The consultations in Pretoria followed consultations held for the first time in Oslo in November 2013. On both occasions, the research cooperation between the two countries was high on the agenda. The meetings in Pretoria were co-chaired by DIRCO Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers and his Norwegian counterpart, State Secretary Hans Brattskar. They referred to the close and harmonious historical relationships between the two countries and “expressed a firm commitment to further energise bilateral cooperation in identified sectors like alternative and renewable energy, science and technology, environment and the maritime sector.” To read the full communiqué from the consultations, click here.
The bilateral consultations in Pretoria involved a number of senior officials from both countries as well, among them Khaya Sishuba of DST and Jan M. Haakonsen of RCN. Mr Sishuba in fact co-chaired the parallel session on Economic, Technological and Social Issues. Both countries agreed to further energise bilateral cooperation in identified sectors like alternative and renewable energy, science and technology, environment and the maritime sector. South Africa’s blue economy initiative is one area that can open for future partnerships.
Science & technology between the two countries was referred to as particularly successful. The SANCOOP programme was specifically mentioned, but it was pointed out there are other arenas that offer opportunities for further cooperation, among them EUREKA following South Africa’s entry to the network as associate member in 2014. The whole text of the joint statement of the Senior Officials consultation can be downloaded here.