The Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation, in partnership with the National Research Foundation, an entity of the Department of Science and Technology, will host a panel discussion in honour of former African National Congress leader and humanitarian, Oliver Reginald Tambo.


Mr Tambo traversed the continent in pursuit of justice and equality for all. In recognition of his early career as a mathematics and science teacher, this event seeks to foster African excellence in research and innovation by promoting collective growth and development in this critical field.


The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, will deliver a keynote address on the theme "Championing Research Excellence in Africa". In addition, and in honour of Mr Tambo's Pan-African endeavours, a major continental programme to support research excellence and capacity development will be launched.


The Minister's keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion involving noted African researchers Prof. Francisca Okeke, Prof. Nosipho Moloto, Dr Lindiwe Sibanda and Prof. Linus Opara.


Okeke is a professor of physics at the University of Nigeria, Moloto is a lecturer and researcher in chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand, Opara is an agricultural engineering researcher and distinguished professor at Stellenbosch University, and Sibanda has over 25 years of transdisciplinary experience in rural development, public sector reforms and private sector management.


The Minister will also announce the OR Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative., a new research chairs initiative is expected to transform the African research landscape.


The OR Tambo Africa Research Chairs have been designed to honour a leading figure in the development of African unity; have a catalytic impact on the development of research infrastructure in recipient countries; and contribute to knowledge production and high end skills in alignment with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2014).

Through international and regional strategic partnerships, the Chairs will contribute to the development of long term mutually beneficial research collaborations on the continent.


The initiative will serve up to 10 top researchers from across the African continent over the next 5 years. The Chairs will focus on training graduate students and undertaking world-class research at leading universities in the 15 sub-Saharan African countries that are part of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in Sub-Saharan Africa, a collaboration between International Development Research Centre (IDRC), NRF, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).


The IDRC’s President, Jean Lebel said the organisation is proud to collaborate with South Africa in an exciting initiative to support a pan-African network of research chairs that will contribute to science and prosperity on the continent.


“We are especially pleased that the councils taking part in our co-founded Science Granting Councils Initiative will play such a crucial role in managing, implementing and investing in the OR Tambo Research Chairs,” he said.


Media are invited as follows:

Date:     11 December 2018

Time:    14:00-17:00

Venue: Diamond Room, CSIR International Convention Centre, Meiring Naudé Road, Brummeria, Pretoria


RSVP to Julian Leshilo-Sebake at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 060 961 2194.