WINDHOEK, A partnership between two national institutions responsible for the funding of science and technology initiatives has been cemented through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Namibia’s National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) with Fundo Nacionale de Investigaca (FNI) of Mozambique in several areas of co-operation.

The FNI is the National Research Fund of Mozambique. The MoU was signed here Friday by the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NCRST, Enid Keramen, and the Executive Director of FNI, Professor Victoria Langa de Jesus.

The areas of consideration for joint funding will, according to Keramen, include agriculture, biotechnology, energy, tourism, infrastructure, information communication technology (ICT), indigenous knowledge systems, ethno-botany, environmental and climate change, social and human sciences, health, education and mineral resources.

“The two institutions equally recognize the importance of science, technology and innovation in the pursuit for national economic growth, sustainable development and competitiveness that would translate into the improvement of socio-economic standards of life for many hopefuls in our respective countries,” Keramen said.

The NCRST, according to its acting CEO, has also identified the need for skills development, skills exchange as well as information and documentation of scientific nature.

She explained that the signed agreement will mean the exchange of staff, scientists, researchers and experts between the two countries, as well as an exchange of teaching and learning material that could be used in the promotion of scientific libraries and centres of scientific and technological information.

De Jesus said the FNI aimed to do further joint projects in South Africa and Zimbabwe in similar areas, in the hope that it will increase co-operation within the SADC, which will in turn bring great added value to the development of science.

As part of the three-year agreement, a joint technical committee will be established between the two entities and it will be responsible for drafting an action plan that will outline the activities to be carried out over the agreed period.

The committee will as well be tasked with a joint management of calls for research and innovation projects, and jointly mobilise resources to further fund initiatives identified under this MoU.