The OAD team had the privilege of meeting the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, officials from the Department of Science and Innovation, and other dignitaries at the 2022 World Science Forum.
The forum is a meeting to foster and maintain a dialogue between the scientific community, society, policy-makers, and industry. It emphasizes the significance, relevance, and responsibilities of science on a global scale. It was held for the first time in Africa from 6-9 December 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa.
The OAD and the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) organised a side event on ‘Advancing Africa’s Astronomy Agenda‘. It highlighted how various activities on the continent enable the advancement of astronomy in Africa and plans to ensure that Africa becomes one of the world’s leaders in the field. Furthermore, discussions aimed to encourage collaborative research and innovation in astronomy and related sciences as well as address topics such as astronomy for development and outreach and education programs, promoting interdisciplinary approaches on how science can contribute to society and address global challenges and how these collaborations can help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The OAD also had an exhibition showcasing the relevance of basic science and astronomy to society. Astronomy was well represented at the forum with the African AfAS, Square Kilometre Array Organization (SKAO), South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), all with exhibitions.