IST-Africa 2023 Conference

31 May - 02 June 2023, Tshwane, South Africa


Hosted by the Government of South Africa through the Department of Science and Innovation and Supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC), IST-Africa 2023 (31 May - 02 June, Tshwane, South Africa) is the eighteenth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research Conferences. IEEE Society on Societal Implications of Technology (SSIT), IEEE South Africa Section and IEEE Africa Council are Technical Co-Sponsors.

IST-Africa Week 2023 will provide a world-class international forum to showcase existing technology-enabled Research, Innovation and ICT4D activities and capacity in Africa, Europe and other parts of the world. The Conference Programme combines strategic keynote presentations, a High-Level Roundtable, technical and policy papers, case studies and workshops. It also provides an opportunity to identify potential partners for future research cooperation under Horizon Europe.

The goals of the IST-Africa Conference Series are to

- Support Development of the Information Society and Knowledge Economy in Africa

- Promote International Research Innovation, and Policy Cooperation and Coordination

- Showcase African Research and Innovation Capacity

- Stimulate exploitation of research results by the public and private sectors

IST-Africa 2023 Programme

The IST-Africa 2023 Final Programme incorporated plenary sessions and 25 thematically focused sessions featuring presenters from the public, private, education, research and societal organisations from 25 countries. Thematic areas included: eHealth, Societal Implications of Technology, Next Generation Computing, Cyber Security, International Cooperation, Technology Enhanced Learning and Digital Skills, Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain, Environmental Sustainability and eAgriculture, Global Development, eGovernment, Content Technologies and ICT-enabled Entrepreneurship.

IST-Africa 2023 was formally opened by Dr B E Nzimande, MP, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, South Africa on 31 May 2023. Other presenters in the Opening Plenary included H.E. Sandra Kramer, Ambassador, EU Delegation, South Africa and Mr Thibaut Kleiner , Director, DG CONNECT European Commission. The Opening Plenary of IST-Africa 2023 was broadcast live by SABC News, the national broadcaster of South Africa. Click here to view the Opening Plenary Recording

The Plenary Roundtable focused on the Role of ICT Research and Innovation to Strengthen Digital Innovation Ecosystems in Africa . Chaired and moderated by Prof. Paul Cunningham, Executive Director of the not-for-profit IST-Africa Institute, Ireland, Roundtable Panellists included:

- Dr Mmboneni Muofhe:, Deputy Director-General: Socio-Economic Innovation Partnerships, Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa

- Jeanette Morwane, Acting Deputy Director-General: Information Society and Capacity Development, Department of Communications and Digital Technology, South Africa

- Pontsho Maruping, Managing Director, SARAO, South Africa

- Ganesh Rasagam, Lead Private Sector Specialist, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, World Bank Group, South Africa

- Lesley Donna Williams, CEO, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, South Africa

- Marius Engelbrecht, Senior Strategy Consultant, Huawei Southern Africa Region

The Closing Plenary focused on ICT Collaboration as a Driving Force for International and Regional Partnership Modalities . Chaired by Dr Rasigan Maharajh , Chief Director of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa, panellists included:

- Nadege Hopman, Deputy Head of Regional Representation, Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean, European Investment Bank, South Africa

- Daan du Toit, Deputy Director General International Cooperation, Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa

- Matsi Modise, Board Chair, TIA, South Africa

- Abongile Mashele, Senior Manager: Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google, South Africa

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the EU's key funding programme for Research and Innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion from 2021 - 2027. This includes EUR 5.4 billion from the Next Generation EU instrument, particularly to support the green and digital recovery from the COVID crisis.

The Horizon Europe budget is divided amongst a number of Pillars and associated components to create a programme supporting all areas of research and innovation. The Three key Pillars are Excellent Science; Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness; and Innovative Europe. The final component of Horizon Europe is focused on Strengthening the European Research Area.