Date:12 December 2016 - By: Silas Nduvheni
The University of Venda hosted the Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) Interface Conference during last week and the theme under discussion was Towards science and technology of humility in South Africa.
The event was opened by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor, who told the gathering that the main challenge was to “focus on the commercialisation of indigenous knowledge, rather than on a better understanding of indigenous knowledge itself." She added that the conference was an opportunity for a "critical engagement with the current policy on indigenous knowledge in South Africa" and asked if it was possible to merge indigenous knowledge and science.
The vice-chancellor of Univen, Prof Peter Mbati, said there was an increasing realization among researchers, developmental agencies, policy makers and academics “that African indigenous knowledge was an underused resource in Africa's developmental process.” He added that learning from what local communities already knew created an understanding of local conditions and provided an important context for activities designed to help them.
He added that the university was looking forward to seeing the first group of students with a bachelor's degree in IKS graduate next year.