PRETORIA– The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of South Africa is partnering a Chinese organization in an effort to boost industrial development in Africa.

CSIR chief executive Dr Thulani Dlamini last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gold Yard International Exchange Service, an organization representing experts from various provincial bureau of the China State Administration of Foreign Affairs. Gold Yard General Manager Anquan Chi signed on behalf of the organization.

The two countries enjoy strategic relations in science, technology and innovation, with the CSIR having worked with several Chinese institutions in the energy storage and artificial intelligence sectors.

CSIR and Gold Yard have agreed to collaborate on a number of research activities aimed at accelerating research capacity and industrial development in Africa, the council said in a statement here Wednesday.

These include, but are not limited to, key initiatives in the fields of health, with a focus on nutrition and affordable, novel treatments; natural environment, where the emphasis is on the wise use of resources, with the aim of establishing a secure future environment; energy, with the focus on alternative and renewable energy; as well as defence and security, contributing to the readiness and capability of securing a safe future, the CSIR said.

Improving the competitiveness of the industry from large multinational to small and medium enterprises, which had the sharpest focus in critical economic sectors, was one of the objectives of the partnerships, the CSIR added.

Dr Dlamini said it was critical for South Africa and China to exchange ideas and technologies. This is a very important strategic development to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. This partnership will lead to mutual benefit for South Africa and China through the exchange of ideas and technologies. The hard work starts now in terms of realising the ambitions and the intentions set out in the MoU, he added.

Under the MoU, the CSIR will share technologies which are suitable for the Chinese markets for industrialisation and commercialisation in China. In turn, Gold Yard will provide the CSIR with some Chinese research projects for the organization to conduct research and development in South Africa to suit the market and to adopt the local standard.

Chi emphasized the need to strengthen relations further. He welcomed the partnership, saying that it is key for the countries to enhance their research and innovation capabilities.

China and South Africa have many things in common; we are all striving for economic development to improve our people’s lives. South Africa has a number of advanced technologies and talent. We would like to introduce the good technologies developed by the CSIR for commercialisation and industrialisation in China, in order to boost the South African economy, said Chi.