On Monday, September, the 23rd, 2019, HE Mr Riadh Dridi, the Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia to the Republic of Indonesia, paid a courtesy visit to HE Mr Mohamad Nasir, the Indonesian Minister for Research, Technology, and Higher Education (MoRTHE).

HE Mr. Riadh Dridi, was accompanied by Mr. Chaouki Maouley, the Counselor for the Bilateral Relation from the Embassy of Tunisia in Jakarta. Meanwhile, HE Minister Mohammad Nasir was accompanied by Secretary General Ainun Na’ im, Head Bureau Cooperation, and Public Communication Nada Marsudi, Suryo Boediono, Indah Permanasari, and Asido.

As an introduction, HE Ambassador Mr. Riadh Dridi appreciated HE Minister Nasir for his warm welcome and he expressed his interest in meeting with HE Minister Mohamad Nasir for the very first time, in order to convey Tunisia’s interest in exploring the future bilateral cooperation in the field of Science, Technology, and Higher Education (STHE).

Indonesia and Tunisia both are having the similar portfolio, as there is only one Ministry which handling the science technology and higher education programs. Therefore, both Countries wish that the future agreement on STHE could be formulated, signed and implemented soon.

During the meeting, both HE Minister Mohamad Nasir and HE Ambassador Riadh exchanged views on the STHE issues in Indonesia and Tunisia. Some of salient points in the meeting are the desire for developing cooperation in agricultural, information and communication technology (ICT) and energy qq nuclear technology for safety purposes (food, health and medicine technology).

HE Minister Nasir explained on the eight of the national priority research areas (RIRN), such as food and agriculture, energy, health, engineering (including ICT and Nanotech), transportation, defense technology, maritime, socio humaniora which some of them are also the important areas for Tunisia too.

The common research areas that could be explored in the future by both Countries are ICT, Agriculture, and Energy (nuclear technology for safety purposes/alternative energy and renewable energy).

In the topic on higher education, HE Ambassador Riadh expressed Tunisia’s interests on capacity building program, ie mobility programs (students and professors exchange visit/programs). Both Tunisia and Indonesia shared the same value and educational systems, so quite different in numbers of HE instutions. Indonesia has 4,735 HE institutions while Tunisia only has around 100s of HE institutions as its population is around 11 billions. Tunisia also has public and private universities, like in Indonesia. Ez-Zitouna University is the oldest yet the best university in Tunisia and it is claimed to be the oldest teaching establishment in the Arab World, this university also acts as the teaching arm of the Olive-Tree Mosque and it has been in continuous existence.

HE Minister Nasir said that Indonesia welcomes to all initiatives of co-operations coming from Tunisia in the field of STHE. In addition to this, HE Ambassador also proposed to include other fields of science, STHE such as art, literature, and human sciences.

All of the above common interests should be expressed in the future an agreement based on mutual benefit, that will be developed by the two Parties.