Sunday, 16 February 2014
Toronto (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
South Africa’s determination to become one of the world’s most competitive knowledge-based economies is gathering speed through the implementation of its Ten Year Innovation Plan. This three-legged blueprint for scientific cooperation inside South Africa and with Africa and with the world, spans focus areas from space science and astronomy to better understanding the human and social dynamics societies in transition. Recent membership of the BRICS, the appointment of a South African as Head of the African Union and the high-profile award of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope are all indicative of South Africa and Africa’s ambition to contribute to global scientific enterprise. Yet, this equal-partner role often risks being overlooked. Minister Hanekom’s talk will underscore pan-African efforts to address grand challenges such as global change, energy security and the fight against disease. He will demonstrate how South Africa is actively pursuing these objectives through a range of dynamic international partnerships. The message from Africa is clear: science is not a reward but an instrument for development and South Africa and Africa are determined to harness its full potential.