The third iteration of the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre’s (SASAC) Emerging Researchers Programme was successfully held in South Africa at the Universities of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) and Limpopo (Polokwane) during 20 August to 7 September 2018. Twenty (20) researchers from Benin, Cameroun, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other IIASA NMO countries (Austria and Germany) participated in the 2018 programme.
During the closing ceremony held in Johannesburg on 6 September 2018, Prof Mary Scholes, the SASAC programme leader at Wits (and a Research Chair holder in systems analysis), acknowledged the participation and dedication of the participants. Dr Sepo Hachigonta, Director Strategic Partnerships, National Research Foundation (NRF) noted the important role that emerging researchers play in building systems analysis capacity in the continent and globally. Dr Hachigonta further highlighted the need for increased systems analysis approaches to address pressing current international challenges.
The SASAC programme, launched in 2016, is implemented by a consortium of four universities, namely the Universities of the Western Cape, Limpopo, Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch. The programme is aimed at providing a broadened perspective on systems analysis and include (i) systems analysis case studies using simulation and modelling activities (ii) a writing retreat; and (iii) advanced lectures covering themes in both the social and natural sciences, including policy dimensions. Keynote presentations are delivered by national and international leaders in their respective research fields, drawn from the extensive international networks of excellence of the SASAC consortium and the NRF.
The NRF is a National Member Organisation of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), among 26 other countries, and the SASAC programme is supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the British Council (UK Newton Fund).