The second edition of Science Forum South Africa kicks off this week with an interesting array of national and international speakers, engaging exhibitions and science in the streets.
Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) will be held under the theme “Igniting conversations about science” on 8 and 9 December at the CSIR Convention Centre.
The forum is a platform for scientists, policy-makers, students, academics and the public to engage on pertinent issues around science, technology and innovation.
Building on the success of first SFSA, the forum programme comprises several parallel sessions addressing diverse topics, while an exhibition staged at Church Square in Pretoria as a side event will seek to expose ordinary citizens to the world of science and technology.
With this year’s focus being on the social sciences, discussions will centre around some of the hard issues with which South Africa is currently grappling, such as the debate on the minimum living wage and the reported 60% dropout rate at South Africa’s universities.
South Africa’s experience and social sciences perspective offers rich opportunities for learning, which could provide insights into how to promote reconciliation elsewhere in the world. Discussions on relevant questions will include reflections by leading social scientists, civil society actors and international commentators like the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard.
Topics will include climate change-induced migration, public perceptions of genetically modified organisms, food security, and how social science can shape Africa’s future.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, will share the stage with high-profile players in the sciences, as well as policy-makers, academics and students from the continent and abroad.
Former head of policy in the Presidency, Mr Joel Netshitenzhe, will deliver the keynote speech, while a strong international dimension to the event will be reflected in the participation of speakers and delegates from Africa, the UK, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Austria, India and Japan.
Speakers will include Prof. Salim Karim, one of South Africa’s leading HIV researchers; Prof. Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences; Prof. Tebello Nyokong, Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Nanotechnology at Rhodes University; and Dame Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission from 2012 to 2014.
The media are invited as follows:
Date: Thursday, 8 December2016
Time: 08:30 – 17:00
Venue: CSIR International Convention Centre
For enquiries and to confirm attendance, contact Veronica Mohapeloa at 082 882 3818 or David Mandaha at 072 126 8910.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.
Agencies of the UN System, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) of Central Africa and their development partners such as the African Development bank (AfDB) will concert from 6 to 7 December 2016 in Libreville – Gabon, to draw parallels between the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) in order to better support subregional development programmes. This will be within the framework of the seventh session of the Sub-regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) of the UN System-wide support to the AU’s NEPAD programme in the sub region.
Convened by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the meeting will inform SRCM partners on the appropriate monitoring and evaluation facilities and mechanisms for the implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Agenda 2030. Specifically, it will examine the extent to which the United Nations could support sub-regional institutions not only in plotting coherence between the two agendas but also in their effective implementation. Apart from adopting a common approach to support the implementation of both agendas in the subregion, the meeting will seek to attribute specific roles to the various SRCM partners on this demarche as well as to establish a roadmap for the setting up of the subregion’s next Common Indicative Programme, to take into consideration the aforementioned agendas, for the RECs and their development partners.
It would be recalled that during the sixth session of the subregional mechanism, held in Douala – Cameroon from 3 to 4 December 2014, the over 50 delegates in attendance from member States in the sub-region, the CEMAC Commission, the ECCAS General Secretariat, specialised institutions of these communities, regional organisations as well as representatives of the UN and the AfDB noted that the 2nd phase of the Common Indicative Programmed (CIP II) adopted in 2013 had recorded progress but that it was imperative to rake-in financial resources to service a number of its activities that still lay fallow.
A mid-term assessment of CIP II in Central Africa at the time, revealed that from 79 identified activities of the programme, 9 had been completed. This was the case of the study on the exploitation of the potential of the extractive industries for structural transformation in Central Africa and the support programme for the fight against vectors of endemic diseases in the sub-region. A total of 36 projects were ongoing. These included the launch of the second phase of maintenance work on the Mintom Cameroon Border-Congo Road as well as the financing and follow up of the maintenance project on the Mouila-Ndendé-Doussala-Dolisie Gabon-Congo Border Road. But they also noted that 35 activities of the CIP had not been started. This was the case of the Study on the Franceville-Mbinda Rail Road between Gabon and Congo and the Support Project for the Development of Applications in the e-Commerce, e-Health and e-Education sectors, known as the NEPAD e-School.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) together with the National Consumer Commission (NCC), the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), City of Cape Town and National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) will lead a safe paraffin appliance awareness campaign that will be hosted on Thursday, 8 December 2016 in Masiphumelele Informal Settlement in Fish Hoek, Western Cape.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the usage of safe paraffin stoves and to eliminate poor quality stoves that contribute to fires that often devastate informal settlements across the country.
“The campaign is also aimed at improving inter-governmental cooperation and facilitates service delivery where the provision of safe consumer goods is concerned, and enable further face-to-face community engagements to make them aware of the risks posed by non-compliant products with regards to safety, health and matters of environmental protection as well as the rights of the consumers,” says Davies.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer of NCRS, Mr Edward Mamadise says the campaign in Masiphumelele informal settlement is targeting 3 000 households which will be inspected during the door-to-door campaign. He adds that more than 3 000 safe paraffin stoves will be handed out to the community and 50 volunteers from Masiphumelele will also be trained on how to visually identify safe stoves from the market in order for them to continue with the project even after the campaign has moved to other areas.
The Commissioner of NCC Mr Ebrahim Mohamed says the campaign will ensure that consumers receive fair value for the money they spend and quality goods that are usable, durable and do not cause any harm when used for its manufactured purpose.
The partnership follows a winter campaign that was started in June 2015 by the NRCS and the NCC, aimed at educating consumers about the importance of using approved appliances such as paraffin stoves and heaters to prevent shack fires which often result in loss of lives and properties.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.
On December 1, 2016, President Xi Jinping held talks at the Great Hall of the People with President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone. The two heads of state decided to upgrade China-Sierra Leone relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and take the implementation of outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) as an opportunity to comprehensively expand and deepen bilateral friendly as well as mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, so as to better benefit the two peoples.
Xi Jinping pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 45 years ago, both sides have shared mutual respect, equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit and win-win results as well as understood and supported each other on issues concerning respective core interests and major concerns. Having withstood the test of times and international vicissitudes, bilateral relationship remains unshakable and becomes even firmer as time goes by. Both sides should consolidate political mutual trust and safeguard common interests. China is willing to enhance personnel exchanges with Sierra Leone in various fields including government, political party, legislative institution, army and local government. Both sides should deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote common development. China encourages domestic enterprises and financial institutions to actively engage in infrastructure building and mineral exploitation in Sierra Leone for mutually beneficial cooperation so as to promote Sierra Leone’s industrialization and sustainable self-development, as well as stands ready to support the country to develop agriculture and improve its capability of ensuring food safety. The two sides should strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as mutual friendship. China is willing to enhance communication and cooperation with Sierra Leone in such areas as culture, education, health, tourism, media, think tank, youth and women, actively carry out joint study on diseases, and support the country to strengthen the building of its public health system and capacity in the area. Both sides need to strengthen international cooperation and coordination to maintain unity in Africa. China is ready to reinforce communication and coordination with Sierra Leone in UN affairs, climate change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, African peace and security and other major international and regional issues to jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.
Xi Jinping stressed that China is delighted to see Africa’s self-enhancement through unity and the rapid development of its integration process. China will adhere to its Africa policy featuring sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit, comprehensively implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit and closely combine its own development with assisting Africa’s sustainable self-development, so as to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.
Ernest Bai Koroma expressed that China is a true and trustworthy friend of Sierra Leone. China took the lead in the international community to aid Sierra Leone during the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in 2014 when it needed help the most. He would like to once again express sincere thanks to President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and people. The people of Sierra Leone can deeply feel the friendship of the Chinese people. Sierra Leone firmly upholds the one-China policy and admires China’s development outcomes. The country stands ready to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields and well implement the 10 major cooperation plans proposed by President Xi Jinping at the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, so as to push bilateral and Africa-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnerships for continuous and in-depth development. Sierra Leone is willing to intensify communication and cooperation in international affairs and enhance mutual support with China.
After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents covering diplomacy, economy, infrastructure construction, health and other areas.
Before the talks, President Xi Jinping held a welcoming ceremony for Ernest Bai Koroma at North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Arken Imirbaki, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Vice Chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Li Haifeng and others were present.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
“Sudan is a strategic player in regional equilibriums: a stabler Sudan means more peace and stability in Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa,” said Foreign Minister Gentiloni at the end of the meeting with his Sudanese counterpart, Ibrahim A. Ghandour, on the sidelines of the Rome MED 2016 conference.
He added: “We want to cooperate even more actively in supporting Sudan, as it hosts more than two million refugees, and in combating illegal migrations together.” Minister Gentiloni also confirmed Italy’s willingness to open a constructive dialogue to overcome the Country’s deep internal divide and thus facilitate relaxing tensions with the international community. The two ministers also discussed the crises in Libya, Syria and Yemen, in addition to the perspective of strengthening bilateral relations.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.
Ambassador-Designate to Libya, Giuseppe Perrone, and the Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Libya, Giorgio Starace, travelled to Tripoli and Misrata today while a delivery of 3 tonnes of medicines and medical aids carried by an Italian Air Force C-130 was being made to the two Libyan cities. The material is destined for the military hospital in Tripoli and the civilian hospital in Misrata.
It will allow basic care to be provided to around 10,000 people for 3 months and specific treatments to be given to 100 war-wounded people. This is the sixth shipment of medicines made to Libya by the Italian Cooperation service since the beginning of the year and it is worth a total of 2.5 million euros.
The initiative is part of a multifaceted support plan for the Libyan State which, in addition to supplying healthcare materials and medicines, provides for the transport and treatment of Libyans injured while fighting Daesh in Libya.
In the Libyan capital, Ambassador Perrone and Special Envoy Starace met Deputy Prime Minister Maitig and Foreign Minister Siyala. During the meetings Italy reiterated its support for the Presidential Council and the Government of National Accord in the Country’s stabilisation process.
In Misrata, Ambassador Perrone and Special Envoy Starace were received by the local authorities, who expressed appreciation for Italy’s continued support to Libya. Before leaving the city, the Italian delegation met staff working in the “Hippocrates Task Force” field hospital.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.