Nelson Mandela University participated in an Africa Week event organised and hosted by Future Africa at the University of Pretoria.

Mandela University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Internationalisation, Dr Thandi Mgwebi, urged scientists to take ownership and responsibility as Africans to advance the practice of science diplomacy on the continent, at the recent Open Science, Open Africa event hosted by Future Africa at the University of Pretoria.


The Africa Day event engaged leadership working in global scientific networks and international transdisciplinary initiatives in a series of meetings and workshops from 22 to 26 May 2023.

Dr Mgwebi captured the main outcomes and provided the way forward on the amplification of the value and voice of African Science in a plenary session entitled “Opening science to the world: the value and voice of African Science on a global stage”.



She emphasised the importance and need for capacity development and strengthening in higher education institutions; the alignment of university policies with government’s broader integrated policies on the development of science, and its purpose and use within the socio-political and economic spheres, thus eliminating barriers to solving African problems.

She further reiterated the urgent need to increase funding for science, as well as clear communication of science to different stakeholders to confront and address issues affecting our times.

Dr Mgwebi noted that, as other speakers reiterated, such measures would contribute towards the reversal of the marginalisation of the value and voice of African Science.

Mandela University is also a member of The Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) and Dr Mgwebi participated in the AAUN sessions. Mandela University wants to increase the number of its young academics and researchers participating in the different thematic areas of AAUN. The sessions examined the role and importance of networks, partnerships and collaborations, assessed the work of the network and charted the way forward.

Speakers at this session were Dr Phil Mjwara (Director General: Department of Science and Innovation), Professor Funmi Olonisakin (Kings College London), Professor Svein Stolen (Rector: University of Oslo) and Professor Gerald Ouma (Director, Institutional Planning, University of Pretoria).

Nelson Mandela University through its Internationalisation Strategy aligned to Vision 2030 seeks to “facilitate the joining of strategic networks and support international research collaborations” in tandem with the University’s strategic focus areas.