AFRICA'S TOP 10 STORIES:
MOROCCO’S MARINE SECTOR RECEIVES A BOOST AS RUSSIA AND EUROPEAN UNION INVEST
Morocco’s marine sector has received a welcome boost, as Russia and the European Union (EU) have reaffirmed cooperation initiatives. Early in December, the Moroccan government approved a maritime-fisheries cooperation agreement with Russia, focusing on the principles of cooperation in the preservation and exploitation of fishery resources of the Moroccan Exclusive Economic Zone. This additionally outlines the conditions for the operation of Russian fishing vessels in the areas off the Atlantic coast, as well as shapes the cooperation between the two relating to scientific fisheries research. The agreement serves as a driving force to develop new fishing techniques, technologies and aquaculture, and further bolster bilateral relations. In similar fashion, Morocco and the EU have agreed to cooperate in marine research and innovation. Morocco has geostrategic importance as it borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and cooperation with the EU will develop understanding of marine ecosystems and promote scientific marine research within the country.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2020
GHANA AND SOUTH AFRICA INVEST IN LOGISTICAL INNOVATION TO IMPROVE MOVEMENT OF GOODS
Logistical innovation has come to the fore recently, as multiple countries across Africa have invested to improve the movement of goods. The Ghanaian Aviation Ministry has partnered with the International Freight Drone (IFD) organisation, to deploy freight drone technology, which will assist the movement of goods within the country. The freight drones are expected to carry 10-tons of shipping containers, over 700km. This initiative will also facilitate the movement of goods from rural areas to cities. Similarly, Renergen, a South African natural gas producer, has partnered with Henred Fruehauf, a trailer manufacturer, to develop a zero-emissions solution for cold-chain logistics. The solution uses liquefied natural gas, which has multiple benefits, including the use of diesel dual fuel as well as removing the need for refrigeration. Projections note that up to 23% of the total fuel bill will be saved in parallel to cutting around 36 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Cooline Logistics moving goods in South Africa. Cold chain logistics in South Africa will be benefiting from a new zero-emissions solution; using liquefied natural gas. This will save costs considerably and cut carbon emissions. Image courtesy: Bab Adams/WikiCommons
RWANDA FORGES AHEAD WITH SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS TO CURB CARBON EMISSIONS
Rwanda placed sustainable projects high on the agenda over the month of December, aiming to reduce current and prepare for future carbon emissions. The country is a leader on the continent in bicycle innovations, which has led the government to support sustainable mobility initiatives. Cycling is not only environmentally friendly but also boosts the local tourism sector. In 2020, the Rwandan Cycling Federation launched a cycling tourism initiative to increase tourism revenue to a projected US$800 million by 2024. In parallel, Rwanda has launched the African Centre of Excellence of Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES). The aim is to develop ways of delivering affordable, low-carbon, cooling and cold chain systems. ACES will assist in moving farmers’ produce to market efficiently, while reducing food waste as well as improving cold chains for vaccines and health. In addition to these projects, Rwanda has also launched the National Adaptation Planning Process Project, a US$6 million initiative, which is set to develop the country’s capacity to implement climate change adaptation initiatives.
Source: World Bank, Knoema, 2019
NESTLÉ LAUNCHES FIRST NET ZERO-EMISSIONS DAIRY FARM IN SOUTH AFRICA
Nestlé South Africa has announced the opening of its first ecologically friendly, zero-emissions dairy farm in South Africa. The launch forms part of the company’s “Rethink, Reduce, Repurpose” (RE) scheme to make the firm carbon neutral by 2050. The dung deposited by cattle at the new Skimmelkrans project in the Western Cape will be collected, with solids and liquids separated and reused for compost and irrigation, respectively. An environmental audit is due in April of 2021, which will demonstrate whether the project has managed to meet its goals. Ecological sustainability is a tall order for the global dairy and beef industries, which are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions – past studies have noted that the dairy industry contributes around 13% of total livestock methane production in South Africa. Through the Skimmelkrans project, Nestlé could play a key role in helping to drive positive transformation in the industry.
Source: Milk SA, 2019
E-COMMERCE PLATFORM SOKOWATCH EXPANDS INTO UGANDA’S INFORMAL RETAIL SECTOR
Sokowatch, an innovative East African startup that has disrupted the informal market in Uganda, announced in December that it will be adding eco-friendly battery powered tuk-tuks to its delivery fleet. The chief engineer for the company has confirmed that this move is in line with its strategy to build more sustainable environments in those markets where it operates. The company brought digitisation to Africa’s informal retail space for the first time after its launch in 2016, offering real time financing for growth along with data and analytics services. Beyond this functionality was the ability to order produce and supplies for stalls. The tuk-tuks are also helping to improve local air quality, which ranks quite poorly compared to other African cities, and will also provide expanded logistic capacity to carry 500kg in goods for retailers two hours after the placement of orders.
Tuk-tuks in Mombasa, Kenya. Sokowatch, an East African e-commerce platform, will be expanding its services in Uganda, adding eco-friendly battery powered tuk-tuks to its delivery fleet.
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