by Derek Fish
The Southern African Association of Science and Technology Centres (SAASTEC) represents science and technology centers mostly below the equator in Africa. Formed in 1996, it holds an annual conference which will be at Unizulu Science Centre in Richards Bay, South Africa, November 7–10 this year coinciding with the host’s 30th birthday celebrations. There are also plans underway to provide a preconference training workshop to assist southern African countries keen to start science centers.
Science centers in Africa are still very undeveloped despite many efforts in the region—especially since the 2011 Science Centre World Congress was hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. SAASTEC has often struggled to get members to participate in international activities when they are struggling just to keep afloat.
SO – the theme for this year’s SAASTEC Conference is ISCSMD and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and delegates have been asked to describe how their centers or programs address one or more of the SDGs in their presentations. During the conference, about 50 delegates will showcase their response to the SDGs which are so crucial for development in Africa. These presentations will be compiled, providing a comprehensive look at how science centers in southern Africa are addressing the SDGs.
Exciting programmes are planned for Thursday, November 10, the last day of the conferenceand ISCSMD. A number of international delegates will participate at the conference (more are welcome – see below!) and virtual contact will be made with science centers worldwide during the day, perhaps as follows:
- Morning – science centers to the east (NCSM and ASPAC)
- Midday – science centers to the north (NAMES and ECSITE)
- Afternoon – science centers to the west (ASTC and REDPOP)
SAASTEC welcomes delegates to this extremely affordable conference (registration fee is under USD 150!!) , and full details can be found at www.saastec.co.za . In addition if you would like to link with our conference on ISCSMD, please contact Derek Fish on firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!