Africa: Innovation update

There are several interesting developments covered in the March issue of African Business.  As this is not available online, I’m covering items of note with a brief summary as follows:

Chemistry:  While funding for equipment and researchers is still a challenge, scientists have made measurable progress especially in the investigation and classification of natural products.  Several networks, such as the Pan Africa Chemistry Newtork (PACN), have sprung up to support collaborative research.

World Bank focus:  The World Bank recently announced plans to expand funding of African development programs and to focus on stimulating public-private partnerships in various sectors.

Kenya to expand geothermal:  Kenya currently derives 12% of its energy from geothermal sources in the Rift Valley.  The state-owned Geothermal Development Co. has announced a large-scale exploration plan intending to double this.

Africa launches first private satellite:  Intelsat New Dawn plans to launch a comms satellite this month from French Guiana.  Partners include major African mobile telecoms such as Vodacom and Bharti Airtel.

Superbloc:  Implementation of the much-discussed Grand Free Trade Area (GAFTA), a partnership involving COMESA, EAC and SADC is projected to start in 2012.

Post written by Peter Bloch

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