Jamaica and South Africa sign Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation
Pictured at the signing ceremony are (front) Minister Derek Hanekom, South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and High Commissioner Norma Taylor Roberts of Jamaica in SA.
Standing behind, (l-r) Punkah Mdaka, Director Overseas Bilateral Cooperation, Mr Muofhe, Deputy Director, International Relations, Vinny Pillay, Chief Director, Overseas Bilateral Cooperation, Dr Phil Mjwara, Director General, DST and John Clark, Minister Counsellor, Jamaican High Commission.
On 7 June 2013 H.E. Norma Taylor Roberts, High Commissioner of Jamaica in South Africa and Mr. Derek Hanekom, South African Minister of Science and Technology signed an Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Pretoria.
Speaking at the ceremony High Commissioner Norma Taylor Roberts said, "Many of you would be aware of the close historical and political connection between Jamaica and South Africa through slavery, the struggles against colonialism and the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and what we are seeking to do is build on that bond of friendship by establishing tangible areas of cooperation to promote the development of our countries."
Remarking on the importance of the agreement Taylor Roberts said that Science, Technology and Innovation play a pivotal role in developing countries in creating competitive and knowledge-based economies. She said that Jamaica has established a road-map aimed at creating a facilitating environment for Science and Technology in respect of planning, legislation and regulation. Jamaica also started with initiatives such as a Youth Innovation Award to recognise the efforts of young people and to encourage them to think of themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs from an early age.
High Commissioner Taylor Roberts congratulated South Africa on its selection as one of the countries for the International Square Array Project (SKA).
The Modalities of the Cooperation agreement are:
a) the exchange of scientists, researchers, technical experts and scholars;
b) the exchange of scientific and technological information and documentation;
c) the organisation of bilateral scientific and technological seminars, conferences and workshops in areas of mutual interest;
d)the formulation and implementation of joint research and development programmes and exchange of knowledge resulting therefrom.
In conclusion High Commissioner Taylor Roberts said, "The synergies for cooperation between our countries, in this field, are clear, and Jamaica looks forward to the implementation phase when both sides will establish a Joint Committee to identify the priority fields of cooperation and facilitate the implementation of joint programmes and projects."