Delegates from VUT, VUTSGSTP, Italy with their Minister of Agriculture in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, Simona Caselli, The Office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura and (GDARD).
In October last year, the Vaal University of Technology’s Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park hosted the Italian Summit. This was part of the University’s drive to promote close interaction, deal-making and sharing of international best practice in stimulating economic growth and inclusive development.
The summit focused on cooperation in research and innovation in areas such as agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing and beneficiation, energy, water and sanitation, environmental protection and preservation; and cultural advancement through education.
The summit was very successful and a year later, the Italians have come back to strengthen the partnership.
On 26 October, the summit was hosted again under the theme: “Developing Partnerships for Shared Economic Growth”. It was a productive engagement between the Minister of Agriculture in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, Simona Caselli, the Office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) colleagues.
The programme was directed by Mr Loyiso Mkwana. He first called upon Mr Motlatjo Makaepea to present on Agriparks and Agro-processing. After his presentation, Dr Joseph Molete: Executive Director at the Science Park, gave an overview of the programmes and his reflections on the partnership.
Professor Gordon Zide: Vice Chancellor and Principal also had a chance to reflect on the partnership and future collaborations. Prof mentioned that VUT is in need of this partnership as the world today is captivated by the fourth industrial revolution.
“In offering a big degree in agriculture, this partnership will work much better between our University and the Department of Agriculture in increasing employment and empowering our people,” he said as he concluded his presentation.
Minister Caselli said she had been inspired during last year’s summit and had had a great visit at the Science Park. “This is an inspiring collaboration. It is meant to change lives, not just the academics. It is also to strengthen partnerships.”
The vote of thanks was given by Mr Nhlakanipho Brightboy Nkontwana from the Gauteng Government.