 years’ experience, the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex is internationally recognised as a leading centre of interdisciplinary research on science, technology and innovation (STI) policy. SPRU continues to push the frontiers of knowledge in STI Policy


Dr Chux Daniels
Tel/Mobile: 1 x +44(0) 1273 876 581 / +44(0) 79 5046 5054

Sibayeni Metrofarming

Organisation: Sibayeni Metrofarming

Name of Exhibition: Sibayeni Metrofarming

Exhibition Summary:

  • Metrofarming which design and showcase vertical farming of leafy vegetables
  • It allows farming in small spaces and saves up to 90% water
  • It give an opportunity for youth to start farming businesses within the Cities and townships
  • It Promotes food production education for schools


Samkelisiwe Chunda
Tel/Mobile: 072- 014 0217


Organisation: SKYLABS

Name of Exhibition: SKYLABS

Exhibition Summary:

Suppliers of Laboratory Equipment, dehydrated culture media Laboratory Chemicals, Laboratory Glassware & Laboratory Medical Equipment.


Nishan Naidoo
Tel/Mobile: 011- 434 2832 / 083-513 1751

Traditional Healers Organisation (THO)

Organisation: Traditional Healers Organisation

Name of Exhibition: Traditional Healers Organisation (THO)

Exhibition Summary:

We will provide information and education to communities on indigenous knowledge systems, clarify misconception on the role of Traditional Health Practitioners and Knowledgeholder on IKS and innovation


Greaves Mufamadi
Tel/Mobile: 011-337 6177 / 082-769 8041

University of Johannesburg

Organisation: University of Johannesburg

Name of Exhibition: University of Johannesburg

Exhibition Summary:

Showcasing the University of Johannesburg and its research, innovation and academic expertise, achievements and exciting international partnerships. The Global Excellence and Stature strategic initiative focuses on our contribution to the region, country, continent and global community and advancing the 4th industrial revolution. Among several of entities is Pan African Institute for Thought and Conversation which ignites conversation on matters related to driven by and affecting Africa, and the Confucius Institute stimulating South Africa China cultural and partnerships. The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) promotes advanced research in the humanities and natural sciences, beyond the regular teaching and research activities at institutions of higher learning.


Dr Carol Nonkwelo
Tel/Mobile: 011-559 6556 / 082-440 3116

University  Western Cape

Organisation: University Western Cape

Name of Exhibition: Nanoscience Platform

Exhibition Summary:

The Nanoscience Platform operates across 4 universities (NMU, UFS, UJ, UWC) and 3 study fields (Biomedical Science, Chemistry, Physics) responsible for managing the 2 year Masters Degree in Nanoscience programme funded by DST. The exhibition will provide detail of how the programme functions, the research covered by the students and how the students performed to date. The exhibition will highlight specific items from the programme and the student achievements. The purpose of the exhibition is to bring this programme to the attention of students attending the Science Forum for them to enrol, also to academics from other universities to enlighten them about the programme.

Conversations about science:

Nanotechnology is the latest disruptive technology with impact on all spheres of science, technology, human life and lifestyles and it is important to let the general public know about this and be aware of all its influences on humans and the environment. The exhibition act as a discussion point on the new research and developments and future products envisioned. The overlapping role of nanoscience in all science fields will be a prime discussion point.


Prof. Dirk Knoesen
Tel/Mobile: 082-459 8441

US-SA Higher Education Network

Organisation: US-SA Higher Education Network

Name of Exhibition: US-SA Higher Education Network

Exhibition Summary:

The United States – South Africa Higher Education Network is a coalition of universities, foundations and government agencies dedicated to building a brighter future by strengthening ties among our institutions of higher education.

The US-SA Network aims to:

  • Develop exchange programs between students, staff, and faculty in South Africa and the United States.
  • Enhance the doctoral pipeline.
  • Develop collaborative professional development opportunities for staff of higher education institutions in South Africa and the United States.
  • Develop opportunities for collaborative research for researchers from higher education institutions in South Africa and the United States.


Rebecca Pena

Malesela Samuel Mogale Business Enterprise CC

Organisation: Malesela Samuel Mogale Business Enterprise CC

Name of Exhibition: FINTECH

Exhibition Summary:

The Fan Blog App is available for download compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It can integrate SAP, SAP HANA, AWS, SalesForce, .NET, CRM, Biztalk, SharePoint, SSRS, SSIS, SSAS, ORACLE, JAVA and PHP. If you need an App e-mail for a quotation. We develop Apps for iPhones, iPads, iPodTouch, Windows Phones, Blackberry and Android.


Malesela Samuel Mogale
Tel/Mobile: 082-959 7389

South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement – Science Lens

Organisation: South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement

Name of Exhibition: Science Lens

Exhibition Summary:

SA Science Lens has been running since 2002, producing a collection of beautiful photographs that inspire interest in and ignite conversations on diverse scientific topics. From tiny crystal structures to star-shaped nerve cells, come and delve beyond the usual and be inspired by the beauty of science. The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement’s SA Science Lens competition opens a window into art in science, sharing the beauty that many scientists are exposed to with all South Africans. Be amazed and inspired by textures, shapes, patterns and colours of a world you may have never seen before, from the sky to the oceans, to the life inside us. Science and art come together to form a unique display of visual fascination and splendour.


Joanne Riley
Tel/Mobile: 012-392 9349 / 073-472 5341


Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association

Organisation: Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association

Name of Exhibition: SARIMA

Exhibition Summary:

Display of all SARIMA activities and short courses we offer. SARIMA’s purpose is to strengthen the research and innovation system to ensure the social and economic development of the Southern African region and wider African community. The management of research has emerged as a specialised area not only at higher education and other research institutions but also in government and funding agencies (Olsson & Meek, 2013) and in other sectors such as industry and non-governmental organisations. One of the overarching objectives of SARIMA is to develop the discipline of research management by embarking on the pioneering work of professionalising the discipline.


Katlego Kekae
Tel/Mobile: 012 -841 2057 / 076-391 4771

Embassy of Brazil

Organisation: Embassy of Brazil

Name of Exhibition: Brazilian Science & Technology

Exhibition Summary:

The stand will exhibit initiatives of the Brazilian government in the field of science and technology, in particular on the subjects of smart cities, industry 4.0 and the startup economy.


Second Secretary Gustavo Meira Carneiro
Tel/Mobile: 012-366 5200 / 071-407 9868

Science diplomacy in practice – Bridging the European and African continents

Ms Sakina Kamwendo
HE Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane
Dr Daphne Bitalo
Dr Flavia Schlegel
Mr Frithjof A. Maennel
Prof Mauro Giacca

Dr Daphne Bitalo

Daphne is a geneticist with the National Coffee Research Institute in Uganda. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, an Honour’s degree in Genetics, a Master’s and PhD in Genetics; all of which she attained at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Her interests are aligned with effecting genetics in conserving biodiversity for informed national policy and regional diplomacy; as was displayed in her study on the population dynamics of demersal sharks across the Southern Hemisphere. Currently, she is tasked with conserving coffee biodiversity in Uganda, and generate policies for exchange of coffee germplasm across Eastern Africa.

Daphne is one of the fresh graduates of the ASSAF-TWAS-AAAS regional training workshop on science diplomacy recently held in Pretoria in May 2018 and is also a member of the Uganda National Young Academy.

Dr Flavia Schlegel

Flavia Schlegel took up her duties as Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences at UNESCO on 1 October 2014.

She is the holder of a Medical Doctorate and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development.

Flavia Schlegel joined the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health in September 1997, as Director of the AIDS Section. She then became Director of the Health Policy, Research and Education Division. From 2002 to 2004, Ms Schlegel served for the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research as Science Counselor for the United States and Canada with the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington D.C. Ms Schlegel returned in October 2004 to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health taking up the position of Vice-Director, Head of the Public Health Directorate and Member of the Executive Board. In 2008, she was appointed Director of Swissnex China and Vice-Consul General based in Shanghai (China).

During her four-year period in Shanghai, Flavia Schlegel established Swissnex in China; a transdisciplinary institute for Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture, funded by public-private partnership.

HE Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is currently the Minister of Science and Technology and a member of the National Executive Council of the African National Congress. Before this portfolio, she served as a Minister in two portfolios, Energy and Communications, respectively.

Mmamoloko started her career as a community developer in non-governmental organizations and subsequently joined the banking sector as a Skills development specialist. When she joined the public sector,she started at the National Health Laboratory Services as a skills development manager and then she was recruited to become a director in the office of the President of South Africa.

In 2009, she became a Member of Parliament of South Africa and assumed several roles including serving as the parliamentary advisor to the then Deputy President of South Africa, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, then later as a Chairperson of the Portfolio committee on Telecommunications and Postal services.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Vista University, a postgraduate diploma in project management from Damelin college and a Masters degree in Management in Public and Development Management from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Mr Frithjof A.Maennel

Frithiof is Ministerialdirigent (Deputy Director General), studied Law at the Universities of Bonn and Munich. In 1992 he joined the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology, today’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, where he held various positions. From 1996 to 2005 he worked in the “Internal Market” and the “Information Society” Directorates-General at the European Commission in Brussels and was involved in particular in shaping the legal framework for the information society. He left Brussels to become Head of the “Patent Policy, Inventor Promotion” Division at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and was subsequently appointed Head of the “Strategy” Division at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2007, remaining in this position until March 2015. He was appointed Head of the Directorate for International Cooperation in Education and Research at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in April 2015.

Ms Sakina Kamwendo

Sakina Kamwendo is the award winning host of METRO FM Talk with Sakina which was voted the Best News & Actuality Show at the MTN Radio Awards 2013 and 2014.

Sakina’s radio journey started at Radio Eldos, a community station in Eldorado Park. Her big break came when Talk Radio 702 allowed her to screen calls for the overnight show but soon progressed to producing weekend and then early breakfast shows while still holding down a fulltime job at the Maths Centre. When she was offered the position as Traffic Reporter on the David O’Sullivan Show, she decided to quit Maths Centre to concentrate on broadcasting full time.

In addition to traffic, Sakina also hosted a graveyard slot at 702 and management showed confidence in her ability by asking her to “stand in” on other shows and produce the John Robbie Show. Whilst she loved working at 702, Sakina had greater on-air aspirations. With this in mind, Sakina moved to the SABC/ SAfm, where she now hosts “AM Live” as well as the SABC’s #ForumAt8.
The session will be broadcasted live on Morning Life South Africa.

Prof Mauro Giacca

Prof. Mauro Giacca

Mauro Giacca, MD PhD, is the Director-General of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), an international organization in the United Nations system for advanced research and education, with laboratories in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa ( He is Full Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Trieste. His research interest focuses on the development of novel biotherapeutics for cardiovascular disorders, with particular reference to growth factors and microRNAs that induce cardiac regeneration after myocardial infarction. He also maintains a strong interest in the molecular biology of HIV-1 infection.He is the President Elect of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR), European Section and serves on the Boards of numerous scientific organizations internationally.He has published over 320 papers in peer-reviewed, international journals. He is also active in promoting scientific outreach for the general public. At its laboratories in Cape Town, the ICGEB runs research programmes at the forefront of international scientific excellence on topics of particular relevance to sub-Saharan Africa, in infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB), non-communicable diseases (cancer) and the regulation of GM products.


The Science Forum South Africa is an annual event with high level representation from the scientific communities in South Africa and globally. The 2015 event was attended by nearly 2000 delegates with an ever increasing number of visitors in the following editions of the Forum. This year, the Embassies of Switzerland, Italy and Germany are organizing a scientific session on Science diplomacy in which the South African Minister of Science and Technology is also invited as a panellist. The session will be broadcasted live on the national TV SABC during the Morning Live show and will reach approximately 1 million viewers.

Italy, Germany and Switzerland are among the “big” players of European research. In the previous editions of the Forum, the Embassies organized sessions with a focus on International networks for Public Health Advancement (2015), Climate Change (2016) and Food security in urban areas (2017). This year’s session will focus on their vision on Science diplomacy and Innovation diplomacy, taking as practical examples some major cooperation sectors with South Africa and the African continent: Health, Biotechnologies and Innovation.


Science diplomacy in practice – Bridging the European and African continents

13 December 2018 from 06h00 – 09h00

In the last few decades, science and technology have had an ever increasing role in foreign policy, defining and consolidating international relations, cooperation agendas and entrepreneurial partnerships between countries. One of the latest ongoing examples of multilateral scientific cooperation, expression of science diplomacy at its best, is the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a ground-braking radio-astronomical project centred in Africa that is paving the road to the development of African science and technological infrastructures. Several nations have established tools to boost bilateral and multilateral scientific cooperation to develop projects, common high-tech research and ease joint technology transfer and innovation. Germany, Italy and Switzerland are no exception.

The session will focus on practical examples of science diplomacy with South Africa and the African continent: health innovation, where Germany is investing 50 million Euros in five years to establish networks in Sub-Saharan Africa, bio-tech and genetic engineering, in which Italy is steadily investing around 10 million Euros per year to support the activities of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and Innovation, where Switzerland collaborates with South Africa in supporting South African and Swiss entrepreneurs through joint initiatives with a vision of enhancing the knowledge economy.

The discussion will also emphasize the “innovation diplomacy” aspect of cooperation, considering the role of science, technology and innovation collaborations in mutually beneficial economic growth

SDGs and Gender Equality

Prof Himla Soodyall
Dr Kellina M.Craig-Henderson
Dr Miyoko Watanabe
Ms Shoko Hirakawa
Ms Thulile Khanyile
Prof Finn Reygan
Prof Kanshukan Rajaratnam


SpringBots South Africa

Organisation: SpringBots South Africa

Name of Exhibition: SpringBots South Africa

Exhibition Summary:

Team SpringBots South Africa comprises of a group of young talented students with a passion for STEM/STEAM. Having recently competed at the FGC2018 in Mexico City during August 2018, achieving 1st place with a Gold Medal from Walt Disney for Innovation and Creativity and achieving an overall word ranking of 6th position out of a total of 184 countries who competed. An annual selection process is facilitated to formulate the team to represent SA at this prestigious Robotics Olympics, and the kids representing the team must have a passion for creating a positive impact within their Communities, Country and Globally.


Roxanne Reddy
Tel/Mobile: 076-401 4471

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Organisation: SARAO / SKA SA

Name of Exhibition: South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Exhibition Summary:

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) will be displaying its Centre of the Milky Way Galaxy image, based on observations made with South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope, showing the clearest view yet of the central regions of our galaxy. At the distance of the galactic centre (located within the white area near image centre), this 2 degree by 1 degree panorama corresponds to an area of approximately 1,000 light-years by 500 light-years. The colour scheme chosen to display the signals represents the brightness of the radio waves recorded by the telescope (ranging from red for faint emission to orange to yellow to white for the brightest areas). This image shows a wealth of never before seen features, as well as a clearer view of previously known supernova remnants, star-forming regions, and radio filaments.


Niesa Burgher & Lorenzo Raynard
Tel/Mobile: 021-514 1200 / 078-643 1506 / 071-454 0658
Email: /

Tech Savvy Kids S.A

Organisation: Tech Savvy Kids S.A

Name of Exhibition: Tech Savvy Kids S.A

Exhibition Summary:

Our Exhibition space will be managed by our students, who will showcase Robotics, Artificial Intelligence: Prototype gadgets. Some of our students will be coding and we will have a mini Maker Space.


Palesa Mahlangu
Tel/Mobile: 061- 489 5483 / 076 – 752 4238

South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement – Famelab

Organisation: South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement

Name of Exhibition: Famelab

Exhibition Summary:

FameLab is one of the biggest science communication competitions in the world, run in over 30 countries worldwide. FameLab identifies and nurtures science communication skills in young scientists, who are challenged to engage and entertain public audiences and communicate their science in under 3 minutes. Talks are fun and engaging, making science relevant to everyone. Heats are run by institutions across the country to select semi-finalists to attend a master class run by an international trainer. The winner of the FameLab SA finals represents South Africa at the international competition at Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. FameLab® is an initiative of the Cheltenham Festivals. The British Council, NRF/SAASTA and Jive Media Africa are partners in delivering the international FameLab® competition in South Africa.


Joanne Riley
Tel/Mobile: 012-392 9349 / 073-472 5341


Media Grant Call 2018 Announcement

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:

Jive Media

Organisation: Jive Media Africa

Name of Exhibition: Science Spaza

Exhibition Summary:

We are a science communication company that aims that runs the Science Spaza programme. The programme aims to create a link between young people in under-resourced environments and the science and technology community.


Robert Inglis
Tel/Mobile: 033-342 9380 / 084-357 7333

Beijing Association for Science and Technology

Organisation: Beijing Association for Science and Technology

Name of Exhibition: Driverless Technology Display & Youth Science Pictures Display

Exhibition Summary:

The Puppy smart car is a teaching platform for self-driving cars based on the Raspberry Pi. It’s rear wheel drive, front wheel steering. In the simulated environment, it uses a camera to identify roads and an ultrasonic radar to evade obstacles. We offer basic courses for self-driving car engineers based on Puppy. In addition, we offer advanced courses based on another platform, a formula electric vehicle.


Guo Zhenyu
Tel/Mobile: (86-10) 84614275 / (86) 13522667085


World Federation of Science Journalists

Organisation: World Federation of Science Journalists

Name of Exhibition: World Federation of Science Journalists

Exhibition Summary:

The exhibit of the World Federation of Science Journalists presents the Federation and its activities representing more than 10,000 science journalists through its 59 Member Associations worldwide. Trainings, workshops, toolkits, webinars and seminars are some of the activities we organise to advance science journalism. Do not hesitate to come and meets with us.


Christophe Bourillon
Tel/Mobile: 001-514 508 2777 / 0033-613 209 277

15:30-16:00 How Safe is My Food?

Ms Thabang Msimango
Ms Tintswalo Baloyi
Prof Lise Korsten
Henri Strauss
Andile Millicent Tombeni
Sean Scott Munday
Westley Smith
Morne Breytenbach
Lazarus Mankgela
La-Portia N Khoza


SA Innovation Summit (Pty) Ltd

Organisation: SA Innovation Summit (Pty) Ltd

Name of Exhibition: SA Innovation Summit

Exhibition Summary:

The SA Innovation Summit, as the giant accelerator of the South African economy, aims to showcase and promote African Tech Entrepreneurs and their innovations. The main focus is to support new ideas, research, inventions and the tech entrepreneur, how they can venture their businesses and become investible. The Summit does this by bringing together the key players in the ecosystem; corporates, investors, policy makers and entrepreneurs, and providing a platform for them to network, share their experiences and learn. Additionally, the Summit challenges and inspires conversations around the impact on our environments and identifying how we can effect meaningful change.


Dr Audrey Verhaeghe
Tel/Mobile: 082 708 1960 / 082 578 0728


Phulukisa Health Solutions

Organisation: Phulukisa Health Solutions

Name of Exhibition: Phulukisa Health Solutions

Exhibition Summary:

With the advent of smart devices and smart phone, the technological capabilities available seem to be poorly harnessed by the medical community. By enabling a nurse or a medical technician in a primary care clinic with cost-effective tools and allowing access to online platforms, we provide a solution where a client can be screened at home and have the results uploaded to our databases. A health assessment score is given using our cloud-based AI platform. The computed algorithms would pick out-of-range values and they would then be forwarded/ escalated to relevant clinicians and further action could be taken. In so doing, many patients could be safely seen or monitored without compromising on quality. It would also give greater scope to the nurses and medical technicians and make our burdened system less reliant on doctors and specialists without compromising care. It allows for pre-emptive screening and the early detection of diseases and prevention of complications. Follow up visits for patients can now be done remotely without clients having to be travelling great distances to be seen. The solution and platform is available as a backpack version, clinic desktop version and as a mobile bus.


Dr Raymond Campbell
Tel/Mobile: 066-306 0842 / 082 202 2156

Festo Didactic

Organisation: Festo Didactic

Name of Exhibition: Festo Didactic

Exhibition Summary:

Festo Didactic is the worldwide leader in technical education. The offer includes Learning Systems, i.e. lab and curriculum design, as well as Consulting and Training, i.e training needs analysis / assessments and bespoke program design and delivery. The training provided is geared towards employability, and productivity. The areas of focus are all the elements of Mechatronics, Robotics, a qualification program for Industry 4.0 (Qualification 4.0), and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math). These interventions will be exhibited in the Festo Eduvan, a unique mobile training vehicle able to accommodate up to twelve learners plus facilitator.


Nico Landman
Tel/Mobile: 011-971 5500 / 083 327 2006

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