Communities in ASSAf

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Recent Submissions

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Global Health Approach for Infectious Diseases – A Proposal for the Next Decade
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, 2024) Academy of Science of South Africa; German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina; Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal; Ethiopian Academy of Sciences
The German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal (ANSTS), and the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS) jointly hosted a workshop in May 2023 on "Infectious Diseases beyond COVID-19" at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany. The objectives of the workshop were to deliberate on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and to formulate strategies for enhancing preparedness in the face of both existing and future infectious disease threats, with emphasis on the "One Health" approach and the interplay of climate change. Academia, private enterprises, non-governmental organisations, and political sectors participated in the workshop. Herewith the Conference brief is provided to highlight key recommendations.
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ASSAf Statement in Support of Open Science and Impact, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (IDEIA)
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); SciELO Network
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the SciELO Network, the coordinators of the national collections of quality, full-text Open Access journals from the 14 countries of the SciELO Network agreed on this statement. The ASSAf Council endorsed this statement on 25 October 2023.
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A Review of Research, Development and Innovation of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technologies in South Africa
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
This report supports the high-level agreement between South Africa (through the DMRE) and the IAEA by providing a solid foundation upon which a national strategic framework on peaceful uses of nuclear technologies in South Africa can be built. The objectives of the study were to review relevant current and historical national policies, plans and strategies; review the national landscape of existing and emerging RDI role players and activities in the country; develop baseline information around the nuclear technology landscape to assist with targets and indicators for monitoring and evaluation; review the Country Programme Framework (CPF) between South Africa and the IAEA and make recommendations on how the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme could be leveraged to strengthen the nuclear technology sector in South Africa; and make proposals on how to define a South African nuclear technology RDI flagship programme. Characterisation of the needs and gaps contains the following elements: • a brief explanation of the need setting out the context in terms of the severity and relevance. • a strategic objective to be achieved; and • an indicator, or indicators, for the proposed objective. The study was divided into six broad areas, namely: • agriculture and food security, • human health, • radiation protection, • water and environment, • energy and industry, • nuclear safety, security and safeguards.
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African Open Science Platform PART II: Frameworks
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2019) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
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Proceedings of thematic session: Establishing an African knowledge democracy for increased social justice and development
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
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Quest Volume 19 Number 4
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023-12-14) van Rensburg, Johnny Jansen; Namawejje, Hellen; Seetharam, Yudhvir; de Wit, Christo; Hansson, Johan; Mngwengwe, Luleka; Lugongolo, Masixole; Mthunzi-Kufa, Patience
Money 101: Going from pocket money to a salary, a budget and life savings; The basics of the economy – and you: From inflation to interest rates to tax...; The not-so stoic investor: Your personality and emotions play a role in investing; ChatGPT and investing: Can ChatGPT help me to invest?; Crypto isn’t dead: The basics of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investment; Opinion piece: Only degrowth can save us; 2023 NSTF Brilliants Programme: Turning a scientific idea into a business; Pollen-savvy with AI:SA scientists using Artificial Intelligence to improve pollen forecasts; Citizen bird science in KNP: Citizen science and satellite data shed light on bird diversity in Kruger National Park; The light electric: Photonics and electronics is all around you; Ocean-friendly shark fence: Eco-friendly shark barrier technology from South Africa installed in the Bahamas; Biodiversity Biobanks: An insurance policy for the future of nature; FameLab 2023 winner: AI researcher crowned SA’s top young science communicator; Solve for Tomorrow schools competition: Winning school showcases innovative pothole solution; Ancient diamonds: Old diamonds shine light on the evolution of Earth’s continents; Electric minibus taxis: On the bumpy road to electric mobility in SA; South African women in science, take a bow!:2023 L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science winners announced;
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Humanities Annual Lecture on “The Role of the Humanities in a Time of Displacement”
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
The Humanities Lecture is a prestigious event of the Academy and seeks to promote the humanities in South Africa and to draw attention to the importance of the humanities amongst learners, university students, scholars, and the broader South African society.
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5th Annual ASSAf Science-Business Leadership Forum titled “Unmasking the Enigma called FinTech”
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
The concept of ‘money’ and the world of financial services and products have undergone a remarkable transformative evolution since the Global Financial Crisis, propelled by technological advancements and the global shift towards the digital economy. These financial technology (FinTech) developments range from rapid payment systems, mobile money, digital banking (including central bank digital currencies, CBDCs), cryptocurrencies, blockchains etc. FinTech promises to not only shape the future of transactions but also redefine the fundamental tenets of monetary value and exchange. Between 2010 and 2019, the global FinTech sector witnessed a significant surge in investments, totalling over US$165.5 billion. According to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group, annual FinTech revenues are projected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2030. While promising transformative solutions, FinTech industry is not without its challenges, ranging from regulatory and policy hurdles; security concerns; customer trust; data protection, inclusion of and the impact on previously overlooked demographics. Understanding the broader FinTech environment can help shed light and shape FinTech today and in the decades to come, particularly in Africa. In light of this, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) hosted the 5th Annual ASSAf Science-Business Leadership Forum on the 3 November 2023 titled “Unmasking the Enigma called FinTech” on 3 November 2023, 09h00 SAT, Virtually. The aim of this dialogues was to stimulate conversations on what FinTech is; its adoption on the African Continent; the regulatory conundrum associated with FinTech; while exploring the use of technology such as AI in addressing money laundering, fraud, identity theft, combatting financing of terrorism and proliferation financing and delving into questions of whether South Africa should introduce a "digital Rand", i.e. a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC); the benefits and risks of such a currency. Panellists included: Prof Vivienne Lawack (DVC: Academic, University of the Western Cape); Prof Co-Pierre Georg (SARChI Chair: Blockchain Technology, University of Cape Town) and Prof Louis de Koker (Professor of Law, La Trobe University, Australia). The full recording is accessible on ASSAf_YouTube. The forum is hosted annually by the Academy and moderated by ASSAf’s President, Prof Jonathan Jansen and the focus is to engage prominent scientists/scholars and leading experts from the business community to deliberate on matters of shared significance.
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2023 World Food Day Webinar on “Opportunities towards Sustainable Food Security in South African Urban Settings”
(Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Green Youth Network (GYN), 2023) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
World Food Day (WFD) is celebrated across 150 countries yearly on 16th of October. The theme for 2023 is Water is life, water is food: leave no one behind. The campaign intents to raise awareness worldwide on water as a foundation of life and food. According to the United Nations (UN), 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries (1), while 3.2 billion people live in agricultural areas with high water scarcity (2). These water constraints have a negative impact on food security and nutrition. In South Africa a notable proportion of the population is food insecure (3) with over 60% of these households located in urban areas. The City of Cape Town (11,6%) and the City of Johannesburg (11,5%) have the highest proportions of households that experienced hunger in all the six metros. Urban food insecurity is characterised by low dietary diversity, high malnutrition and obesity, and distinct hunger seasons. It is estimated that by 2050, eight in 10 people will be living in urban areas, which means that the prevalence of food insecurity within urban Southern African communities will increase. There is therefore an urgent need to develop policies and solutions to address this “looming crisis” and to manage the water-food nexus in a more sustainable and equitable manner. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Green Youth Network (GYN) partnered to host a webinar on the 3 November 2023 to commemorate WFD 2023 titled “Opportunities towards Sustainable Food Security in South African Urban Settings”. The dialogue aimed to explore youth-centric solutions that have a potential to strengthen food security in South African urban surroundings, taking into consideration the challenge of water scarcity while leaving no one behind. The Webinar featured the following speakers: Prof Marizvikuru Mwale-Manjoro (University of Venda and SAYAS Alumni); Dr Nathaniel Dlamini (Statistics South Africa; Ms Thandeka Nkosi (KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development); and Mr Reuben Riley (Biological Agricultural Era, BioAge). Participants included academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, women, youth, policy makers and the public.