Young scientists from around the continent displayed their response to some of the challenges faced by their local communities at the Eskom Young Scientist Awards.

The scholars submitted their science research projects at the three-day Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair (ISF) which was held at the Birchwood Hotel from the 2nd through to the 6th of October.

Eskom dedicated the start of the second day to acknowledging their partners, and ISF sponsors through an exclusive breakfast. Chairman of the Eskom Expo Board of Directors, Mr Pieter Pretorius, said, “For several years the Eskom Expo has hosted learners from several other African countries and this year we have learners from seven other countries participating. None of this would have been possible without our sponsors, whose support enables us to run the competition and offer prizes to the value of R4 million, which are a powerful motivator to our participants.”

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Engineering and innovative technologies giant, Siemens was one of the major sponsors of the expo; supporting the event and its participants with laptops and science kits. Siemens also sponsored three full bursaries and an incredible opportunity for one young scientist to go through a three and a half year Mechatronics or Electronics apprenticeship at the Siemens Technical Academy in Berlin. 

The deserving winner of the Siemens Grand Prize was 15 year old scholar, Fiona Khoza. Khoza will intern at a Siemens facility in Germany.T he Apprenticeship program affords young people, like Khoza the opportunity to take part in a three and half year, high-level education program in Berlin and then upon return to South-Africa, an opportunity to join the Siemens workforce.

The program itself offers international experience working on real world application in the Siemens innovation space with people from around the world. Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo says “Skills development and investing in the youth is an imperative to build African innovation. Our partnership with Eskom Expo is about helping to develop the generation that innovates in Africa for Africa. This is not once off. This is our investment for the long term”.