(AA) – South African and Sudanese science and technology ministers have pledged to enhance scientific and technological cooperation and help support joint research initiatives.
“We invited the minister so that she could gain a first-hand understanding of the research-performing institutions in South Africa and use that understanding to identify institutions that scientists and technologists in Sudan would want to work with,” South Africa’s Naledi Pandor told a Monday media briefing held following a meeting with Sudanese counterpart Tahani Abdallah Attiya.
The two countries have agreed to cooperate in the areas of space science, agriculture, animal resources, nanotechnology, health and energy.
They also agreed to contribute nearly $200,000 each to a fund to support joint research initiatives in both countries.
“We have put up to 2 million rand to help researchers from South Africa and Sudan,” Pandor said.
The two ministers agreed to expedite implementation of a bilateral science and technology agreement signed in Khartoum last November.
“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Attiya has come to our country, both to continue our deliberations and to expedite the implementation of the agreement signed in Khartoum,” Pandor said.
The agreement set out key priority areas of collaboration including developing scientific and technological relations in equal partnership and to the mutual benefit of their respective scientific, technological and innovation systems.
The objectives of the agreement include promoting information and knowledge sharing about policies relating to research, technological development and innovation.
“We are very happy that we are here in South Africa to implement the agreement earlier signed in Khartoum,” Attiya said, through an interpreter.
The Sudanese delegation will stay in South Africa for one week, where they are expected to visit various science-related projects.
South Africa and Sudan established diplomatic relations in 1994 after the end of South Africa’s apartheid regime.
Earlier this year, South African President Jacob Zuma visited Khartoum for talks with his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, on means of enhancing bilateral ties.