The New Natural Economy. What if Africa was inspired by Sophia Antipolis and the technoparks of the future? – Di sak na pou di

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How can nature inspire us to create new possibilities? And become a warrior in the technological re-conquest?

The seed was planted half a century ago when a devastating fire reduced 3,000 hectares of forest to ashes on the Côte d’Azur. “We must use innovation and invest massively”: this is the ambition summed up by French senator Pierre Laffitte when he built the Sophia Antipolis technology park on the ashes of a vast forest. So urgent? An environmental issue, first rate. In his writings and in the statements he was able to leave, he constantly renewed his belief in collective intelligence and in technologies that attract the flow of individuals, ideas or projects. The brushing of these currents increases possibilities, from which rupture and innovation are born.

Sophia Antipolis, the future “city of 20,000 explorers”, was born on land burned by a great fire. Its creator, Pierre Laffitte, announced this with the genesis of the project: a phoenix will soon stand in the destroyed forest. It is intangible investments that are very difficult to explain to people. The name Sophia Antipolis is by no means chosen by chance: in Greek, Antipolis designates an agrarian wealth outside the city, the very idea that it is possible to create and invent outside the city and large urban centers, to go to the center of the city. village and land. Sophia, on the other hand, wants to insist on her wisdom in Greek. The bet won at the gates of Nice half a century ago should promote the African innovation ecosystem: to develop cooperation related to technological entrepreneurship, on the example of those already existing with Switzerland and Israel, from the Ouassa Babouté technological park to the Polytechnic School of Yaounde.

European Union member countries can make new contributions in this field. In what form? Help rethink: eco-design, then eco-construction and the wider circular economy. Also related to the topic: “Design and Additive Manufacturing”, it is about new ways of designing and manufacturing. In this regard, many inspiring cases can be cited: the Sorbonne Plage, the work of the biologist Lucie Randoi, the experience of Théophile Lognoné, the founder of Probiomer industries, or even Benoist Lognoné, the oil specialist flax and omega 3.

Many projects are emerging in Africa to explore the realm of opportunities by betting on technological entrepreneurship in agro-forestry, life sciences and nutrition-health.

Currently, plant and forest production is developing rapidly all over the world. During their millennia of evolution, trees have developed resistance and immunity that can be very useful in producing effective and useful products for humans. In the last decade, research on extractables has increased significantly, knowledge of the essences, molecules and their properties has advanced, allowing us to look more confidently at the potential these molecules offer… Markets in which Cameroon, located between the Congo and Nigeria, can be a leader. Something that will inspire Ouassa Babouté and its 405-hectare Cameroon technological park, targeted activities should be focused on the production and processing of cereals, tubers and plantains, fruits and vegetables, essential and aromatic oils, milk and derivatives and cocoa. ..

The New Nature Economy could offer remarkable diversification opportunities for Central Africa and enhance its privileged position in tapping into Nigeria, the first transboundary market for non-timber forest products (NTFP) on the continent.

Kevin Lognone

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