SA, Norway to strengthen relations

Friday, March 23, 2018

South Africa and Norway will meet today to discuss ways to strengthen their bilateral relations.

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers and his Norwegian counterpart, Secretary-General Marienne Hagen, will meet in Tshwane.

“The High Level Committee will give the Deputy Minister the opportunity to discuss with his counterpart matters of mutual interest which will benefit both countries.

“South Africa and Norway have sought to deepen co-operation in areas such as the maritime sector, alternative and renewable energy, environmental protection, science and technology and skills development,” DIRCO said on Friday.

The High Level Consultation meeting takes place within the framework of the 1996 Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Political Consultations between the two countries.

South Africa and Norway have developed a close relationship dating back to the early struggle years when Norway became an active supporter of organised resistance against the apartheid regime.

In the 1990s, a new era of cooperation in higher education and research was initiated, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including a number of joint projects between South African and Norwegian higher education institutions.

From 2002, through 2017, a series of bilateral research cooperation programmes have provided support for 86 joint research projects. The fourth program in this series is the SANOCEAN, which will start in 2018 and run through 2023.

According to the Norwegian consulate in Tshwane, the goal of the SANOCEAN project is to enhance the knowledge-base for policies and decisions for sustainable development in the areas of oceans and blue economy, environment – with emphasis on oceans and pollution, climate change and sustainable energy in South Africa and Norway.

South Africa and Norway have also been conducting annual high-level bilateral consultations to identify areas of common political and economic interest.

Following the launch of Operation Phakisa, South Africa and Norway re-confirmed their mutual interest in exploring opportunities for development of ocean space and the blue economy, including the maritime sector, marine resources and aquaculture.

The two countries have further agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on the environment and to explore opportunities in the area of renewable energies. –