1 July 2024

Future Africa, an innovative pan-African research platform launched by South Africa’s University of Pretoria (UP), celebrates its fifth anniversary, marking half a decade of innovative pan-African research collaboration. Launched as a platform to foster cooperation across disciplinary, institutional, and geographic boundaries, Future Africa has made significant achievements in fostering collaboration across these boundaries. The initiative addresses global challenges through research domains such as One Health, sustainable food systems, and global equity. A landmark achievement includes the establishment of a joint Research Chair in Sustainability Transformations with the University of Cape Town (UCT), held by Professor Maano Ramutsindela, highlighting unprecedented cooperation between leading South African universities. Future Africa has grown to encompass 30 distinct projects and programmes, including a Futures Literacy Incubator and Impact Dialogues series. It has hosted nearly 3,000 events, welcomed about 66,000 delegates to its facilities, and expanded its team to 60 members. The platform has also contributed to high-level United Nations (UN) initiatives, cementing its role in shaping global policy. As the platform advances, its outgoing director, Dr Heide Hackmann, will assume a new role as Chair in Science Futures at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at Stellenbosch University (US). This transition marks a new chapter for both Future Africa and Dr Hackmann, as the platform continues to shape the future of collaborative research in Africa.

Read the full article on University World News here.

Dr Heide Hackmann