Deputy President to officially open Science Forum South Africa 2017

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the opening address at Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) 2017, which will be held on 7 and 8 December 2017 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.


SFSA is Africa's largest "open science" event, aimed at igniting a vibrant debate on the role of science in society.


The two-day programme comprises plenary panel debates, short seminars and talks, with the participation of local and international thought leaders from the scientific community.


The forum has a special focus on promoting pan-African cooperation in science and technology, and on the role of innovation in promoting inclusive development. 


Organised in 2017 for the third time, under the theme “Igniting conversation about Science,” the SFSA has become an annual highlight for the South African science community, and has achieved global acclaim as Africa's premier public platform for the science and society debate. 


The SFSA opening session on Thursday, 7 December, will include Minister Pandor and the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, and is designed to the set the strategic focus and orientation for discussions at the forum.


Members of the media are invited to the opening session:

Date:       Thursday, 7 November 2017

Time:       11:00 – 12:30

Venue:    CSIR International Convention Centre


RSVP by Wednesday, 6 December 2017, to Veronica Mohapeloa at 012 843 5788, 082 400 5750, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Issued by the Department of Science and Technology



Lunga Ngqengelele

Media Liaison Officer

082 566 0446

Science Forum South Africa 2017

Opening Plenary Session with the participation of the His Excellency Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa

Thursday 7 December 2017, CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria

Programme Director: Dr Phil Mjwara, Director-General, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa



 11:00  South African National Anthem and Anthem of the African Union


11:05  Welcome address by the Minister of Science and Technology of the Republic of South Africa, Minister Naledi Pandor


11:15  Address by the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor


11:25  Special presentation: What a great idea, awesome South African inventions by Prof Mike Bruton, founding director Cape Town Science Centre


11:35 Keynote address by the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa


12:00  Panel discussion: Harnessing science for Africa’s growth and development

            Moderated by Dr Erika Kraemer-Mbula, Tshwane University of Technology with perspectives from:

            Developing country: Honourable Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Jamaica

            Southern African region: Honourable Dr Alfred Madigele, Minister of Tertiary, Education, Science and Technology, Botswana

            International cooperation partner: Mr Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of the European Commission for Research, Innovation and Science

            Philanthropy: Dr Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

            African science: Prof Felix Dapare Dakora, President of African Academy of Science

            African business: Ms Lynette Chen, CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation

            African youth: Fellow of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) programme


12:45  Vote of thanks by Programme Director




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