28 July 2002

South Africa: Zuma Calls for Technology-Development Partnership

Pretoria — Deputy President Jacob Zuma has called for a partnership between technology and development, with the potential benefits rooted in a pro-development strategy.

He reiterated the findings of the UN Human Development Report of 2001, which stated that science and technology had the potential to realise in a decade what could have been achieved in generations in the past. The Deputy Pesident was addressing delegates at the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Ministerial Forum on Research for Sustainable Development in Cape Town today.

'We need to find ways of making science and technology work for development,' he said, adding that it was the only way in which new technologies and innovations could bring about positive changes in the lives of millions of people in the developing world.

He said it was urgent that the partnership be embraced 'especially since technology itself has become a source of, and an engine for economic growth, as evidenced by the international success of technology-based clusters.'

Moreover, Mr Zuma said it was relevant that delegates from the European Union (EU) participated in the Forum ahead of the envisaged joint ministerial gathering later this year.

'We trust that the Forum will provide officials with an appropriate mandate to ensure that during the discussion, a solid foundation is laid for the ACP-EU ministerial gathering,' he said.

The Forum, which takes place weeks before the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg, is aimed at expressing political commitment to strengthen ACP-EU co-operation in science and technology relevant to society. The event ends on Tuesday.

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