Mycelium Composites for Sustainable Development in Developing Countries: The Case for Africa

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Abstract The socio-economic struggles in Africa are partly attributed to the low productivity of the agricultural sector. The Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa (SDGC/A) and the African Development Bank Group (AfDBG) both agree that the continent needs sustainable interventions to boost agricultural productivity, employment, and income. In this regard, mycelium composite production can present one potential solution. The added value to agricultural waste used to produce mycelium composites can generate additional revenue for farmers, serving as an incentive to increase agricultural productivity. Furthermore, the establishment of mycelium composite start-ups can increase employment and income, especially for women and the youth. Mycelium composites can also aid in mitigating environmental and health challenges caused by some of the current waste management practices in Africa. This review offers valuable insights into the potential use of mycelium composites as a sustainable alternative for Africa. It explores the potential use of locally accessible resources, the potential applications for the composites in Africa, and the potential challenges that may arise with this technology. It further assesses the potential contribution of this technology to sustainable development in Africa in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN).
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Sustainable Systems
Issue numbern/a
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported and funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Composites Science, Engineering, and Manufacturing (CDT CoSEM; grant number EP/S021728/1) at the University of Bristol.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Advanced Sustainable Systems published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • agricultural waste
  • bio-based materials
  • eco-friendly
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • waste management
  • water pollution


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