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Ten to 20 South African children die of starvation every day

- Wits University

Tens of thousands of children under the age of five are admitted to hospital each year for severe acute malnutrition, says Dr Tracy Ledger.

Ledger, Research Associate in the School of Social Sciences, was a guest speaker on TalkRadio 702's morning show,  Breakfast with Xolani Gwala, on World Hunger Day.

She says people don't think that children in South Africa are starving to death but they definitely are, according to offical government health data.

"About 1 500 to 2 000 of those children (admitted to hospital with severe acute malnutrition) die in hospital of starvation. Many more children in South Africa die out of hospital than in hospital (up to 9 000) and the indirect effects of malnutrition are much higher," Ledger said.

Listen to the full interview

About Tracy Ledger

Ledger is a South African researcher in the field of economic development, with 25 years of research experience. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University. She is an agri-food activist, believing that a more equitable agri-food system is fundamental to building a more equitable society.

She recently published a book An Empty Plate that analyses the state of the South African agri-food system: Why we are losing the battle for our food system, why it matters, and how we can win it back. Ledger demonstrates how the agri-food system is perpetuating poverty, threatening land reform; entrenching inequality and tearing apart our social fabric. The book asks two crucial questions: how did we get to this point and how might we go about solving the problem.

Entries now open for innovative Witsies

- Wits University

Wits IT teams stand a chance to win US$10 000 innovation prize.

SITA, the world-leading Swiss air transport IT and communications specialist, has opened entries this week for Wits-only teams to enter its innovation award competition for 2017.

The SITA Air Transport Community Foundation Innovation Award will reward collaborative team work at Wits University that uses information technology to find an innovative solution to an aviation issue or a more general issue that relates to the core business in which SITA operates, namely IT and technology solutions for air transport (passengers and cargo).

The Innovation Award aims to stimulate innovation and has deliberately been described in broad terms to attract a wide range of entries.

For example, an “aviation issue” could include solving an engineering problem; finding an IT solution to an airport customer experience issue; or a more general issue could include using big data analytics to address an issue facing people traveling through a city.


Download the Guidelines for the SITA Air Transport Community Foundation Innovation Award (pdf).

Entries opened on Wednesday, 7 June 2016, and the closing date for submissions is midday 1 September 2017.

The competition is open to teams of two or more individuals:

who must be associated with Wits University by being Wits postgraduate/4th year students and/or members of Tshimologong (Postgraduate students include PhD, masters, honours, and honours-equivalent students in the 4th year of professionally qualifying bachelors degrees, such as 4th year BSc(Eng) students), and

at least one member of each team must either be a student from Aeronautical Engineering / Computer Science / Electrical and Information Engineering / Information Systems in Commerce, or a member of Tshimologong


Please download and read the Guidelines before making further enquiries.  If you still have questions after that, please email

The Wits-SITA partnership

The  SITA Air Transport Community Foundation Innovation Award is an extension of a partnership between Wits and SITA that has been ongoing since 2015 and that focuses on supporting students and young people in their studies, research and in innovation in the fields of Aeronautical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Information Engineering, Information Systems in Commerce, and at the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.

The Wits-SITA partnership is helping students in Africa with financial assistance to succeed in their studies, and in building skills capability that would add much needed expertise to the aviation industry through support for specific academic disciplines.

Finding collaborative solutions in food security

- Wits University

Wits partnered in a project focusing on building capacity and on gender in food security.

Wits University in partnership with southern African and European Higher Education Institutions recently hosted a seminar on an innovative online course and gender related issues in food security and education.

The Networking for Academic Excellence on Agriculture and Food Security (NAEAFS) supported by the European Union and African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States project  was managed by the Wits Siyakhana Initiative in the School of Geography, Archeology and Environmental Studies (WITs) as the lead institution in partnership with  Center for Health Education and Appropriate Health Technologies (Italy); Euro-Mediterranean University (Slovenia); University of Namibia and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The project was carried out between October 2013 and January 2017 and a closing seminar was recently held at Wits.

Two key outcomes included an accredited online course which provided 26 researchers and lecturers from a range of disciplines with a cross-disciplinary introduction to several key issues in food security and sustainable agriculture in the southern African context.

A second and very important outcome was the production of three country specific reports based on an overview of women’s food security status as well as an account of women’s access to education.

The activities included surveys on gender and food security intervention, labour markets, women participation and women access to quality information and learning, diagnosis and plan elaboration. The outputs included a combined report and the dissemination of the outcomes of the research.

Professor Michael Rudolph, Florian Kroll and Professor Teresa Dirsuweit delivered presentations at the closing seminar. It was attended by the e learning course participants, members of the City of Johannesburg Food and Policy Units, University of Johannesburg, Tswane University of Technology, civil society organisations and NGO’s.

For further information, please contact Professor Michael Rudolph on



Rockefeller writing residency for Rising from the Rubbish

- Wits University

Dr Melanie Samson has been awarded one of the most sought after writing fellowships to work on her book, "Rising from the Rubbish".

People are only permitted to apply three times in their lifetime for this prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Academic Writing Residency, and they are only allowed to attend twice.

Samson, a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies in the Faculty of Science at Wits, will take up the residency in Italy from 25 August to 21 September 2017.

Before joining Wits in 2015, Samson worked in South African unions, NGOs and social movements, as well as the global research-policy-action network, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO).

Samson’s research on the politics and political economy of waste and recycling emerges from, and informs, her work supporting unions and movements of privatised and informal workers in these sectors in South Africa and globally.

“I’ve been awarded the fellowship to work on my book, Rising from the Rubbish: Reclaiming Waste, Creating More Inclusive Economies, Polities and Societies. I’ll spend the month with academics, policy makers, artists and practitioners from around the world, many of whom are also working on the theme of inclusive economies,” says Samson.

Inclusive economies

The mission of the Rockefeller Foundation is to promote the well-being of humanity. Its goals are to build resilience and to advance more inclusive economies. The Bellagio Center Academic Writing Residency awards residencies to writers whose work demonstrates relevance to the Foundation’s goals, as well as to its core areas: Advance health; revalue ecosystems; secure livelihoods; transform cities.

“The main theme my project relates to is ‘building inclusive economies’. Critically engaging the concept of ‘inclusive economies’, I argue that it is actually our theories and policies that must be made more inclusive of people who already form an integral part of the economy, and that you cannot attempt to create inclusive economies without creating more inclusive polities and societies. The book is about how people pushed outside the so-called formal economy secure their livelihoods by creating work for themselves in niches ignored by capital. It also speaks very directly to the focus areas of ‘revalue ecosystems’, and ‘transform cities’,” says Samson.

Rising from the Rubbish

Samson’s book is based on a long-term study of informal reclaimers (often referred to as waste pickers) salvaging valuable materials from a Soweto garbage dump. Like their counterparts across the global south, Johannesburg’s reclaimers created the city’s recycling system. Yet, fueled by theories imported from the north that cannot see reclaimers as social, political, economic and epistemic actors, they are dismissed as marginal to the economy, polity, and society, and dispossessed when formal recycling programmes are established. Rising from the Rubbish seeks to establish the difference it makes to theory, policy, and practice when reclaimers are placed at the centre of analysis.

Samson’s work has appeared in a range of academic journals including Historical Materialism, Current Sociology, Environment and Planning D, AntipodeInternational Feminist Journal of PoliticsStudies in Political Economy, and Review of African Political Economy. 

In order to make her work accessible and useful for worker movements, she has also published several popular books on reclaimers and privatised waste workers, including Refusing to be Cast Aside: Waste Pickers Organizing Around the World, and she co-authored the animated video Just Recycling: The Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits of Working with Waste Pickers.

Although the Bellagio Center Academic Residency specifically supports academic discourse, impact is paramount, as the Foundation prioritises research that will help to bring about change related to its goals and focus areas.

“They were particularly interested in the fact that – through my association with WIEGO – my research will be shared with movements of reclaimers globally to strengthen their strategising and mobilisation,” says Samson, who is also running the national stakeholder process to develop National Guidelines on Waste Picker Integration for the Department of Environmental Affairs.

“The conceptual work I’m doing in the book directly shapes and influences my approach to developing and strengthening these guidelines, so the book has an immediate impact on South African government policy processes,” she says.

About the Bellagio Center Academic Writing Residency

The Academic Writing residency is for university and think tank-based academics, researchers, professors, and scientists working in any discipline. Successful applicants demonstrate decades of significant professional contributions to their field or show evidence of being on a strong upward trajectory for those earlier in their careers. Previous recipients include Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Mohamed Yunus, as well as Maya Angelou, Michael Ondaatji and Mary Robinson.

Absa helps Wits students prosper

- Wits University

Absa Bank has donated over R15m to Wits University in aid of student funding.

On Friday, 9 June 2017, representatives from Absa’s Scholarship Programme handed over a cheque to Wits to give academically talented but financially inhibited students an opportunity to study with less financial burdens.

The donation enabled students like Nthabiseng Mogalia, a beneficiary of Absa’s Scholarship Programme and a third year Urban and Region Planning student at Wits to complete her studies.

Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Adam Habib thanked Absa for upholding their commitment to sustainable development by making a positive impact in the lives of society and facilitating access to quality education. 

Through support from Absa, more institutions were encouraged to donate to Wits as well, said Habib.

“Our donor targets exceeded our historic targets, partly because of the crisis (funding), but also the fact that you guys gave – and you did so publicly, which made everybody say, ‘well, we have got to come to the party as well.’ That I think is an important thing to say, and I want to thank you for that.”

Absa has made various donations to the University over the years. Last year, the bank donated over R10m to fund students in the ‘missing middle’, which was included in the R15m cheque.

The Absa Scholarship Programme has sponsored more than 2000 students to date – 10 times more than Absa’s intended target when the programme was started.

“When we first started the scholarship programme, we initially had a target of about 200 students that we wanted to support and then we would absorb them into the organisation,” said Sazini Mojapelo, ABSA’s Citizenship Division Head for Africa.

Mojapelo said that the plight of students who took to the streets during the start of the Fees Must Fall movement encouraged the bank to support more students than orginally intended.

 “We have become more involved in conversations on solutions around the fees challenges. We also recognise as we have grown closer to the issues, that it is not only about school fees but about how we keep these great institutions of learning alive at the level that they are for future generations.”

Statement from Wits University on the passing of Lord Joel Joffe

- Wits University

Wits University mourns the passing of one of its most distinguished graduates, Lord Joel Joffe CBE.

Described by Nelson Mandela and his co-accused as “the General behind the scenes of our defence” in the Rivonia trial, Joffe, Wits alumnus and benefactor, philanthropist, and human rights lawyer, died at home in Liddington, England, on Sunday 18 June 2017 after a short illness. He was 85.

Joffe continued to be an indefatigable voice against injustice of many kinds. His life’s work never wavered from defending victims, helping the poor and highlighting the sacrifices made by others in the fight for justice.  He became prominent globally as international chairman of Oxfam and later in the UK as a Labour peer; his first distinction, however, was his courageous work as a human rights lawyer in Johannesburg.

Joel Goodman Joffe was born in South Africa on 12 May 1932. He held BCom (1952) and LLB (1955) degrees from Wits, as well as an Honorary LLD conferred in 2001. His independence of mind was evident from an early age.  In a 2016 article, Joffe is described “as having …. developed a deep distaste for arbitrary authority” early in life, a quality that never Ieft him (Nigel Tyrie, 2016). 

After graduating, Joffe practised as an attorney and also as an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar. Following Sharpeville in 1961 he was approached increasingly to take cases involving political activists. Deeply troubled about race discrimination in South Africa, he applied to emigrate to Australia. But, in 1963, when attorney James Kantor was arrested, Joffe took over his practice and became the defence attorney in the Rivonia Trial, in which several leaders of the ANC, including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada were charged with treason.

George Bizos, Joel Joffe, Arthur Chaskalson and Loyiso Nongxa view the original Rivonia Trial papers  

Joffe did not regard taking on this work as an act of courage. “For me it was about saving the lives of these wonderful people,” Joffe recalled on Desert Island Discs. “But that was not the main objective of Nelson Mandela and his colleagues… They wanted to put the Government [of South Africa] in the dock. The nine members of the ANC were the finest people I had ever met – such courage, such integrity, so committed… They were in it for the people. It was a great privilege to defend them.”

Writing from Pretoria prison on 11 May 1964, the nine Rivonia accused, however, praised his courage. They described Joffe as “this quiet, courageous man”,  of “rare courage and real devotion to the cause of justice”, who was “the General behind the scenes of our defence”; one of the nine signatories of that letter, Nelson Mandela, later echoed that last statement in his book,  Long Walk to Freedom.

Throughout the stressful and eventful months of the trial, Joffe took extraordinary care not only of the accused but of their families. His support and personal generosity towards them was unstinting – as stated in the letter of 11 May 1964.

After the trial, Joffe defended many others accused of political offences. His passport was confiscated and he was harassed by police. Australia withdrew its immigration offer.  Eventually, he and his young family were forced to leave South Africa for England, he on a one-way “exit permit”.

In London he joined Abbey Life Assurance, a public company in which two other distinguished Wits law alumni, Sir Sydney Lipworth and Sir Mark Weinberg, had become significant figures. By 1971, Joffe was Deputy Chair of Allied Dunbar Assurance. He left Allied Dunbar in 1991 and from 1992 campaigned to protect consumers from the excesses of the financial service industry. His campaign significantly improved consumer protection in the UK.

Joffe retained ties with South Africa and his engagement with his homeland intensified after democratization in 1994. He was special advisor to the former Minister of Transport, Mac Maharaj, 1997-1998.

Joffe was a major benefactor of the Wits Law School Endowment Appeal and to date, through his family trust, is amongst the University’s most generous individual donors.  He contributed a substantial donation to the establishment of a Chair in memory of Bram Fischer, with the funds later being used for other projects to commemorate the ‘Afrikaner revolutionary’ and advocate who was the leading defence advocate of the Rivonia Trial. Joffe dedicated his book The State vs Nelson Mandela , “[t]o Bram Fischer Q.C. who saved the lives of Nelson Mandela and his co-accused, but sacrificed his own life in the fight for freedom.” Joffe further honoured Fischer in his speech at Wits on 26 March 2015 when the University conferred a posthumous honorary degree on Fischer. 

An extremely diffident man, Joffe avoided self-advancement and rejected several honours which sought to acknowledge his philanthropy and charitable work, which spanned decades.  He was awarded CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1999 and elevated to the peerage in the House of Lords in 2000. In this capacity he was able to continue championing causes along the philanthropic principles that governed his life. These included his commitment to campaigning for terminally ill people to have the right to end their lives. He proposed a private members’ bill on the subject in 2003 and 2005.

The flag will fly at half-mast at Wits on Wednesday 21 June 2017 to pay respect to Lord Joel Joffe – a man described in Steven Clingman’s biography of Bram Fischer by Constitutional Court President Arthur Chaskalson, as possessing “near saintly qualities”.

WITSReview wins international award

- Wits Alumni

Alumni magazine judged to be “gorgeous and substantial” by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

WITSReview, the magazine for alumni and friends of Wits University, has won an international award for outstanding work.

The magazine was announced joint winner in the external audience print newsletter category on 16 June 2017 by CASE, based in Washington, DC.

CASE, which serves more than 3 600 of the world’s top universities, colleges and related organisations in more than 80 countries, presented the award for the December 2016 issue of WITSReview jointly with the University of Chicago’s publication, Tableau.

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SA government should support UN resolutions now

- Centre for Applied Legal Studies

Civil society calls on government to support resolutions currently before the UN Human Rights Council to address violence against women and end child marriage.

Three important resolutions to address violence and discrimination against women and girls have been tabled at the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. One focuses on the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, another on accelerating efforts to eliminate violence against women by engaging men and boys in preventing and responding to violence against all women and girls, and the other on child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian settings.

All three resolutions contain language that is in line with commitments laid out in South Africa’s Constitution. All three call on UN member states, including South Africa, to take action to address multiple and intersecting forms of violence against women and girls.

Despite South Africa’s ongoing crises of violence against women and girls, and despite now familiar reassurances from senior government officials that addressing and preventing violence against women is a national priority, South Africa chose not to join the nearly sixty countries which co- sponsored these resolutions when they were tabled last Thursday at the Human Rights Council.

To date, the South African government has still not indicated whether it will co-sponsor or support these resolutions when they go before the Human Rights Council this Thursday and Friday. Our government has also not provided a rationale for its inaction.

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Hockey World League on Wits turf

- Wits University

Wits University is proud to have been selected as the site for the upcoming 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

Twenty of the world’s best men’s and women’s national teams will take part in the Hockey World League qualifiers from 8 - 23 July 2017 taking place at the Wits Hockey Turf located on the Wits Parktown Education Campus.

Australia, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, Ireland and Spain are the top-10 men’s sides coming to Johannesburg, while England, Argentina, the USA and Germany are the leading nations taking part in the women’s tournament. 

Wits University was awarded the honour to host the international tournament due its world-class facilities. The Wits Hockey Turf which was built in 2013,  is one of  a few hockey turfs in South Africa that meets the stringent requirements of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the organisers of the Hockey World Cup.

“We are delighted to contribute to the beautiful game of hockey and that our facilities are able to attract international events to South Africa”, says Adrian Carter, Head of Wits Sports.

In addition to the impressive infrastructure, Wits University also boasts an illustrious hockey history when it comes to sporting talent.

Current Wits students who have been called to represent South Africa are Toni Marks, Rusten Abrahams, Luche Klaasen and Zimi Shange. Another Witsie Petro Stoffberg plays for Namibia’s national women’s team, while several Witsies have played for South Africa’s under-21 squad.

The coaching staff at Wits consists of former national hockey players and Olympians (Pietie Coetzee-Turner, Ricky West, Fiona Butler and Tsoanelo Pholo). The ever-soaring Wits female hockey team is coached by SA’s former leading player and world record holder for the most goals scored in internationals, Coetzee-Turner, who represented the country at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

To keep up to date with all the latest news relating to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, visit, and follow FIH via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram #HWL2017. Tickets can be purchased online.

Did you know?

  • The site of the Johannesburg semi-finals is also home to the Centre for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine that was accredited in 2008 as Africa’s first FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence. It has since also been accredited as a FIMS (International Sports Medicine Federation) Collaborating Centre of Sports Medicine.
  • Also on this site, less than 100 feet away is the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital strategically located near the Wits Medical Clinic and the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital in order to facilitate the sharing of specialised skills and knowledge.

Related article: 


Wits Sport

Victory for community activist victimised by mine

- Centre for Applied Legal Studies

Court overturns cost order sought against community activist by West Coast Resources.

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies welcomes the judgment handed down by the Kimberley High Court on Friday 23 June. The Court overturned a cost order against our client Dawid Markus, an activist from Hondeklipbaai in Namaqualand. The cost order had been sought and obtained against Mr Markus, before he was legally represented, by West Coast Resources (Pty) Ltd – a diamond-mining company with operations in the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape.

The case stems from longstanding attempts by the community of Hondeklipbaai to express their legitimate concerns about the mining activity in the area which resulted in a small, peaceful protest in November 2016. In response, West Coast Resources sought an interdict against one named person, Mr Markus, as a way to silence the community’s grievances and to prevent Mr Markus from exercising his constitutional right to peaceful and unarmed demonstration.

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ICT shutdown due to network upgrade

- Wits University

All Wits ICT systems will be shutdown this weekend due to Project Quantum.

The University is in the process of upgrading its network infrastructure in order to improve ICT systems across all campuses. This initiative is known as “Project Quantum” which is being rolled out over the next few years.  

As part of this project, there is a need for new networking equipment to be installed in the Data Centre, which is scheduled to take place as follows:

-          Saturday, 1 July 2017 (06:00) until Sunday, 2 July 2017 (18:00)

-          Thursday, 6 July 2017 (17:00) until Sunday, 9 July 2017 (20:00)

Managers are advised to plan ahead for the interruption on Friday, 7 July 2017, which is a normal working day.

All Wits ICT Services will be interrupted or offline during these periods, including:

  • Sakai
  • Sims
  • iWits
  • WAMS
  • Intranet
  • Internet
  • WiFi
  • Email – Staff will need to rely on alternative communications platforms
  • ICAM – Limited access whilst the ICAM system works offline. Security will assist with access and egress from the campus.

Remote access to these services will also be affected. Telephony will be off-line including the following call centres - Student Enrolment Call Centre, PIMD, Switchboard and the Wits ICT Service Desk. All website queries will be redirected to a temporary page.

Wits ICT Services apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. Please advise your colleagues and friends of this notice.

For further information during business hours outside of the dates mentioned below; please contact  (011) 717-1717 or Twitter handle:

Nhlanhla Nene appointed as interim Director of the Wits Business School

- Wits University

The former Finance Minister will lead the prestigious business school until a new Head of School is appointed next year.

This was agreed by Wits University and Thebe Investment Corporation. The appointment is effective from 3 July 2017. Once a new Head of School is appointed, Nene will continue to serve as an Honorary Professor and a Scholar in Residence at the WBS. 

“We are honoured to welcome Mr Nene to lead the WBS – his political credence, business acumen and remarkable intellect places him in good stead to lead the WBS as the search for a permanent head commences,” says Professor Adam Habib, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand. “However, his leadership, advice and insight at this pivotal time in our country’s economic trajectory, will add value to the quality of courses, public lectures, debates and research that we offer.”

Nhlanhla Nene appointed as interim Director of the Wits Business School

According to the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Professor Imraan Valodia, the WBS has made significant progress in the last five years. “Enrolments are high, research is on the rise, the quality of our programmes has significantly improved and we are at the forefront of confronting the key issues facing our economy through our public debates and social leadership programmes.” 

Nene’s appointment follows the resignation of the former head of School earlier this year. Aside from stewarding the School, it is envisaged that Nene will actively work with the Wits team to recruit a new leader for the School, potentially to start in the next academic year. 

“It gives me great pleasure to join the WBS that will enable me to share my knowledge, experience and networks in order to empower and work with young, talented individuals, academics and business leaders,” says Nene. “However, this appointment would not have been made possible without the support of the Thebe Investment Corporation who have allowed me the necessary time and space to undertake this important task.” 

“Thebe’s strategic focus in community development is supporting transformative education initiatives, and partnering community based entrepreneurs to build and develop their businesses.  Partnering with the WBS gives us the opportunity to contribute to the development and empowerment of business leaders and managers of the future,” says Vusi Khanyile, Chairman of Thebe Investment Corporation.  “We wish Mr Nene well in this new endeavour and assure him, and Wits, of our support through this process. We are indeed proud of this partnership that paves the way for future collaboration with the WBS and Wits University.”

About the WBS

The Wits Business School is a leading business school based in the economic and commercial hub of Africa, and is one of 33 Schools at the University of the Witwatersrand. It is renowned for the strength of its academic courses, for its research excellence and for producing leaders that can fundamentally transform commerce, industry and society. The WBS plays a key role in providing thought leadership through providing a platform for diverse voices from all sectors to be heard whilst at the same time providing expertise in specialist areas. 

About the Thebe Investment Corporation 

The Thebe Investment Corporation an African company that came into being shortly before South Africa’s formal political transition to democracy, setting new norms and changing the face of business by establishing a socially embedded company that uses its business success to transform lives, and make a difference in our communities. 

About Nhlanhla Nene

Download to read a condensed version of Curriculum Vitae of Nhlanhla Musa Nene.

Wits academic leads Society of Neuroscientists of Africa

- Wits University

Professor Amadi O. Ihunwo was elected as the Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA).

Ihunwo is Head of Morphological Anatomy in the School of Anatomical Sciences at Wits. He was elected at the 13th International Conference of the Society that took place in Entebbe, Uganda, from 11-14 June. Ihunwo will serve a four-year term.

SONA is a non-profit registered in Nairobi, Kenya, that functions as the umbrella organisation for the regional and national neuroscience societies and groups in Africa, and as an affiliate of the International Brain Research Organisation. The Society's mandate is to advocate neuroscience research and teaching in Africa and host an international conference every two years.

As the Principal Investigator in the prestigious Switzerland-South Africa Joint Research Programme, Ihunwo researched comparative adult neurogenesis on different mammalian brains from 2009 to 2014. This research aimed to provide a database of active and potential neurogenic sites in adult mammalian brains. This research has now been extended to investigate adult neurogenesis in avian species. National Research Foundation funding has enabled exploring the integration of new neurons into the adult hippocampal circuitry.