CMRDI-WAITRO Workshop “Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies for The Middle East and North Africa Development”
Strengthening technological cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa
The workshop was organized by the Central Metallurgical Research and Development Institute (CMRDI), as the Regional Focal Point for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It took place on June 1st in Cairo, Egypt. The workshop was prepared in response to the wide impact of advanced materials and manufacturing technologies on all levels of the economy and society.
Prof. Emad Ewais, CMRDI President and Regional Representative for MENA on the WAITRO executive board thanked Prof. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar – Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for his continuous and strong support for all CMRDI activities. He also emphasized that the main objective of the workshop was the exchange of knowledge and experience, as well as networking between Middle East and Africa research institutions that in turn contribute to developing our societies. A total of 34 research papers were presented, covering various advanced manufacturing technologies including technology for vacuum melting & casting, coatings, laser welding, 3D manufacturing, and strategic spare parts made of ceramic materials. The workshop also covered advanced materials including nano-materials, titanium alloys, and ultrahigh strength steels for strategic applications. A special focus was given to the clean energy and natural resources in Africa and the Arab region.
The Director of the WAITRO Secretariat office in China, Dr. Paul Burrows, commended both the level and variety of the workshop topics as well as the big number of participants (105) from different countries including Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Germany, UK, and China.
The following points provide an overview of the main recommendations emanating from the workshop.
- Expanding the scope of cooperation between African countries in the field of ore extraction technology by taking advantage of the research capabilities of CMRDI through organizing training courses, exchanging experiences, and transferring technology to the engineers and technicians from different African countries.
- Conducting joint research between CMRDI and the University of Tunis-El Manar, in addition to exchanging experiences in the field of increasing the filtration rate of phosphoric acid that is produced from Egyptian and Tunisian phosphates. The two parties also agreed that the aim of this cooperation is to solve all the problems of phosphate ore in both countries, maximize the benefit from phosphate ore and increase the rate of production.
- Cooperating with the European and Asian countries under the umbrella of WAITRO in the field of industrial modeling and digital operation was discussed, as CMRDI has the latest capabilities in these fields and can transfer these modern technologies to the African countries by holding training courses for engineers and technicians in the laboratories and semi-industrial units located at CMRDI.
- Proposing a cooperation protocol between CMRDI and other African countries in the field of manufacturing of special spare parts that are used in cars, trains, and military vehicles, possibly in cooperation with the WAITRO Secretariat China Office at JITRI in Nanjing, where the technologies for manufacturing special spare parts will be transferred to African foundries and companies. It was also agreed that this protocol would be proposed as a workshop at the WAITRO Summit 2022, which will be held in South Africa in November 2022.
- Exchanging knowledge about the production of solar energy, as the most promising renewable energy in North Africa and the Middle East, which are both situated in the optimal global zone for solar power. In this regard, CMRDI researchers presented their latest research works on applying nanotechnology to raise the efficiency of Egyptian solar cells.
- Introducing new research ideas for recycling the large number of masks that are used against Covid-19 and converting them into chemicals with industrial applications, to reduce environmental pollution.Wider repetition of such scientific and technological events in the form of a bigger and longer conference in the field of foundry and welding technologies.
Thanks to all participants from different countries for joining this important scientific event and contributing to maximizing the opportunity for exchanging knowledge and experience as well as networking between Africa and Middle East countries. Knowledge & experience exchange is of remarkable importance for human capability building and improving technical support to industry, which in turn reflects positively on the economy & society development.