making a difference for continental progress

Prof Leenta Grobler delivered the keynote address during the NWU’s Africa Day Webinar.


Click on the image to watch the recording of the webinar.

More about Africa Month and Day


Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the success of the Organisation of African Unity (now known as the African Union), which was created on 25 May 1963 in the fight against colonialism and apartheid.


This year’s Africa Month is commemorated under the African Union’s theme “The year of arts, culture and heritage: In the year of Charlotte Maxeke”.


Dr Maxeke rose above the limitations imposed by the apartheid regime in the 1900s to become a political leader and was highly educated despite the challenges of the times. The Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg is named in her honour.


This was the message from Prof Leenta Grobler, acting director for business development and stakeholder engagement at the NWU’s Faculty of Engineering, who delivered the keynote address at the NWU’s Africa Day webinar on 25 May 2021.


Putting words into action, the NWU has partnered with the Jomo Kenyatta University to use Kenya’s health facilities to trial and possibly market three recently developed Covid-19 solutions.


During the webinar, titled “Silencing the guns: creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development and intensifying the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic”, Leenta highlighted some of our inventions, such as the TjopTjop Covid-screening application currently being used daily to screen at least 22 000 children at South African schools.


“All our initiatives, including the automated remote Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) device that will help with testing turnaround times during pandemics, demonstrate how technology and digital health solutions can make a big impact in our world and make a tangible difference in Africa,” she added.


This resonates with the words of one of the greatest spirits of Africa, former President Nelson Mandela: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others.”

We don’t have the luxury of making a difference only in South Africa – we should make a difference in Africa and the rest of the world too.

“As we sit here today, we are looking to other countries to support our people with things like vaccines. It’s incumbent upon us not to look back and lament, but to look for solutions for the Africa that we want to see.”


- Clement Manoko

Clement Manoko, executive director for corporate relations and marketing, was the programme director at the event.