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Ambassador for the Year of Science

Science Network

15/11/2012

Embassy reception on 3 October under the banner of the German-South African Year of Science

South African former Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor with kids and other guests of the embassy reception
(c) www.southafrica.diplo.de

At the German Embassy in Pretoria, the Day of German Unity was celebrated in the spirit of the German-South African Year of Science. In front of an invited gathering of 650 people, Ambassador Horst Freitag welcomed his guests, who included many representatives of the South African government. He extended particular thanks to Naledi Pandor , Minister of Science and Technology, for attending the event and for her tireless support for the scientific collaboration and reiterated his wish that this outstanding and fruitful cooperation would continue in the future.

In connection with this he emphasised the significance of education, training and science for a country’s well-being. German companies in South Africa, he said, were investing in the most precious commodity that any country has to offer: its people, especially its young people. He encouraged his guests to visit the Siemens and BASF stands that had been set up on the premises to showcase scientific hands-on experiments.

The stands demonstrated how young people can be introduced to natural sciences. BASF, for example, had set up a “Kids’ Lab” in which school students could satisfy their scientific curiosity. The Kids’ Lab supports South African schools by providing lab equipment and experimental learning sessions for learners aged between 8 and 14.

The Siemens foundation and company showcased their “Experimento” programme, which, in collaboration with the German schools in Johannesburg and Cape Town, was launched in February 2012. The programme is designed to give teachers – with the help of practically-oriented exercises and easy-to-use science kits – all they need to give fascinating lessons on topics such as energy, health and the environment. Visitors were given the opportunity to produce hydrogen cells and solar power.

In the afternoon, the festivities included a very special German-South African fashion show in which a colourful range of South African garments from all of South Africa’s nine provinces were on display. The magnificent clothes were the result of a project in which well-established fashion designers and textile artisans from rural areas all over South Africa worked together.

Those present were entertained by the “MIAGI” (Music is a great Investment) New School Jazz Orchestra.

(Source: German Embassy in Pretoria)

(Naledi Pandor: Since 4.10.2012 no longer Science Minister)