IST-Africa 2023 took place in Tshwane, South Africa from 31 May to 02 June, hosted by the Government of South Africa through the Department of Science and Innovation . The 18th Edition of the IST-Africa Institute's Flagship Conference was Supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission and Technical Co-Sponsored by IEEE Societal Implications of Technology , IEEE South Africa Section and IEEE Africa Council .
IST-Africa 2023 directly supports Innovation, Science and Technology aspects of the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership , the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024) and national policies including ICT and Digital Economy Masterplan for South Africa , National Digital and Future Skills Strategy and Foundational Digital Capabilities Research - Decadal Plan .
IST-Africa 2023 was extremely successful as both a knowledge sharing and networking platform, bringing together over 350 participants from 25 countries representing leading public, private, education and research, societal, funding and international donor organisations, as well as Ambassadors and Science and Technology Counsellors from Embassies accredited to the Republic of South Africa.
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. Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, 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 African Radio Astronomy Observatory), 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; and
- Marius Engelbrecht , Senior Strategy Consultant, Huawei Southern Africa Region
The Plenary Roundtable Panel discussed issues and strategies related to how ICT Research and Innovation can effectively empower and strengthen sustainable Digital Innovation Ecosystems, and how regulatory frameworks and policies can support addressing Societal Challenges by strengthening Digital Innovation Ecosystems and Entrepreneurial Capacity. Click here to view the Plenary Roundtable Recording .
The Scientific Program included 25 thematically focused sessions featuring presenters from public, private, education, research and societal organisations across Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Thematic areas include: eHealth, Societal Implications of Technology, Next Generation Computing (including Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain), Cyber Security, International Cooperation, Technology Enhanced Learning and Digital Skills, Environmental Sustainability and eAgriculture, Global Development, eGovernment, Content Technologies and ICT-enabled Entrepreneurship.
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 and Resources, Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa
- Matsi Modise , Board Chair, TIA (Technology Innovation Agency), South Africa
- Abongile Mashele , Senior Manager: Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google, South Africa
The recording of the Closing Plenary will also be published on the IST-Africa YouTube Channel .
Following the interactive panel discussion and a Question and Answer session with delegates, Prof. Paul Cunningham, IST-Africa Institute announced the Best Paper and Runner up Paper Awards. The Runner up Paper Award was awarded to "Immutable Livestock Tracking and Compliance Logs Using Blockchain ", authored by Maria Eugenia LOPEZ, nChain, United Kingdom. The Best Paper Award was awarded to "Implementing a Digital Health Information System During the COVID-19 Pandemic; a Stakeholder's Approach from Kenya ", co-authored by Ayub Manya, Peter Waiganjo, Joseph Sitienei, Denver Mariga, Robert Oboko, Raphael Pundo and Phidelis Wamalwa, Ministry of Health Kenya and University of Nairobi, Kenya.