Overview of the scientific research cooperation
Building on its economic and political impact, South-Africa plays the major role in research and high education in Africa.
Building on its economic and political impact, South-Africa plays the major role in research and high education in Africa. For example, South-Africa has taken the lead of the international scientific project SKA (Square Kilometer Array), and it is the 2nd destination after France for African students. It also offers a key position as a regional platform to conduct research in Southern Africa.
South Africa is a strong partner of the European Union. In 2014, the country ranked as 3rd partner of the H2020 programme (The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation), ahead of China, Australia or India. Moreover, South-Africa is often leading the African scientific community, and attracting numerous African countries in H2020. As the sole African country receiving funds from H2020, it is a strategic partner for France to develop cooperation in Africa.
Scientific and technological cooperation between South Africa and France flourished after the end of Apartheid and, since then, has grown from strength to strength. The number of scientific articles co-signed by South African and French researchers grows by more than 20% per year with 750 articles being published in 2014, ranking France as South Africa’s 4th scientific partner. This cooperation covers a wide range of subjects, and produces sustainable collaborations, marked by the continuous presence of French research institutions such as IRD and CIRAD, and also by long-term partnerships (environment, paleo-anthropology, physics, social sciences,…), French-South-African research and training centres, bursaries programmes, etc.
In 2015, the bilateral S&T cooperation was extended to innovation, with the assignment of a French expert. France wants to valorize its know-how and experience in the building of innovation and start-up businesses, promote the French national innovation system and identify South African partners to develop joint innovation.