The future is digital and nigh – SADC Ministerial meeting

Industry 4.0

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.

High-tech SADC: health and agri innovations

Drone

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.

Vulnerable communities in SADC uplifted through science, innovation and technology

tea farming

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. 

New TB Meningitis test bests the rest

Tuberculous meningitis

TB meningitis is a major cause of death in Southern Africa, but the current diagnostic tests are not as quick or as sensitive as they need to be. Finding a sensitive, rapid test for TB meningitis has been elusive until now, but that is changing thanks to BioFISA II funding and researchers at Antrum Biotech.

Addressing Africa's most pressing challenges through innovation

Dr Ereck Chakauya

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. 

New African forensic genotyping kit will help bring down sexual predators

Forensic cover

A BioFISA II grant has helped Inqaba Biotec and the University of the Western Cape achieve their goal of creating a better, cheaper forensic kit custom-built for African genetic diversity. Project manager, Mischa Francesca Fraser talks about the need for such a product for Africa and how it will help police solve sexual assault cases in southern Africa and the rest of the continent.

SANBio Summer School teaches the business of clinical research in Africa

SANBio Summer School participants

Can clinical research have a business dimension? SANBio’s most recent Summer School, held on 25-26 February 2018 in Pretoria, brought together 28 students from 10 SADC countries to learn about the business of clinical research from researcher, clinicians and entrepreneurs from around Africa.  The course participants relate their experience below.

Entrepreneurs and scientists join forces to talk innovation at SANBio Annual Event 2018

SANBio Annual Event 2018
African entrepreneurs showed off their products, scientists boasted novel solutions to the continent’s great problems, and venture capitalists prowled the venue looking for their next multi-million rand investment. NEPAD SANBio’s recent Annual Event bore the fruits of the Finnish-Southern African Partnership Programme BioFISA II, which is helping NEPAD SANBio in building a network for innovation in life sciences throughout southern Africa.

Healthy and climate-smart sorghum biscuits set to flood the market

Sorghum
Three young female entrepreneurs have started an innovative baked goods business under the incubation hub of the National University of Lesotho (NUL). The three are poised to take on the sweet business of biscuits and other baked goods using sorghum, with funding from NEPAD SANBio’s BioFISA II Programme to help them fulfill their ambitions of one day exporting their tasty treats.

African biotech initiative promises relief from ARV side effects

Genetic puzzle
A multinational NEPAD SANBio project called GeneDose is using genetic tests to fight the harmful side effects of antiretrovirals. Now starting clinical trials in Zimbabwe, GeneDose will improve patients’ quality of life and make personalised medicine a reality in Africa.