20 June 2014

Southern Africa: SADC Science and Technology Ministers Meet in Maputo

Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina declared in Maputo on Thursday that science, technology, innovation and education are determinant for the sustainable and inclusive development of the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Speaking at the opening in Maputo of a meeting of SADC Ministers of Science, Technology and Education, Vaquina said “science, technology and education offer enormous potential for improving the quality of life of our peoples, through the adequate preparation of human resources or through offering technological solutions which countries to exploit their natural resources in an ever more sustainable manner”.

The knowledge economy, he stressed, “has been growing ever more determinant in defining economic and social development policies”.

The meeting is intended to create the necessary environment for SADC member states to renew the undertakings given in the protocol on science and technology signed in South Africa in August 2008.

That protocol sought to harmonise policies in science and technology, and now, Vaquina said, “we are resuming discussion on the guiding documents, and deciding on initiatives to be undertaken by the secretariat under implementation of the protocol”.

He urged those SADC members who have not yet ratified the protocol to do so speedily, so that the region can move to the stage of effective implementation.

This was an opportunity, Vaquina said, to define strategies for action, improve working plans, and cement bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

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