18-04-2013South Africa's Minister for Science and Technology visits Brussels

South Africa's Minister for Science and Technology visits Brussels

Brussels, April 18th - Derek Hanekom, the South African Minister for Science and Technology will be in Brussels from 17 until 19 April 2013 for a series of high-level engagements with EU policy makers and researchers. The focus of the meetings will be on science capacity building in Africa and how the continent's research and innovation capacities could be fostered through enhanced partnership with the European Union.

Some meetings are organised in partnership with the African-European Radio Astronomy Platform (AERAP - www.aerap.org), which is working to advance mutually beneficial cooperation in radio astronomy between Africa and Europe.
The development of large scale radio astronomy facilities can be a powerful driver of socio-economic development in Africa. It is boosting the continent's human capital by training a new generation of highly qualified scientists, engineers and technicians. This mitigate brain drain effectively and also attracts new talent to Africa. By complimenting existing development programmes, radio astronomy projects will contribute to realising Africa's potential for growth and development.

The needs of modern radio astronomy will also force the industrial community to experiment and innovate in the fields of radio technology, (renewable) energy, data transmission, wireless communication, sensor technology and advanced materials. The massive R&D effort required by these projects will generate new technical solutions, which in turn will translate into new products and services. These can be transferred to the consumer market and benefit societies in Africa as a whole.

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Svea Miesch
ISC Intelligence in Science
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Declan Kirrane
ISC Intelligence in Science
Email: declan.kirrane@iscintelligence.com
Phone: +32 2 88 88 109

Editor's Notes

The African-European Radio Astronomy Platform (AERAP) is a response to the calls of the European Parliament, through the adoption of the Written Declaration 45/2011, and of the Heads of State of the African Union, through their decision "Assembly/AU/Dec.407 CXVIII", for radio astronomy to be a priority focus area for Africa-EU cooperation. AERAP is a new stakeholder forum of industry, academia and the public sector established to define and implement priorities for radio astronomy cooperation between Africa and Europe. The overall goals of the platform are to leverage radio astronomy, advance scientific discovery, improve knowledge transfer and stimulate competitiveness across both continents. The platform will also enable effective dialogue to build a shared vision for international cooperation in radio astronomy.

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