South African Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, joined Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, and more than 1 500 scientists, researchers, key decision makers and other role players for the 2018 Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering. 

 

The two-day event, which started yesterday, is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. It is a platform to connect science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world. The NEF believes that Africa's contributions to the global scientific community are critical for global progress.

 

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane participated in a panel discussion on the under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The panel brought together political and industry leaders with the aim of defining and challenging barriers to gender representivity in STEM. It also focused on innovative policies to advance the status of women in science, academia and industry.

 

The Minister said that South Africa is committed to supporting the development of women in STEM, and reiterated government's support for vibrant research and innovation collaboration with other African countries.  She said that the NEF had afforded her a valuable opportunity to engage with a range of science leaders from all over the world in this regard.

 

"I am delighted by the participation young South African scientists in this Forum, and the engaging debates on crucial issues," the Minister.

 

The Department of Science and Technology supported a total of 11 learners and students from Soweto, who had been selected to participate in a Pan-African robotics competition, so that they could participate in the NEF meeting too.

 

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane will also attend the NEF Ministerial Meeting, to discuss important themes that advance scientific research and innovation on the continent with her counterparts.

 

Research and innovation are globally recognised as drivers of job creation and socio-economic development.