Rhodes professor appointed to UN high-level panel

RHODES University's Prof Tebello Nyokong has been appointed to a highlevel panel to advise on the organisational and operational aspects of the UN's proposed innovation supporting mechanism on technology and science.

Grahamstown-based Rhodes University announced yesterday that the Lesotho-born Nyokong was the only professor working in South Africa to be appointed by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to the 10-member panel. Ban has tasked the panel to prepare practical recommendations that can provide a strong impetus to accelerating structural transformation and sustainable development of the least developed countries.

Responding to the appointment, Nyokong said: "To hear that the office of the UN secretary-general even knows I exist was such a huge surprise and a great honour. So it goes with my belief that Rhodes University is a leading university.

"This gives me hope that I can meaningfully be involved in mechanisms for establishing a science and technology base on the African continent. I have a clear picture of the challenges facing African science research and technology development and I hope being in the panel will be a start for me being part of a solution. I hope to highlight the problems we face and be part of a team that suggests solutions."

"The team includes people with vast experience in science and technology policy. I am more on the grass roots dealing with students. It is good to have such a diverse group working together. I am excited. It is the innovation part that I am excited about."

The panel will hold its first meeting in February. It is expected to submit its report to Ban in the middle of next year. velaphis@thenewage.co.za

Article by: Sithandiwe Velaphi

Article source: The New Age