Welcome to the 12th SANORD Annual Scientific Conference hosted by the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. This year’s theme; “Role of Higher Education in Forging Sustainable Livelihoods” was selected because of its alignment to the Strategic Development Goals (SDGs). It is an exciting time for SANORD as we continue to grow and adapt, remaining always adaptable, motivated and responsive to global priority issues in education, research and wellbeing. Africa is facing challenges and changes as we strive towards the achievement of SGDs. Sustainable livelihoods is therefore an interesting area in which to work, research and collaborate, and SANORD member institutions will continue to meet and bring inspired people together in forums like this to ensure that SANORD remains at the front of capacity development and research production.

The conference plenary sessions have been organised according to priority areas reflected within the subthemes of the conference: private sector and SDGs implementation, graduate Employability and impact on sustainable development, gender equity & empowerment of women & girls for sustainable livelihood, healthier population and labour productivity in competitive global market, poverty eradication agenda in higher education and research institutions, revitalising global partnership for sustainable development and livelihood and sustainable livelihoods in urban and rural economy and natural resources. Speakers will therefore, address various relevant aspects of the subthemes during parallel sessions.

The conference will feature abstract-driven poster sessions which will be displayed throughout the duration of the conference and delegates may view posters at any time between sessions.

As I invite you to the 2019 SANORD Conference in Gaborone, let me express my deepest appreciation to the numerous speakers, special guests, collaborators, sponsors, delegates, SANORD Board and Council members and the Local Organising Committee for their various contributions in making the 2019 SANORD Annual Scientific Conference a success.