BRICS countries should harness research and innovation to optimally contribute to Africa’s development, a South African cabinet minister said on Tuesday.
“The BRICS grouping is one of our most strategic alliances for international cooperation. I look forward to engaging with my counterparts from these nations to ensure science and technology be put at the heart of not only the BRICS’s own economic partnership but that through our cooperation we also harness research and innovation to optimally contribute to Africa’s development,” Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor said.
She was speaking before leaving for Brazil on Tuesday morning to participate in the second Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) science, technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting, which will be held on March 18-19.
At the meeting in Brasilia, Pandor and her counterparts of other BRICS countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation.
Significantly this agreement will be one of the first thematic intergovernmental cooperation frameworks to be concluded by the BRICS members, the South African Department of Science and Technology said in a statement.
The MOU will facilitate the sharing of experience, expertise and resources between the BRICS partners, as they seek to put science, technology and innovation at work in the service of sustainable as well as equitable growth and development.
Instruments for cooperation will include training and exchange programmes for scientists, especially young researchers; joint funding mechanisms for collaborative research and development; as well as policy dialogues on science and innovation.
The first BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting was held in Cape Town in 2014, in line with the decisions of the eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan adopted at the 5th BRICS Summit in March 2013.
The first STI ministerial meeting played an important role in concluding discussions towards the implementation of a memorandum of understanding for STI.
It was agreed at this meeting that cooperation would focus on, among other things, medicine and biotechnology, the exchange of information on STI policies and programmes, the promotion of innovation and technology transfer, food security and sustainable agriculture, high-technology zones/science parks and incubators, nanotechnology and high-performance computing. Enditem
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