World Federation of Science Journalists

African Science Communication Conference

18 to 21 February 2009, Gallagher Convention Centre,
Gauteng, South Africa

As Africans, we need to define our destiny and change our mindset with respect to science, engineering and technology, as well as research. For the success of our continent and its people, it is imperative that significant investment in the popularisation and public understanding of Science and Technology development is made. It was this realisation that lead to the development of Africa 's Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (August 2005).

The specific objectives of this consolidated plan are to strengthen the African flagship research and development clusters. These include:
  • Biodiversity, Biotechnology and Indigenous Knowledge;
  • Energy, Water and Desertification;
  • Materials Sciences, Manufacturing, Laser and Post Harvest Technologies;
  • Information, Communication and Space Science Technologies;
  • Improving Policy Conditions and Building Innovation Mechanisms; and
  • Implementation, Funding and Governance.
With these flagship R&D clusters in mind, the objectives of the consolidated plan includes:
  • Build African scientific and technological capacity by increasing the number of scientists, technicians and engineers;
  • Ensure that regional economic communities mainstream science and technology for socio-economic development and competitiveness;
  • Promote innovative ways and means of financing science and technology in Africa;
  • Support the development and harmonisation of science and technology policies on the continent; and
  • Promote Research and Development to achieve specific Millennium Development Goals.
The African Union realised that key to achieving these objectives, is the participation and support of the populace and their political Institutions. If the African public and politicians can speak about the benefits of science, not only will the investment in Africa improve but the public opinion on matters of science and technology will be enhanced. Given the continent's science, technology and innovation needs and challenges, SAASTA will be hosting its 2nd African Science Communication Conference bringing together individuals across the various sectors in realising Science Communication's role in driving economic growth and long term sustainable development.

For more information visit: http://www.saasta.ac.za/2ndascc/index.shtml