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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Wandiga

Our Ambitions and philosophy

Updated: Apr 21

We were challenged to explain what we aspire to achieve with the Wandiga EcoChem Hub using pictures instead of words. Not being artists, we enlisted the support of two AI assistants operating within Nightcafe Studio: Dreamshaper XL Lightening, Stablecore Workflow, and DALL-E 3.

Here goes:

At the Centre for Science and Technology Innovations (CSTI) Wandiga EcoChem Hub, we have scientists versed in advanced technologies, working on deciphering affordable environmental solutions. Science does not happen in a sterile lab, science grows in the context of life and industry.

We aspire for all Africans to enjoy healthy African ecosystems and spaces.

Global trade represents the opportunity for Africans to eradicate financial poverty and gain personal wealth through value addition of our over $6.2 trillion in under developed natural resources.

Foreign aid dependency can quickly be left to the history books. With the support of conscientious impact investors, African indigenous knowledge can be formalized by Africans in the same way botanical knowledge has been formalized everywhere in the world.

We are well aware there are legacy systems that need to be replaced with significant improvements.

Central Bank of Kenya has released the draft Kenya Green Finance Taxonomy (KGFT) for public consultation. The draft KGFT is intended to serve as a tool to enable market participants to classify whether particular economic activities are ‘green’ and environmentally sustainable or not. Click to download zip file with 11 files (taxonomy + appendices with sector guides). KEPSA has spearheaded the development of a Carbon Market Guidebook for Kenyan Enterprises. South Africa is making progress in using the Nagoya protocol to ensure indigenous people are paid royalties for products derived from their indigenous intellectual property (IP).

The financial systems that created legacy wealth today, were based on extractive hierarchical models with no benefits sharing.

These systems were never dismantled after colonial independence. Adding technology to these systems will only leave us with high tech versions of the same problem.

Like all scientists, CSTI scientists, enjoy fieldwork but not the pollutants we are finding. Our research confirms organochlorine pesticide levels and PBDE flame retardant levels in water are too high. These problems arise from local African agriculture and manufacturing alike. We can use cleaner production methods. Environmental pollution is decreasing globally but increasing in Africa.

Our conservation spaces and protected areas are more than just tourist attractions, they are spaces in which the unadulterated biological genetic identity of the planet has been preserved for centuries by African communities.

Africa must build modern infrastructure to keep her people safe from the damages of climate change. A building with modern materials will not wash away in heavy rains the same way a corrugated iron house gets carried. This does not mean modern construction stops flooding. The lack of permeable surfaces actually makes flooding worse.

Carbon credits can be used to preserve green spaces and permeable surfaces outside our cities.

We also need to create green spaces and permeable surfaces within our cities. Vertical high-rises can be farms, not just buildings.

Without our biodiversity, we lose the iconic symbols of our African story telling legends.

Transportation networks must not interfere with wildlife corridors and land use planning must be at the communal level, not in boardrooms.

These changes are incremental, not radical. However, knowledge is a technology like any other. It takes time for people to become aware and apply their awareness to avoid past mistakes. Since we don't have the luxury of time, we cannot combine incremental behavioral change with incremental technological change. We must focus on leapfrog technologies. Energy (cool videos) is a start. Constructed wetlands are multi-problem nature based solution.

Stay tuned as we explore available options...

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