On September 14, 2018, Xu Nanping, Vice Minister of Science and Technology of China, and Phil Mjwara, Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology of South Africa jointly unveiled the plate of China-South Africa Joint Research Center for the Development and Utilization of Mineral Resources at South African National Institute of Mining Technology in Johannesburg. Li Song, Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, and representatives of the science, technology and industry communities in China and South Africa attended the ceremony.
At the ceremony, Vice Minister Xu Nanping said that the Ministry of Science and Technology of China attaches great importance to China-South Africa cooperation in science, technology and innovation and is willing to take various measures with South Africa to forge ahead and make new progress. The establishment of the Center is the first achievement of the consensus on promoting China-South Africa STI cooperation reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to South Africa in July. It will be of great significance for implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, deepening China-South Africa cooperation in the mining industry and promoting wider cooperation in the science and technology fields between the two countries.
Charge d’Affaires Li Song remarked that science and technology cooperation has long been a highlight and a major driving force in China-South Africa relations and an important force in the transformation and upgrading of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and South Africa. The Joint Research Center is a vivid example of efforts by the two countries to strengthen S&T cooperation, achieve practical results and develop and utilize mineral resources.
Director-General Phil Mjwara pointed out that China-South Africa cooperation in science and technology has achieved fruitful results and has a bright future ahead. The unveiling of the first joint research center between China and South Africa has ushered in a new model of bilateral cooperation in science and technology. The Department of Science and Technology of South Africa is committed to strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation and has high expectations on the bilateral cooperation.
The center is the first joint research center established by China and South Africa. The Chinese implementing organization of the center was BGRIMM, while the South African implementing organizations included South African National Institute of Mining Technology, the University of Limpopo and the University of Cape Town. The center will be dedicated to strengthening academic exchanges and mutual personnel visits between the two countries in the fields of mining, mineral processing, environmental protection and energy materials, promoting joint research and industrialization of research results, and pushing forward STI cooperation in the mining sector.
During his visit to South Africa, Vice Minister Xu Nanping also signed with Director-General Phil Mjwara an MOU between the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Department of Science and Technology on jointly building China-South Africa research center in forestry. He visited HIKVISION Africa Science and Technology Industrial Park, the University of Johannesburg, the South Africa SKA Office and other agencies and promoted China-South Africa cooperation in science, technology and innovation.