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INNOVATE South Africa

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INNOVATE™ South Africa

As a key driver of Africa’s knowledge economy, SANRAL had to the opportunity to contribute to the African Smart Cities Summit, where Sasheen Rajkumar, an Engineer in SANRAL’s Eastern Region (KZN) led the discussion on Smart Mobility for Sustainability.

Sasheen, a millennial, is passionate about inspiring people and creating societal value, by harnessing the power of technology and innovation when developing solutions that will shape the future of our world. As a driver of innovation, Sasheen advocates for the democratising of mobility for everyone, while supporting electric, connected, autonomous and sustainable mobility.

Leading with an analysis of the fictitious city of Wakanda, as depicted in the award-winning Marvel movie The Black Panther, Sasheen drew thought provoking parallels between the application of natural resources in the movie, and Africa’s own mineral-rich resources which should and could be far more optimally utilised than simply exporting these raw materials for the first world to exploit.

Did you know?
More than 50% of the world’s Cobolt reserves and rich deposits of Nickel and Lithium are found in Africa? These are all key minerals in the production of lithium-ion batteries, used in smart phones, laptops and electric vehicles.

Over 95% of Platinum and 39% of Palladium are found in Africa, and mostly in South Africa. These two metals are mostly used in the auto industry, in the production of catalytic converters and the future use of these metals is in Hydrogen fuel cell technology which will be used to produce fuel cell vehicles.

But Africa exports most of its minerals as raw materials, only for other countries to refine it and manufacture high value items like electric vehicles, that will ultimately be sold back to Africa at outrageous prices, placing it firmly beyond the grip of the average person.

The point? If Africa could start to refine its own minerals and resources and manufacture the end product, this continent could just become the proverbial “Wakanda” and we could see more electric vehicles and fuel cell cars on African roads, sooner than in the rest of the world.

This could fundamentally change the face of mobility in Africa. The electric mobility revolution, built for Africa, by Africa.

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