The Southern African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC), launched the three-week High-level System Analysis Capacity Strengthening Programme on Sunday, 21 August 2016. The programme will be held in South Africa at the Universities of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) and Limpopo (Polokwane) during 22 August – 9 September 2016. It provides an excellent opportunity for early-career researchers to develop their system analytical skills and gain international research exposure. The program includes high-level lectures and research development seminars alongside workshops covering themes in both social and natural sciences, including policy dimensions. In total, 27 participants from South Africa, Africa, IIASA member countries are participating.
Speaking during the event, Prof Andrew Crouch, DVC: Academic Affairs at Wits, noted the importance of systems analysis in addressing challenges faced in South Africa. The SASAC Director, Prof Thandi Mgwebi, highlighted South Africa’s strategic investments in higher education capacity and systems analysis through various programs including the South African Young Scientists Summer School (now SASAC) launched in 2013. The NRF was represented by Ms Motsakwe Rakgoale and Dr Sepo Hachigonta who emphasised the significance of strengthened partnerships and transdisciplinary research in developing solutions that respond to societal challenges.
The SASAC program is being implemented by a consortium of four universities, namely the University of the Western Cape, the Universities’ of Limpopo and the Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch University. The program is funded by Department of Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation of South Africa.