CSIR and Tanzanian delegation discuss possible areas of collaboration in ICT and biotechnology

The visit to the CSIR by MCST provided insight into collaborative work that the CSIR is doing with MCST.

The CSIR in collaboration with the DST hosted a Tanzanian delegation from the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST) on 29 July 2015 to discuss possible areas of collaboration in information and communication technologies (ICT) and biotechnology. South Africa is one of twelve member states of the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio).

The visit follows a bilateral scientific and technological cooperation agreement with South Africa, through the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Since signing the agreement the two countries have signed a further three year implementation plans outlining the areas of collaboration, including ICT and Biotechnology.

Themba Belle, CSIR Strategic Partnerships Manager, welcomed the guests and provided them with a brief overview of the CSIR.

"On behalf of my colleagues, we are pleased to be here and appreciate the cooperation that South Africa and Tanzania have with regard to science and technology. Since the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding, the adopted research projects are on the right direction in addressing issues that affect our communities," said John Mngodo, deputy permanent secretary at the MCST.

Dr Ereck Chakauya, acting network manager for Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio), gave an overview of SANBio as a platform for shared biosciences research, development and innovation to address health and nutrition issues in Southern Africa. This was followed by a presentation from Prof. Gerda Fouché, science innovation leader for CSIR’s natural products and chemistry (NPC), outlining collaboration projects between NPC and institutions in Tanzania.

In addition, Lee Annamalai, competency area manager for the CSIR's earth observation system at Meraka Institute, gave a presentation on the group's research and development as well as projects that the group is collaborating with Tanzanian institutions.

At the end of the visit, Joseph Senona from the DST indicated that a joint technical meeting would be taking place between DST and the MCST where areas of collaboration will be mapped out and communicated to the CSIR as an implementation organisation.

"This should be an example for the rest of Africa that we should collaborate to bring about change in our communities through science and technology," concluded Mngodo.