SADC Countries Meet on Algae Development
August 7, 2012, by Syed Isa
eaders of the 14-member Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) came together at the St. George Hotel in Pretoria, South Africa, July 24-27, for a workshop on emerging technologies for sustainable biofuels and added value bio-products. Their discussions centered around the productive use of agricultural waste and algae in the SADC region.
Hosted by the International Centre for Science and High Technology (ICS-UNIDO), an organization based in Trieste, Italy, together with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) in Pretoria, the workshop drew presenters from Germany, Italy and Malaysia, as well Africa, to discuss their progress in growing, processing and using algae.
A visit to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Protoria, one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organizations in Africa, was arranged for the 3rd day of the workshop. An organization that undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth, CSIR showcased highlights of their many years of algae research in South Africa, including their collection of more than 800 strains of algae.
All representatives at the workshop seemed to agree that algae will play an important role in the development of energy and food in the SADC countries. A few collaborations were started at the event, as well as discussion of shared concerns, such as the TIA’s readiness to provide the types of financing needed for these innovation projects in the South African region.
The workshop provided an opportunity for the participants to understand where their countries were in the development and treatment of waste and algae. It also launched an effort to create a roadmap for the future development of waste and algae in the region.