Prospective participants commit to taking part in the Summit

Umlazi Township school teachers, with third and fourth from left, FAMU’s Dr Victor Ibeanusi and MKI’s Acting CEO, Advocate Lihle Mapipa at the MKI

Five teachers from Umlazi Township high schools that attended the EnergyWaterFoodClimate Nexus International Summit presentation at the Moses Kotane Institute on 7 February 2024, were more than impressed by what the leader of the Summit, Dr Victor Ibeanusi said. Dr Ibeanusi requested the teachers to bring 30 students to the Summit which will be hosted by the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), in Durban. The Summit will take place from 1-4 July.  The theme of the Summit is ‘What we Want is Possible’.  Dr Ibeanusi said that the Summit’s main aim was to provide long-term solutions to environmental problems that are mostly because of climate change.  Dr Ibeanusi said they were eyeing the young people to take the baton at some point.  He said the aim was to “recruit and train student leaders to be ready to solve the vexing challenges of our time”. However, he said, they needed to have the necessary grooming.  The learners will get some of the grooming from Go Digital South African Foundation.  Go Digital South African Foundation’s Tebogo Semmelink, said they would have mock hackathons with the learners before the Summit to prepare them for the real hackathon that they will have to take part in, during the Summit.

The teachers were more than appreciative of the local organising committee’s invitation to the meeting, and the vision of the organisers, particularly with regards to the role their learners are supposed to play in the Summit and beyond.  Sipho Mkwanazi, a Science teacher at  Ndukwenhle High School,  said that he “believes that MUT is heading to a right direction and making a good initiative to pay more attention to the energy, water, food and climate sustainability”. Mkwanazi said the issues focused on were not only affecting the eThekwini Municipality but were a “global problem”. Mkwanazi further said that “engaging our learners as future leaders would have a good impact; we believe that learners will be much more willing to pursue careers in the fields of the focus areas”.

Gugu Nzuza, a Physical Sciences teacher at Makhumbuza High School, said the Summit would give learners an opportunity to apply their knowledge to the “challenges and devise solutions”.