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KEYNOTE SPEAKER ELIZABETH RASEKOALA

President, African Gong-the Pan African Network for the Popularization of Science & Technology and Science Communication

Dr. Elizabeth Rasekoala is the President of African Gong – The Pan-African Network for the Popularization of Science & Technology and Science Communication, which aims to advance the Public Learning and Understanding of Science (PLUS), scientific outreach and scientific literacy on the African continent (www.africangong.org). She is a member of the African Union Commission (AUC) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Committee for the ten-year ‘Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa’ (STISA-2024). Dr. Rasekoala with a professional background in Chemical Engineering and industry internationally, has championed, advocated, researched, presented and written widely on public innovation and transformative development through advancing diversity, sociocultural inclusion and gender equality issues in science communication and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, skills and entrepreneurship development. She has provided extensive advisory and consultancy expertise to various governments, institutions and multilateral international organisations over the past 15 years, including the European Commission, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR); the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); UNESCO; the African Union Commission (AUC); and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Dr. Rasekoala has been conferred with international Commendations and Awards, in recognition of her innovative contributions to the advancement of the scientific enterprise. These include, the Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology & Mathematics Educators (CASTME) Award for Innovation, in 1999; Honorary Doctorate Degree conferred by Sheffield Hallam University, UK, in 2000; The UK-National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Innovation Fellowship in 2003; and The NAT AWARD for Science Communication, conferred by the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona, in 2019. In this keynote, Elizabeth will address the origins of and meaning of creativity and how it is shaped by culture and diversity. She will challenge the stereotype that scientists lack creativity and assert that scientists must move from their comfort zone and take risks if they want to create impactful science communication.

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