Women in Science, Engineering and Technology- a SADC perspective

Moderator:
Mr Stanley Maphosa
Panellists:
Ms Ndoni Mchunu
Ms Anneline Morgan
Ms Mmampei Chaba
Ms Thembi Turu Dube
Prof Nonhlanhla Sukati

Miss Ndoni Mcunu

Miss Ndoni Mcunuis currently pursuing a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) at the Global Change Institute at Witwatersrand University. Ndoni is also the founder & Chief Executive Officer of Black Women in Science (BWIS) a registered non-profit organization which aims to deliver capacity development interventions that target young black women scientists and researchers. She was selected as the top 200 Mail and Guardian Young South Africans, under the education sector 2016. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow 2017, selected for her contribution in Civic Leadership development in Africa for her work in BWIS.

She received an Honorary Award from the KwaZulu-Natal Province in the division of Science Research and Entrepreneurship given by the KZN Young Achievers Awards and eThekwini Municipality. She is a winner of the Gagasi FM – SHERO Award for the Science and Technology category. Miss Mcunu is in the Steering Committee for WISET. She is also a Greenmatter Fellow for her academic research in climate change and agriculture. Mcunu has been listed as the Top 50 most Inspiring Women in Tech in South Africa in 2017, which is an award issued by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and South Africa.

Mr Stanley Maphosa

Mr Stanley Maphosa is the International and National Liaison Manager of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). He leads and oversees four subprograms that include International Liaison (Strategic Partnerships, Overseas Collaborations, and African Collaborations), Gender in Science Technology and Innovation; Young Scientist Liaison; National and Member Liaison.  These are meant to develop and maintain relations with science academies, multilateral science organisation, universities, government departments, parliament, embassies civil society and science councils nationally, in Africa and globally. He is a science diplomat, involved in internationalisation of science, international science collaborations, and science advice.  He hosts the Regional Office of The World Academy of Sciences, the South African National Chapter of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World, the South African Young Academy of Science and the International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa. Stanley is a Disaster Management Professional a member of the International Government Science Advisers (INGSA) African Chapter and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He previously worked for 12 years at World Vision International in South Africa and Southern Africa. Currently studying for a PhD in Social Science, Stanley holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies.

Ms Anneline Morgan

Ms Morgan is currently seconded to the SADC Secretariat as the Senior Technical Advisor: Science, Technology and Innovation, where she is responsible for facilitating and coordinating regional STI policies, strategies and programmes in support of the SADC Member States. Prior to her Secondment she held the position of Director: Africa Cooperation at the South African, Department of Science and Technology, where she was responsible for managing international engagements and partnerships with African countries in the area of science and technology. Ms Morgan has been instrumental in championing regional cooperation in the area of science, technology and innovation, which has resulted in the initiation of several regional programmes.

Ms Mmampei Chaba

Ms Mmampei Chaba, is currently Chief Director responsible for Multilateral and Africa engagements within DST and has been in this position for the last 7 years. Her responsibilities include managing South Africa’s global and African multilateral Science, Technology and Innovation relations with organisations such as the UN, SADC and the African Union. She is also responsible for managing the 26 Science, Technology and Innovation bilateral agreements that South Africa has entered into with strategic countries in the continent. Before occupying this post, she served as a Director: Multilateral Cooperation from 2006 – 2010 within the DST and as a Deputy Director in Multilateral Cooperation from 2004 – 2006. She was also seconded to the UK in 2008 on DST’s behalf. Before joining the DST she worked in the Department of Health for 5 years as a Medical Scientist. Ms Chaba obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town and her Honour degree from University of Pretoria, in Human Genetics

Ms Thembi Turu Dube

Ms Thembi Turu Dube is currently the Senior Inspector for Science, employed by the Ministry of Education and Training in Swaziland. With 26 years’ experience in the Education Sector, she has been a classroom teacher, Head of Department and a Regional Inspector. Although her main focus is to assure standards and quality at secondary school level, she is also engaged with Primary schools particularly in the teaching of Science. She promotes learners in out-of-class research in Science through Science Fairs and other activities/competitions through the Science Teachers’ Association. She has a passion for promoting Science, Technology and Innovation among school going children more particularly girls. She has also written Science text books for Secondary schools in collaboration with other writers. She is the President of the Forum for African Women Educationalists – Swaziland Chapter (FAWESWA), which promotes girls into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She has also participated in the development of constitutions for the Swaziland Chapter of Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WISET) and for the Academy of Science of Swaziland (ASSWA).

Prof Nonhlanhla Sukati

Nonhlanhla A. Sukati is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Nursing of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Swaziland. Her PhD was obtained at the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Nursing; Master of Arts in the teaching of nursing from New York University, (NYU); a diploma in midwifery from Phebe School of Nursing, Liberia and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cuttington University College, Liberia. She has over 39 years’ experience teaching Nursing.  She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International (the Honour Society for Nursing). She has been the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Swaziland, from February 2011 to January 2017.  In November 2016 to January 2017 she was the acting pro-vice chancellor for the University of Swaziland. She has been an active member of the Ministry’s organising committee for the bi-annual Health and Research Conferences and is a member of the Swaziland Nursing Council in Swaziland.  She is the current Vice- chairperson for the Forum for African Women Educationalists, eSwatini Chapter, an organisation that encourages the participation of girls in STEM fields and is the Chairperson for the National WISET Chapter.

Various organisations with programmes and projects on women in science have been formed over the years. These organisations are geared towards promoting women’s access to science and technology. The WISET is a SADC chartered organisation that links to the Gender Protocol. The 15 countries of the SADC have shown political-will and support for the WISET which is a point of celebration. There is a need that cries out every day to enhance greater involvement of women in the decision-making processes for the development of their countries and the international scientific community. Women is science still face some challenges from the lowest to the highest level of their career. The challenges of women in science can be fixed through knowledge and through fixing institutions. When knowledge and institutions are addressed, then numbers will be fixed as well. Organisations that deal with women in science in one country need to be networked, coordinated and work collaboratively in order for them to have one voice in policy. Duplication of efforts, double dipping and competition are some of the setbacks of disintegration. Integration maximises on resources and enables mentorship for the young scientists and girls wishing to enter the science arena.

Presented by the ASSAf and DST, this panel discussion will explore and acknowledge the various women in science organisation in Southern Africa and their impact and challenges. The panellists will suggest ways to improve the women in science programmes with close emphasis to WISET and its mandate from the member states. Awareness will be raised on the availability of opportunities for women in science especially those in historically disadvantaged institutions within SADC and beyond. The outcome of this panel discussion is to find a committed political will from policy makers in the SADC on the SADC WISET National Chapters. Male and female scientists, media and civil society will also be exposed to the importance of women scientists within the science system at the sub regional level.  The discussion will highlight the impact of current women in science programmes and will suggest ways in which they can be supported by national governments, civil society and business to enhance their contribution to the science, technology and innovation sector.

2018-11-14T17:42:42+00:00