Keynote Speakers

ISBGMO13 Inaugural Address

The Honourable Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor
Minister of Science and Technology, Republic of South Africa

Ms. Pandor holds a BA from the University of Botswana and Swaziland and an MA in Education from the University of London.  In 1992, she studied for a Diploma in Higher Education, Administration and Leadership at Bryn Mawr in the USA.  In 1997, while serving as an MP, she received an MA in Linguistics from Stellenbosch University in 1997, and a Diploma in Leadership in Development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Ms. Pandor became an MP in 1994 and has amassed impressive experience in positions of public office, including as Deputy Chief Whip of the ANC in the National Assembly from 1995 to 1998, Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in 1998, and Chairperson of the NCOP from 1999 to 2004.  Her experience in education policy and planning made her a welcome appointment as South Africa’s Minister of Education from 2004 to 2009.  Ms. Pandor was appointed Minister of Science and Technology in May 2009, and Minister of Home Affairs in October 2012.  Following South Africa's fifth democratic elections, she was reappointed Minister of Science and Technology in May 2014.

Ms. Pandor has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Stellenbosch University.

Professor Charles Godfray CBE FRS
Hope Professor and Director, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food

Charles Godfray is a population biologist with broad interests in the environmental sciences and has published in fundamental and applied areas of ecology, evolution and epidemiology.

He is interested in how the global food system will need to change and adapt to the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, and in particular in the concept of sustainable intensification, and the relationship between food production, ecosystem services and biodiversity.  He has worked on pest and vector management and currently studies how novel genetic interventions can be used to control the mosquitoes that transmit malaria.

He chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Food and Farming and is a member of the Strategy Advisory Board of the UK Global Food Security Programme.  He has been a member of the Steering Group of the UK Government’s Green Food Project, and President of the British Ecological Society.

Charles Godfray was educated at Oxford University and Imperial College London and was on the faculty of Imperial College for twenty years, latterly as Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology and head of the Biology Division.  In 2006, he moved to become Hope Professor at the University of Oxford where he also directs the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.  He was elected to the Royal Society in 2001.

Dr. Flora Ismail Tibazarwa
Director for Life Sciences, Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology

Flora Ismail Tibazarwa is a plant scientist with an M.Sc. in forest ecology and a Ph.D. in experimental botany with a focus on molecular physiology. She was a lecturer and head of the botany department at the University of Dar es Salaam for two terms (6 years). Flora’s research experience and interests span from project based environmental impact assessment, ecological risk assessment to abiotic stress tolerance in crop and non-crop species. Flora has published her work widely and has supervised several M.Sc. and Ph.D. candidates.

Her expertise in ecological risk assessment for genetically modified organisms is recognised within and outside of Tanzania, as she has been a key resource person in trainings for regulators, students and the general public.

In environmental and social impact assessment, Flora has worked and led topical development projects such as the Kihansi Hydropower station where the viviparous Kihansi spray toad Nectophrynoides asperginis was found, the Lake Natron Soda Ash project, Malagarasi Hydropower Project and more recently the Serengeti Highway.

As the Director for Life Sciences that covers, agriculture, health, biotechnology and environment at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), she is charged with ensuring that national research priorities and the contribution of life sciences to sustainable development are delivered. She is the secretary to the National Research Registration Committee and the Tanzania Biodiversity Information Facility. Flora is responsible for ensuring outputs of research and innovations are communicated, commercialised and taken to scale. Furthermore in COSTECH’s work to promote the utilisation of science, technology, and innovation, she facilitates implementation of pilot projects such as the Water Efficient Maize for Africa project to ensure evidence is used in acquisition of emerging technologies such as biotechnology.

Flora is responsible at the directorate level to mobilise resources for research and innovation and works closely with development partners such as DFID, Sida, Danida and the governments of South Africa and South Korea to deliver this.