The Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, officiated at the 23 August official launch of the Africa Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS)
, which is hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
In his speech
Hanekom said there was "increasing appreciation of the catalytic and transformative role of science and technology. South African science and scientists are making valuable contributions to the scientific understanding of climate and environmental change on the African continent and there are existing strong programmes and partnerships."
He explained that ACCESS is a consortium of research institutions and agencies, including the Universities of the Western Cape, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Witwatersrand, Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal and Rhodes along with the South African Weather Service, South African Biodiversity Institute, Agricultural Research Council, Geosciences Research Council, the South African Environmental Observation Network and the CSIR the official hosts.
Hanekom further said that "collaborations with other regional institutes, agencies and programmes in the continent are being developed and the programme is initiating international collaboration with several international partners including Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research (BCCR)"
The secretariat of ACCESS will be set up at the Centre for High Performance Computing
in Rosebank, Cape Town.