From 16 August to 25 September 2012, eight of South Africa’s top universities will host a “French Day” as part of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013. The University of Venda hosted the first French Day on Thursday 16 August, followed by Wits University on the 21st and the Vaal University of Technology on the 23rd.
These events, co organized by the Embassy of France in South Africa and the departments of International Relations of each university, aim to promote existing Franco-South African collaborations, strengthening links between our two vivid scientific communities and promoting students exchanges. Students and academics had the opportunity to attend several presentations on various topics from the scramble for Africa and conservation at UniVen to paleoanthropology and animal migration tracking at Wits or energies issues and Huguenot history at VUT. Cultural items (music, dance, fashion shows, art exhibition etc.) and exhibitions designed by prominent Pretoria-based French research centres IRD and CIRAD on animal husbandry and humid tropical forests completed the days.
These events take place in the context of increasing collaboration between our two countries as the number of scientific articles co-published by French and South African scientists rose by an astonishing 200%-plus over the past five years. This trend, resulting in well over 100 different joint projects makes France South Africa’s 5th ranked research partner.
Theses French Days, which will take place until the end of September, are a unique opportunity for French and South African researchers to discuss their approaches to further developing and expanding mutual collaboration. Some French Days will also host workshops on innovation on telecommunication (TUT), satellites industry (CPUT) and energy (UCT) gathering French and South African companies, innovators and researchers.
• 03 September - University of KwaZulu-Natal ; • 05 September - Cape Peninsula University of Technology ; • 11 September - University of Cape Town ; • 25 September - University of Pretoria ; and • TBC – Tshwane University of Technology