SFSA positions itself as the research conference in Southern Africa, where research papers are presented, science engagement meetings are organized, and science discussions are ignited, often with a focus on young researchers. In one central location – the forum takes place at the CSIR Convention Centre Pretoria each year in December – parallel sessions of 140 science talks and lectures with 350 speakers from different scientific areas were offered. The event was opened by the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi Ngubane, who had invited other high-ranking members of ministries from neighbouring countries to the forum as well.
The 3000 attendees had an extensive and enticing programme with several science and science policy-oriented discussions to choose from. 73 Institutions participated in the related fair. Among these 73 institutions were all the most esteemed research institutes in South Africa, as well as institutions from neighbouring countries, NGOs, research-intensive companies, embassies and international bodies such as Research in Germany, British Council and Nuffic.
The DAAD presented its own science talk with a focus on the East and South African-German Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methodologies and Management (CERMESA) entitled, A new research triangle – Universities in South Africa, Kenya and Germany working together to establish an African centre of excellence in educational research. During the panel discussion, moderated by the director of the DAAD Information Centre Johannesburg, Dr. Anja Hallacker, Prof. Laban Ayiro (Kenya), Prof. Paul Webb (South Africa) and Dr. Proscovia Namubiru Ssentamu (Uganda) informed 60 attendees about the German-African cooperation in teacher education and training.
Another science talk with German participation on High Tech vs Frugal innovation was met with great interest. A panel discussion with German participation on Science Diplomacy may be viewed here and an interview with the representative of the Fraunhofer Society in Pretoria, Prof. Dr. Olivier Damm can be viewed here.
DAAD South Africa thanks the contributions of each and every one involved in the fair and looks forward to an increasingly influential Science Forum in December 2019.