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  Monday, November 18, 2019
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Russia and South Africa intend to step up cooperation in space and healthcare
Russia and South Africa intend to step up cooperation in space and healthcare, in line with agreements signed during the Russian president's first visit to the country Tuesday. Russia and South Africa, both briskly developing emerging economies, agreed to step up space cooperation, which includes the development of carrier rockets and launch services. Cooperation could cover areas like space research, probes and monitoring of Earth from outer space, relevant information technology and services, materials sciences, space medicine and biology, communications and related technology and services, the agreement reads. The countries also agreed to share information, experimental data, train personnel, exchange scientists and experts, and maintain cooperation on the global space technology and services market. Billionaire Mark Shuttleworth is South Africa's only "astronaut," who completed a 10-day trip in space in 2002. The two countries also plan to launch joint projects in medicine, which will cover insurance, personnel training, and research. A working group will be set up to outline specific ways to cooperate and draw up relevant programs. Energy, the oil and gas industry and investment are other spheres that will dominate the agenda of Vladimir Putin, who is accompanied by senior government members and leading businessmen. Putin, as the leader of the Group of Eight industrialized nations' current chair country, has highlighted African development as a priority this year. A Russian leader's first visit to South Africa since apartheid officially ended in 1994 is designed to reinvigorate bilateral contacts, once active in the Soviet era, when Russia helped fight the regime in the African state. Putin will be in South Africa for two days and will make a one-day trip to Morocco September 7.
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