Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 227

Travelling to Brussels,
Portal
spoke to the South African Government’s
Cecil
Masoka
, who shared how the country is once again discovering its potential in
science and technology
A
ccording to the latest statistics, South Africa is upping its
investment in research and development after many
years of decline. The country increased its expenditure to
ZAR 22.2bn (~€1.7bn) in 2011/2012, representing an investment
of 0.76% of South African GDP in R&D.
South Africa is also becoming a major player in international science and
research projects: it is playing host to a core site of the Square Kilometre
Array (SKA), a global science and engineering project to build the world’s
largest telescope, and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials
Partnership (EDCTP), which tests new treatments for poverty-related
diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
To discover more about the country’s achievements and increasing focus
on R&D, Portal attended the ‘EU development aid: experiences and
recommendations from stakeholders driving science and innovation’
breakfast seminar in Brussels in December. The event highlighted some
of the major accomplishments that had been borne out of closer science
and research collaboration between Europe and Africa.
Following his address, Cecil Masoka, director for multilateral co-
operation at the Department of Science and Technology in the South
African Government, spoke to Portal about the country’s latest
Realising potential
milestones. He began by outlining the
importance of co-operation with the EU in
research and development.
“Both the EU and South Africa invest significant
financial resources in R&D. Yet what is even
more important is that R&D co-operation has
allowed us to increase collaboration with the EU
and build a relationship that is not only based
upon our historical colonial ties. South Africa
has a very strong relationship with the UK, and
through the EU it has developed new bilateral
relations with France and Germany.
Furthermore, R&D has encouraged the
exchange of researchers and postdocs
between South Africa and Europe.
“Traditionally, our association with Europe can
be defined as one that is a classical donor-
recipient relationship. Yet over time, and
through work with DG Research and Innovation
in the European Commission, we have
managed to craft and develop the relationship
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S I X
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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E & A F R I C A
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