SA, Belgium to bolster science and tech

Read time 1min 30sec
Minister Naledi Pandor signs agreement to facilitate science and tech initiatives between SA and Belgium.
Minister Naledi Pandor signs agreement to facilitate science and tech initiatives between SA and Belgium.

South Africa and Belgium have signed a five-year cooperation agreement that will see the countries implement joint research and innovation initiatives.

In a statement, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) says areas of cooperation under the agreement are natural science, health, life science, engineering, technology, social science and the humanities.

According to the DST, the agreement is set to promote the exchange of scientific information and expertise between the countries and facilitate the hosting of joint seminars and training on aspects of mutual interest, such as climate change, marine and Antarctic science, biodiversity and space science.

The agreement, which was signed by DST minister Naledi Pandor and secretary of state for science policy Elke Sleurs, will be implemented by the department and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office.

A joint committee of cooperation will be established to ensure the objectives of the agreement are achieved.

SA's partnership with Belgium comes hot on the heels of president Jacob Zuma's declaration that 2017 is the year government will focus on science and maths.

In his State of the Nation Address last week, the president said government will prioritise maths and science more than ever before.

Zuma said government is encouraged by the positive results science and technology education is yielding in the country.

He also lauded the science and technology department for driving projects like the Square Kilometre Array telescope in the Northern Cape.

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