Scifest Africa’s quest for an engaged society, that is interested and inspired by what science and related fields have to offer, continues to grow – now in cyberspace. In a bold move, Scifest Africa 2020 is set to launch a fully fledged festival in just under a month from now – entirely online.
There will be no physical event; however, a rich variety offree and paid-for digital content will include workshops, demonstrations, webinars, lecturers, interviews, competitions and shows on topics such as climate change; agriculture; recycling; water and energy conservation; indigenous knowledge systems; innovation in all fields; and space education.
Scifest Africa’s 2020 theme, “Take root… nurture!” celebrates the International Year of Plant Health as proclaimed by the United Nations.
The pandemic and the announcement of the first lockdown extension saw Scifest postponed from April to September 2020.
“However, with concerns about public health the main priority, Scifest Africa has had to reimagine science engagement in a world living with Covid-19,” said spokesperson Hayley Axford.
The annual event has been a gateway to the world of Science, Technology Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation for 24 years. The largest such event on the African continent, Scifest Africa has hosted hundreds of international speakers and workshop leaders, and hosted well over a million attendees of all ages.
Promoting the awareness, understanding and appreciation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics and Innovation in South Africa, on the African Continent and the world, remains the Festival’s primary aim, Axford said.
“While an online delivery of the festival presents significant challenges, Scifest Africa is excited about the potential of extending its reach to learners, educators, scientists, researchers and
innovators locally and abroad,” said Axford.
The National Arts Festival team, who delivered the successful Virtual National Arts Festival (vNAF) earlier this year, will be on hand to assist.
Scifest Africa’s focused online festival programme will run over six months from October 2020 to March 2021. It will amplify work begun in May 2020 for its ‘Road to Digital’ campaign. This introduced audiences to a variety of online science-related engagements and the very popular STEAM Forward science demonstrations.