Investing in good nutrition for the wellbeing of southern African individuals will have a knock-on effect on the economy of the region, say food security researchers.
The phase 2 competition of the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme participants echoed a common purpose: to use Mozambique’s abundant and underutilised natural resources to better the wellbeing of their communities.
The 2nd phase of the South African edition of FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme concluded on Friday last week in Cape Town, with four female bio-entrepreneurs selected to represent SA and Lesotho at the annual SA Innovation Summit to be held in September.
It is a well-known fact that women are the backbone of their communities and also play a key role in the economies of their countries. One woman who shares this sentiment is 52- year old Mmakgabatso Shale who has turned her company Eternity Foods into a community wealth-building model to empower other women.
Mauritius, together with Rodrigues possess a rich biodiversity comprising both endemic and exotic flora and fauna and represent a goldmine for the global food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, yet it has been largely under-utilized up until now.
With the increasing demand for natural products or plant-based products, the endemic flora and fauna hold immense potentials for the food, pharmaceutical industry and economic development.
The second phase of FemBioBiz Season 2 has concluded for Malawi, home to a population of 18 million of which half sustains itself on agriculture. The country faces challenges in improving healthcare, creating employment and expanding its economy amongst others. Malawian female entrepreneurs however have the potential and vigour to play a central role in addressing these problems.
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.
Cattle farmers can now test their animals on the spot for brucellosis, a highly infectious disease that threatens both bovine and human life. Much like a pregnancy test, the new diagnostic tool, developed by LifeAssay Diagnostics and supported by NEPAD SANBio, gives results within 10 minutes, and with even greater accuracy than slower, more expensive lab tests.
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.
Mr Eduard Roos, a PhD candidate at Stellenbosch University in South Africa recently received a BioFISA II mobility grant from SANBio to attend a practical workshop at the University of Namibia’s (UNAM) School of Veterinary Medicine.