Nontokozo Langwenya’s visit to Ghana to participate in an ARUA conference
Postgraduate researcher in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Nontokozo Langwenya, earlier this year attended the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) launch conference at the University of Ghana, an experience she says gave her greater insight into her own field of public health and epidemiology.
Nontokozo Langwenya in Ghana to attend the African Research Universities Alliance conference
Langwenya attended the conference thanks to a scholarship provided by the Global Short Academic Programme (GSAP) unit within IAPO, as part of their mandate to generate income to support strategic internationalisation initiatives for nominated local UCT students. The office has a particular focus on promoting the internationalization and the Afropolitan strategic goals of the university.
Langwenya, in her report after the conference, noted a number of valuable experiences. One of the things she says she appreciated was the plenary sessions whereby discussions evolved around the definition of science.
“I had not truly appreciated its meaning. Science was defined – after much debate – as the search for truth, through the acquisition of knowledge, presented and interrogated via a structured system,” she says.
“This is of particular significance in my field of public health and epidemiology, which calls for need to understand traditional medicine and how it may be further used to strengthen the health systems.”
Nontokozo also learned a great deal about communicating her research in a clear and concise manner.
“I had to work a lot on this during my first day at the conference. Initial presentation of your work and interests entices people to listen to your message and determines whether or not they will stay engaged in the conversation.”
As a result of her trip, Nontokozo built some strong relationships with colleagues in Ghana and other ARUA member countries. She currently mentoring a young Ghanian nursing student who is hoping to study further after she finishes her degree. Langwenya also joined the ARUA Public Health Group, which is still in its formative stages and hope to contribute significantly to the body of knowledge.
Find out more about ARUA.