Africa Day CelebrationSave the DateThe Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Buti Manamela, will address the Africa Day event tomorrow. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is partnering with the Africa Institute of South Africa, a division of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), a DSI entity, to mark Africa Day tomorrow, 25 May 2021.  The celebration, which takes place annually to highlight the importance of African unity and discussions on Africa's developmental issues, will take place virtually.

This year's event will be held under the theme "African Continental Free Trade Area: Opportunities for science, technology and innovation".  The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into effect in January 2021, is intended to foster regional integration on the continent.

It is reported that 54 heads of state have already signed the agreement's consolidated text establishing the AfCFTA, and 36 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification.

The agreement includes protocols for trade in goods and services, investments, intellectual property rights, and competition policy between and within African countries.

Tomorrow's programme includes a number of notable speakers, including Prof. Achille Mbembe of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, who will deliver the keynote address under the topic "Africa's Potential Futures".

Participants in the round-table discussion will include Prof. Fikremarkos Merso, Senior Intellectual Property Expert in the AfCFTA Secretariat, Dr Justina Dugbazah of NEPAD's African Union Development Agency, and Dr Rebecca Maserumule, Chief Director: Hydrogen and Energy at the DSI

Topics for discussion include the following:

  • Intellectual property and technology transfer for Africa by Africa.
  • Industrialisation and manufacturing – opportunities within the STI landscape.
  • AfCFTA and 4IR innovations and technologies – current challenges and future opportunities.
  • AfCFTA and Africa's green energy transition.

The Africa Day celebration will be followed by the 10th African Unity for Renaissance Conference, which will be held virtually on 26 and 27 May 2021 under the theme "Creating conducive conditions for Africa's development through science, technology and innovation".

Other partners in the celebration and the academic conference are the African Union Development Agency, Stellenbosch University, the University of South Africa, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the University of the Witwatersrand, the Water Research Commission, the South African Environment Observation Network, the Sam Tambani Research Institute, the Tshwane University of Technology, the South African National Space Agency, and the National Research Foundation.

The details of the Africa Day event are as follows:

Date:              25 May 2021

Time:              09:00 to 12:00

Zoom link:

Please click on the link to register beforehand. Programme

Issued by the Department of Science and Innovation and the Human Sciences Research Council.

For more information, contact Veronica Mohapeloa at 083 400 5750 or Adziliwi Nematandani at 082 765 9191 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..