International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor, who is leading a South African delegation of senior government officials to the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Coordinators’ Meeting, on Monday signed a deal which paves the way for Beijing entities to partner in South Africa's astronomy ventures, including the Square Kilometer Array (SKA).
"What's really important is for China to partner with South Africa and many other countries across the world in the Square Kilometer Array. The Astronomy Institute of China is the one that has signed the agreement, and it's a commitment to fully participate in the process of building this mega radio telescope," said Pandor.
"We're also going to see young people from South Africa coming to China for post graduate studying in astronomy sciences, in astrophysics, in mathematics and engineering."
The former science and technology minister made the remarks following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the South African Radio Astronomy Observation (SARAO) and National Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) on Radio Astronomy Research Exchange Programme in China on Monday.
The FOCAC Coordinators’ Meeting is taking place on Monday and Tuesday.
The main purpose of the ongoing meeting is to accelerate the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Summit.
The current meeting is co-chaired by the foreign ministers of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Senegal, respectively. Foreign ministers of African member states are also attending the meeting.
On Monday, Pandor held a bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Beijing.