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Daan du Toit (South Africa) has held various positions, first in the South African Department of Foreign Affairs and since 2002 in the newly established Department of Science and Technology, related to the South Africa’s international scientific and technological (S&T) cooperation. This included responsibility for establishing and managing the European South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme (ESASTAP) – a dedicated platform to promote scientific and technological cooperation between South Africa and the European Union. He has also represented South Africa in various multilateral forums dedicated to international S&T cooperation, including for example the OECD Global Science Forum, the Group on Earth Observations in which establishment he had played a central role and bodies of the United Nations.
He has also managed strategic S&T bilateral cooperation partnerships, notably establishing an innovation systems cooperation programme between South Africa and Finland. In October 2006, he was appointed as the South African Department of Science and Technology’s Senior Science and Technology Representative to the European Union, a position based at the South African Mission to the European Union in Brussels where he held the position of Minister Counsellor. In this capacity in addition to overseeing South Africa and Europe he currently represented South Africa on the Joint Expert Group of the Africa-EU Science, Information Society and Space Partnership and in the Bureau of the Africa-EU High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation. He is also intimately involved in South Africa’s participation in the global Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, to construct the world’s largest radio telescope.
He is currently a member of the SKA Organisation’s Strategy and Business Development Committee. With effect from 1 April, he was appointed as Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources in the South African Department of Science and Technology, responsible for all aspects of South Africa’s international science, technology and innovation partnerships.