Invitation to the International Summit on the SDGs in Africa

03 September 2021 | Professor Sue Harrison

Dear colleagues

I am pleased to write to you about a very exciting event coming to UCT in September. From 13 to 15 September the international research community will be hosted virtually at the free and open-access International Summit on the SDGs in Africa.

We aim for this to not be your standard online academic gathering but to rather focus on action and results. We hope that the summit will serve as an incubator to mobilise collaborative research efforts that will accelerate African-led activities in support of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”.

I would also like to use this opportunity to invite our postgraduate students to attend. I encourage you to take part in our video showcase of research for #TheAfricaWeWant.

I hope that this event will encourage a step change in the current contribution from the Global South to achieving the SDGs and that it will position UCT as a thought leader in working towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The summit’s steering committee identified seven thematic tracks to guide the content of the summit. These tracks will also be the focus of several pre-summit workshops that will feed into the event itself and form the foundation for the event’s Day 1 and Day 2 thematic track breakout sessions. You can click through to read more about each in the list below. The thematic tracks (and their track leaders in brackets) are:

  1. Ethical, Capable and Enduring Institutions (Faizel Ismail, Brian Raftapolous)
  2. Science, Technology and Innovation (Marcello Vichi, Sudesh Sivarasu, Caroline Ncube)
  3. Strengthening Circular Economies at Different Scales (Edgar Pieterse, Harro von Blottnitz)
  4. Transdisciplinarity and Engaged Scholarship (Sheona Shackleton, Lindsey Gillson)
  5. Building Responsive and Resilient Systems (Kirsty Carden, Mark New)
  6. New Approaches to Teaching and Building Capability (Lesley Green)
  7. Poverty and Inequality (Murray Leibbrandt, Haroon Bhorat)

I strongly encourage the UCT community to engage and participate in these pre-summit workshops. If you or your research team would like to contribute, please reach out to the UCT colleagues listed after each track above.

I hope to engage with many of you with this event.


Professor Sue Harrison
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation

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