DuPont Demonstrates How Science Can Unlock Innovation in Africa

Protecting Africa’s Intellectual Capital & Development Will Safeguard the Continent’s Future

JOHANNESBURG, October 1, 2013 – “Science is capable of unlocking at least 60% of Africa’s innovative products and services for the benefit of the continent’s people, business and the economy,” says Carlman Moyo, general manager of DuPont in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Africa’s total population reached one billion in 2010, according to the United Nations World Population Prospects. If current demographic trends persist, the population will increase to 1.4 billion in 2025 and 1.9 billion in 2050 and this is a strong indication of the continent’s ability to adapt and grow key industries in the global economy.

The growth of the continent brings with it many issues and DuPont South Africa has consistently utilised science to unlock innovation across the continent.

“At DuPont, our strategies, technologies and products are aimed at global challenges that are linked to the growth of the world’s population which is expected to increase by 9 billion in 2050. The extent of the population’s growth will bring with it many issues such as an increased demand on food production and energy consumption, that will also present very real global demands, all of which can be addressed with inclusive innovation,” says Moyo.

Science plays a pivotal role in the development and safeguarding of areas such as energy, protection and food. In Africa, DuPont is working in countries across the continent developing scientific solutions and innovation that are addressing the challenges that these areas are facing.

The Role of Science in the Preservation of Energy

The world is starting to depend less on fossil fuels and in the future, the population will start to rely more on renewable energy with an increased role for biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, which is produced from non-food sources. DuPont is at the forefront in advanced biofuels technology, and its Industrial Biosciences business is evolving, therefore, enabling it to produce more sustainable fuels.

Governments in Africa are seeing the need for alternative energy solutions and DuPont is working collaboratively to find sustainable, innovative solutions to develop viable alternatives to fossil fuels.  

DuPont scientists are innovating around alternative energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. In Nigeria, DuPont has partnered with the local government to bring solar panels to the country, and a manufacturing facility is being built to make access more affordable.

“We have a number of installation projects underway in Nigeria. In Abuja, we are working on solar water pumps for crop irrigation, and in Ogbomosho, we have provided the local town hospital with a state-of-the-art photovoltaic solution to power its medical equipment and hospital appliances,” says Moyo.

Protecting Africa’s People and Environment

As the world is troubled with natural disasters, crime, environmental issues and economic difficulties, people are feeling the need to take control of their lives. Protecting people and the environment addresses the need for societies to feel safe in their own environment.

Safety has been a core value at DuPont for over 200 years and addressing the need to protect people, means working with its partners to help customers develop systems and products that create a safer and more stable environment.

October is Transport Month and South Africa’s transport Minister has addressed the issue of road deaths. The majority of road accident deaths are caused from negligent driving, but the state of a road can also have a negative impact on road safety.

DuPont has been working with its partners to create a new Polymer Bitumen Formulation that is able to improve the state of South African roads. The product is known as DuPont™ Elvaloy® RET and it aids in improving the asphalt mixture in the paving that will ultimately help the roads withstand Africa’s harsh weather conditions and improve road conditions.

In Ghana, it is estimated that only 30% of its roads are paved and DuPont partnered with Platinum Seal to assist the country with developing its road infrastructure. Together, the companies installed a Polymer Modified Bitumen Plant that has a total blending capacity of 150 tons per day, making it the largest of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa. The plant has the ability to pave up to 660km of surfaced roads every year, using DuPont technology, ensuring Ghana’s roads are safer for its commuters. 

Sustaining Africa’s Food Supply

Innovation and excellence in science is needed to address the challenges the world will face as the population is expected to increase by **2 billion people in the next 40 years.

“As the population grows so will food demand, and the need to produce more food is becoming a critical issue,” says Moyo. “When we look at this challenge coupled with the need to feed a growing middle class in developing economies, we can use our science and innovation to take advantage of the opportunities these challenges represent.”

Africa is the world’s second largest populous continent with over a billion mouths to feed. DuPont is working in Africa with its next generation stallholder farmers to equip them with skills to become more self-sustaining. The company donated 2 million dollars over two years, to establish a professional development institute for 4-H African leadership focusing on Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Watch Carlman Moyo on CNBC Africa at together with a group of panelists as they unpack the discussion around ‘How science can enable innovation in Africa.’

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*Source: United Nations World Population Prospects

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