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South Africa has announced the creation of 51 research chairs in the country's universities.

They are part of the South African Research Chairs Initiative, which aims to create 210 research chairs by 2010 covering a range of disciplines.

The initiative is intended to attract foreign researchers to South Africa, as well as encouraging expatriates to return and current researchers to stay.

Two thirds of the current appointments are people already working in South Africa, but the ultimate aim is for 60 per cent of the people recruited to be from abroad. 

The initiative also aims for 60 per cent of research chair holders to be black.

Seventy-two appointments have been made in 14 universities so far, though three universities — The University of Cape Town, the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the University of Stellenbosch — have received two thirds of the research chair posts.

Link to full article in Nature