Originally published by the University of Pretoria.
UP’s Professor Lise Korsten has hit the ground running as the new and first female president of the African Academy of Sciences.
The pan-African body, established in 1985 with the primary goal of promoting science, technology, and innovation on the African continent, has a new governance line-up headed by Prof Korsten, who won the hotly contested election for the presidential post.
“I must be honest, I did not think I was going to get elected,” said Prof Korsten, who is a Professor in Plant Pathology and Co-Director of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security. “This is a very challenging position that will require extensive networking building relations with various stakeholders and creating new partnerships. To champion change I will need to, as a priority, realign, re-focus, recharge, and redeploy people and committees, and redesign structures and systems that will take us into a very new, exciting, but different future.”
She said she is honoured at being handed such a big responsibility. “It is about the African continent, and it is all about timing. The time is now for Africa to rise, and the opportunities are enormous if we are ready to explore these. The Governing Council will have to accelerate our pace of transformation and adjustment to catch the waves of opportunity, otherwise, Africa will miss the boat and not rise to the occasion. We should not be left behind and should lead the way because the next century will bring significant changes and opportunities. The Academy will need to grow, invest in, and nurture our youth and particularly our female scientists because it is our biggest asset.”
Photo: Ashraf Hendricks/CoE-FS. “Food security at a tipping point; are we heading for ‘Zero Food’?”. That was the question that…