SA hosts first BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting

By on February 10, 2014

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Derek Hanekom, is hosting the first Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting in Kleinmond in the Western Cape this week.  The two-day event will be attended by science ministers from the BRICS countries.

The meeting is one of the activities agreed to in the declaration and work plan adopted at the 5th BRICS Summit held in Durban in March 2013.

The ministers will identify and discuss mutual interests and future directions of cooperation in STI within the framework of BRICS. The aim is to enhance the ability of each country to address the challenges of global competitiveness and leadership in frontier sciences and new technologies, and promoting equitable growth and sustainable development through strategic cooperation.

The South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, will deliver a welcoming address on the first day of the event.  

During the summit, the BRICS ministers will table a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening cooperation between the five countries in STI and addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges. 

This will be achieved through appropriate funding and investment instruments, using shared experiences, the co-generation of new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes. The promotion of joint BRICS partnerships, as well as involving other strategic actors in the developing world will be a key theme of the meeting.

On the second day of the event, the BRICS ministers will visit the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site in Carnarvon, where the MeerKAT (the precursor to the SKA) is being constructed.  Dr Bernie Fanaroff, Director of the South African SKA Project Office, will give a presentation on progress made by the SKA team.

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