Namibia and Mozambique’s science institutions team up
By Timo Shihepo
Windhoek – Namibia and Mozambique’s research institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at jointly funding projects in the two countries.
The two national entities, Namibia’s National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and Fundo Nacionale de Investigacã (The National Research Fund of the Republic of Mozambique) signed the MoU on several cooperative areas in Windhoek, last week.
The areas that would be considered for joint funding in terms of Science, Technology and Innovation would include agriculture, biotechnology, energy, tourism, infrastructure, ICT, and indigenous knowledge systems.
Others include, ethnobotany, environmental and climate change, social and human sciences, health, education and mineral resources. These priority areas were aligned to the focal areas within the National Programme on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation 2014/15 – 2016/17.
NCRST acting chief executive officer, Enid Keramen said the two institutions equally recognise the importance of science, technology and innovation in the pursuit for national economic growth, sustainable development and competitiveness.
“These would translate into the improvement of socio-economic standards of life for many hopefuls in our respective countries.
“At strategy level, the NCRST aims to not only further research co-funding projects, however it has identified the need for skills development, skills exchange as well as information and documentation that are of scientific nature,” she said at the signing ceremony.
She added that this agreement will ensure the exchange of staff, scientists, researchers and experts between the two countries. Furthermore, Keramen said, there will also be an exchange of teaching and learning material that could be used in the promotion of scientific libraries and centres of scientific and technological information.
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Fundo Nacionale de Investigacã executive director, Professor Victoria Langa de Jesus said that as part of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Fundo Nacionale de Investigacã aims to do further joint projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe in similar areas.
“Once we sign agreements with South Africa and Zimbabwe we hope that this will increase cooperation within the region and bring great added value to the development of science, she said.
As part of the three year agreement, a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) will be established between the two entities.
The JTC will be responsible for drafting an action plan that will outline the activities for the MoU period, jointly manage calls for research and innovation projects and jointly mobilise resources to further fund initiatives identified under this MoU.