Clemence is a 45-year old successful livestock farmer in rural countryside of Chipinge, in Zimbabwe. He is a family man with six children, 3 boys and 3 girls, all of them going through primary school. In the past two decades, Clemence has seen enough change in technology for a whole life-time, starting from a time where one had to batter trade a cow for a mobile phone SIM card to now, where the same card costs less than USD 1. Now he does not have to write letters but send text messages.
SADC innovators are applying big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and other smart technologies in medicine, forensics, farming and diagnostics.
Gift Gana developed the Dr CADx app that scans medical photographs to help radiologists diagnose cancer more efficiently, and with high accuracy. Because radiologists are in short supply in many African regions, the app bridges a key diagnostic gap for the continent.
Shamisa lives in a dry part of Zimbabwe. With few prospects for income, she relies on small scale farming to feed her family.
Food insecurity impacts 239 million Africans, and up to 40% of children under the age of five are chronically undernourished, which affects their survival, and cognitive and physical development.
According to Rainbow Tanks, South Africa uses an average of 235 litres of water daily per capita when compared to the 173 litres of water per capita in the world. While this number paints a grim picture, a function of high levels of non-revenue water and a high reliance on water-intensive coal-fired power plants for electricity are also some of the huge contributors to this crisis.
Africa is the most diverse population of humans in the world in terms of genetics, language and culture. It is no secret that with the advert of modernity and the associated challenges with it, some of the solutions could be hidden deep in the culture of the people. Problems of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), climate change’s effects and the erosion of both the culture and germplasm that sustain these societies is under threat. It is also no secret that the food basket in both the rural and urban African population is getting smaller, resulting in unhealthy eating.
The theme of this year’s Forum was Effective Public-Private Partnerships in Research and Innovation. The purpose of the Global Research Africa and Science Granting Research Initiative Annual Forum was for stakeholders to discuss the cutting-edge issues related to science, technology and innovation within the framework of public-private-partnerships (PPP); and the role the private sector companies in Africa could play in supporting the African agenda on science, technology and innovation for socioeconomic benefit.
In order to develop products from indigenous resources and create new markets for them, it is important to empower women, farmers and relevant students with information which enables them to start thinking innovatively about food and food products. Business skills and scientific awareness as well as connections with food manufacturers can be of great help to these stakeholders.
The NEPAD Science Technology and Innovation Hub (NSTIH), NEPAD SANBio (Southern Africa Network for Biosciences), National Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (NISTI) in the Republic of Seychelles in collaboration with the other key national stakeholders, African Union Commission, Ministry of Education, National Bureau of Statistics and the University of Seychelles held a training workshop on strategies of creating an enabling environment for a knowledge-based economy led by innovation in Beau Vallon, Seychelles, from 7 to 11 August 2017.