Contact Us
29 October 2013
UWC's international conference for innovative indigenous solutions

UWC's international conference for innovative indigenous solutions

The Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Michael Mashuta, will be covering the South African government’s efforts to harness the potential of indigenous knowledge for socioeconomic development at the 4th International Conference of the Science and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) project to be held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Not just in South Africa, but worldwide, there has been a growing outcry to learn from indigenous peoples how they preserved human health and knowledge, and how they occupied and made use of their environments for centuries without damaging them to the extent that has been done particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The three-day conference will address these matters through an intensive and engaging scholarly discourse which will lift the current pedestrian and romanticising debates on indigenous knowledge systems to a higher epistemic level.

 Frontline researchers have been invited to lead the plenary sections, to be supported with short and long peer-reviewed papers in parallel sessions – with the hope that the conference will provide useful insights into the deeper issues surrounding indigenous knowledge and its relevance to the 21st century.

Topics to be discussed include such matters as integrating indigenous medicines into public health systems, integrating science with indigenous knowledge, coordinating indigenous knowledge systems policies in Africa, and investigating indigenous knowledge for sustainable development (among others).

 The biennial conference, which started at UWC in 2006 as a local endeavour, has attracted regional, national and international attention in a way far beyond our imagination at the time. This is perhaps not surprising, considering the general disillusionment with the way human activities, particularly ill-advised application of industrial activities, have irreparably damaged delicate ecological systems. The conference will be of fundamental importance nationally, regionally and internationally – not only from an educational perspective, but also on policy and programmes of action directed at harnessing indigenous knowledge systems for sustainable development.


Tuesday 29 October 2013 until Thursday 31 October 2013


School of Public Health, UWC Main Campus, Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville


09h00 until 16h30