Science Forum South Africa

December 10th, 2018

The Science Forum South Africa 2018 (SFSA 2018), taking place from 12-14 December 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa, will provide Africa with an open science public platform for debating the science and society interface. The Forum positions itself between an academic/research conference (where research papers are presented) and a science engagement meeting (where science is made popular, often with a focus on the youth). SFSA 2018 is, therefore, a celebration of science, technology, and innovation where we ignite conversations about science on the middle ground between academics, policy, and popular science engagement. The two-and-a-half-day programme will bring more than 2 500 participants together for discussion and debate in plenary sessions, panel discussions and interactive talks. Exhibitions create further space for future-shaping conversations.

It is through conversations about science that society benefits, especially on the African continent. The key objectives of the Forum are to:

  • Create a platform for a vibrant debate on the role of science, technology and innovation in society;
  • Promote international science, technology and innovation partnerships; and
  • Create a network platform for key science, technology and innovation actors, including senior government leaders, academics, scientists, industry, civil society, and students.

The Land Matrix will be moderating the session on the Food-Energy-Water Nexus Approach and Its Implications to Policies and Practices at the Forum. The nexus approach is a paradigm shift from a sector-by-sector approach to policy, science and practice to an approach that considers the interactions between food, energy and water, while taking into account the synergies and trade-offs that arise from the management of these three resources. This approach offers a conceptual framework to systematically analyse and better understand such interactions and to work towards a more coordinated management and use of resources across sectors and scales through identification and management of synergies and trade-offs. Policy objectives in one sector are either preconditions of another sector’s objectives or impose constraints on the other sectors. Without nexus thinking, interactions between the sectors can be overlooked resulting in incoherent policy-making, contradictory or counterproductive strategies, and inefficient use of increasingly scarce resources.