In response to the call “World Heritage Education for the Future” made by the World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific (WHITRAP) region under the auspices of UNESCO, a total of 30 cases were selected for the awards from nearly 100 cases worldwide. Professor Modimowabarwa Kanyane, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law and Professor Mzo Sirayi UNIVEN Adjunct Professor made the University proud as the winners of the Star of Discovery Award for their case: “Smart Village Through Indigenous Knowledge and Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa.” Ms LOU Ya, Partnership Officer of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in China, announced the 10 winning cases of Star of Discovery in the 2022 “Global Awards for World Heritage Education Innovative Cases”. The case emerged from their smart village project funded by the DSI. While there are rural push and urban pull factors linked to movements from rural to urban areas, a smart village is necessary, used as a catalyst to reverse the movement for job creation and prosperity to enhance country life in rural areas through IKS and the 4iR binaries.

Prof Modimowabarwa Kanyane, Executive Dean, Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law

‘As a key activity recommended by UNESCO to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, the 2022 “Global Awards for World Heritage Education Innovative Cases” International Sharing Forum was held in December 2022 to announce the awards. The Forum was presided over by LI Xin, Deputy Secretary-General (WHITRAP). Nearly 50 representatives of international institutions, award winners, cooperative partners, and an expert panel from all over the world attended the Forum online. An audience of 8,008 also joined the Forum via live streaming. All winning cases will automatically enter into related cooperation networks and will be given priority to participate in relevant international cooperation and innovative pilot projects.

The list of the Global Awards and relevant events will be published on UNESCO’s websites worldwide.’ classid=1461&newsid=3411&t=show

In the verbatim words of Professor Nosisi Feza, DVC Research and Post Graduate Studies said that “UNIVEN ended 2022 on a very high note as we were celebrating our 40 years. It is also an honour to keep the bar high. The significance of this award for UNIVEN is tied closely to our strategic agenda specifically on Smart Villages.” The Star of Discovery Award by WITHRAP under the auspices of UNESCO won by Prof Kanyane and Prof Sirayi is evidence of research that responded to the UNIVEN niche area “African Heritage and IKS” which is about African heritage, Indigenous knowledge systems and decoloniality, among others.

The University Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni congratulated Prof Kanyane on receiving this prestigious Global Award. “Well done. This is exciting news for the University as we start the new academic year,” said Dr Nthambeleni.

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 18 January 2023

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