For the second year in a row, AWARD sent a contingent of fellows and fellow mentees to the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA 2016) conference. Twenty-seven women from various cohorts participated in the two-day conference that took place December 8-9, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa.
During the SFSA 2016, delegates had the opportunity to discuss the intersections between science, technology, and society and think of innovative ways to bridge research to other industries and people’s everyday lives.
Yvette Ampaire, a 2015 AWARD Fellow Mentee and conference participant, reflects on how the meeting affirms the innovative research already being done on the continent and the need to further utilize the knowledge existing in African communities. “I realize that the gap in linking research and innovations to people provides opportunity for youth, especially for young women to link researched solutions into agriculture projects for food security and income generation,” she states.
The AWARD fellows and fellow mentees also had the opportunity to meet with South African Minister of Science and Technology, Grace Naledi Pandor. Throughout the conference, Minister Pandor reiterated the need for greater partnerships between science and technology research institutions and local indigenous knowledge. She also called for the inclusion of more youth in science and technology, as well as greater collaboration across the continent.
AWARD Deputy Director Dorothy Mukhebi echoes Minister Pandor on what this conference means for the continent. “It is wonderful interacting with so many young people igniting conversations about science and technology. South Africa has a lot to share with the rest of Africa and vice versa.”
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