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South Africa, Malaysia in Science and Technology cooperation

Eugene morokolo Apr 29,2014 0 Comments

Temp b 9 Malaysia 300x225 South Africa, Malaysia in Science and Technology cooperationSouth Africa and Malaysia have agreed to cooperate in the fields of science; technology and innovation after the two countries  recently signed a memorandum of understanding.

The first South Africa- Malaysia Joint Committee Meeting on science, technology and innovation is taking recently. The meeting follows the signing of an innovative partnership agreement between the two countries last recently week.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed last week by the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom, and the Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Cape Town, Minister Hanekom said, “The agreement is aimed at enhancing socio-economic development in both countries through STI cooperation, and will provide a tremendous opportunity for both countries to share knowledge and experience.”

The Minister added that the agreement would strengthen human capital development through the initiation of joint research projects and programmes between role players in the STI communities of both countries.

According to the media statement released by the DST, Malaysia has been successful in transforming its agriculture-based economy since its independence in 1957.   “Over the years, the emphasis has shifted to from rubber, tin and palm oil, to biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals and other high-tech industries.  It has given priority to information and communication technologies (ICT).  South Africa is on a similar trajectory, as it moves from a resource-based to a knowledge-based economy” the statement says.

Like South Africa, Malaysia is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.  It is a leader in bioprospecting, and has had some success in commercialising local research results, so there are opportunities for knowledge sharing in this area.

“The MoU that we are signing today is indeed a strategic first step in fostering a smart partnership between our countries, reinforcing our commitment to promoting and developing cooperation in the field of science and technology,” said the Malaysian Minister of STI.

“It has created a win-win situation for Malaysia and South Africa in terms of human resource development, technological and research development, economic growth and advancing ICT,” he added.

Both countries says they have identified specific areas of cooperation for discussion at the first South Africa-Malaysia Joint Committee meeting .accordting to the statement the Joint Committee meeting is aimed at developing an action plan for bilateral cooperation over the next two years, which is expected to include the areas of Antarctic research, ICT, energy security, innovation for inclusive development, sustainable human settlements, innovation and commercialisation, astronomy and the bioeconomy.

The CSIR Meraka Institute (which is the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research unit focused on ICT) and its Malaysian counterpart, MIMOS, also signed an MoU yesterday in order to facilitate the exchange of technological expertise.  The cooperation between the two institutes will include exchange programmes related to technology development and commercialisation.

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