Pretoria – The upcoming Gender Summit Africa (GSA) is important for the country and marks a critical turning point for the country and the continent, says Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu.
The GSA will be held at the Cape Town Convention Centre from 28 – 30 April.
Addressing the media on the upcoming summit on Monday, Minister Shabangu said the GSA will stimulate meaningful conversations that will ensure that Africa’s research agenda is strengthened as it reflects on how science, technology, infrastructure, capital and skills could be used to realise the continent’s full potential for the benefit of its entire people.
“Currently we are the world’s fastest growing continent with an exceptional opportunity for economic growth and prosperity mainly due to our natural and human resources,” she said.
Minister Shabangu explained the GSA reflects on the past, current and future sciences and poses questions related to how women have and could be afforded opportunities to fully partake and make a significant contribution to the various sciences as well benefit from the scientific advances made.
“GSA is also cognisant of the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths education if Africa is to support its growing economy and possibly be a leading innovation economy in the near future.
“We hope that the hosting of the GSA conference will indeed see groups and organisations across all levels of scientific research, including research beneficiaries addressing issues of mutual concern,” the Minister said.
Professor Olive Shisana from the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) said hosting the GSA is an opportune moment for Africa.
“Hosting the summit is an opportunity to accelerate gender in science. We encourage participants to explore international practice,” she said.
Asked about the safety of the delegates following the recent attacks directed at foreign nationals, Prof Shisana said she was confident that the necessary precautionary measures will be in place to ensure the safety of the delegates.
She called on South Africans to welcome people from other countries. “Welcome all the people from other countries as this is better for the country and the continent,” she said.
The GSA will also provide a forum for groups and organizations across all levels of scientific research, including research beneficiaries - to address issues of mutual concern.
The forum will be equally significant for exchanging and analysing experiences of conducting research in various research settings. – SAnews.gov.za