SA, Sudan Pledge Money to Fund Research

South Africa and Sudan have each pledged R2 million to support researchers in both countries.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and her Sudanese counterpart, Tahani Abdalla Attla, today met in Pretoria where they signed the agreement to fund researchers.

The agreement is part of efforts to expedite a pact signed in Khartoum last November to support research work in SA and Sudan.

Addressing the media on Monday just after signing the agreement, Minister Pandor said she was extremely pleased by the agreement.

“We have invited the minister to come and experience our research programmes,” she said.

The Sudanese Minister and her delegation are in the country on a week-long visit. During the visit, they will visit various science related projects.

Minister Abdalla said she was happy they were taking the agreement further. “Our visit is mainly to activate the agreement.”

Through the agreement, South Africa and Sudan will work together in the fields of agriculture and animal resources, nanotechnology, health, energy and space science, as well as other crossing-cutting areas such as intellectual property and the benchmarking and development of science, technology and innovation policy.

South Africa and Sudan established diplomatic ties in 1994 and have since maintained good relations as a result of the role South Africa played in the peace and reconciliation process between Sudan and South Sudan.

In as far as science and technology are concerned, cooperation between the two countries began in 1994 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on agricultural research.

A visit by the Sudanese Minister of Science in 2004 sparked further interest in collaboration in various fields of agricultural, medical, energy and social sciences.

In 2005, the two countries agreed on a draft science and technology agreement, which was unfortunately never signed because of the process of the cessation of South Sudan from Sudan.

The signing of the bilateral agreement in Khartoum was the finalisation of discussions that started almost a decade ago.