- ’Africa Clockwise’ expedition aims to raise awareness of environmental issues, alternative energy, arts and culture
- Locally manufactured General heavy-duty truck tyres to be used on 60000 km circumnavigation of the African continent
- Trip sets off from Cape Town in December 2012, set to span two to three years
Continental Tyre South Africa has confirmed its support for comedian Mark Sampson’s pioneering ‘Africa Clockwise’ expedition, which aims to circumnavigate the continent while raising awareness regarding a wide range of environmental issues and alternative energy sources, and promoting African arts and culture.
Mark, his wife Sam and their two children will be setting off from Cape Town in December, and embarking on the 60000 km adventure in their modified 1970s Mercedes-Benz 10-ton truck, riding on locally manufactured General Bush Radial 14.00R20 heavy-duty truck tyres.
Notably, the truck runs primarily on used cooking oil, and the family aims to be the first to circumnavigate Africa on alternative fuels, and entrench their place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
“Continental has gratefully sponsored us with eight of these tough and durable General Bush Radial tyres, and we’re hoping to prove that we travel right around the continent on just four,” Mark says.
“I have been developing this project over the last year while doing my show, ‘Africa Clockwise’. Besides being a comedy act, it’s about educating people to the fact that the clock is ticking when it comes to climate change for Africa.”
‘Africa Clockwise’ is also the title of the expedition, which will be travelling around Africa in a clockwise direction from Cape Town along the coast, passing through 32 countries and covering around 60000 km.
Mark is a firm believer in the eco-friendly philosophy of reduce, reuse and recycle, and has done extensive research into alternative forms of energy. Throughout the journey, he will be using and demonstrating a wide variety of new technologies to communities throughout Africa, including solar cookers, shack lights, bio-digesters and low-energy stoves that use half the amount of wood.
“These technologies have been primarily developed by the West to reduce peoples’ carbon footprint, but in Africa where the average family’s carbon footprint is comparatively low, they can dramatically improve their quality of life,” Mark states.
The expedition aims to not only introduce the technologies to local communities, but hopefully create industries that can produce it cost-effectively and make it freely available, thus also creating opportunities for employment.
“We’re talking to various sponsors and companies to ‘buy back’ the carbon that we save through the distribution of these energy-efficient cookers and lights, which then funds the project and assists with carbon-trading for more eco-friendly solutions.”
Mark and Sam have also partnered with the Department of Arts and Culture, which has agreed to make them ambassadors. This will help them research various festivals, carnivals, musicians and artists throughout Africa, and develop a Pan-African multicultural exchange programme to foster greater participation with the rest of the continent and its people.
“We are proud to be associated with the Sampson family and the ‘Africa Clockwise’ expedition,” comments Gishma Johnson, Corporate Communications Manager of Continental Tyre South Africa
“While showcasing the tough durability of CTSA’s General Bush Radial truck tyre, more importantly it will make a meaningful impact on a large number of communities in Africa in terms of promoting environmentally sustainable technologies, as well as developing cultural awareness.”
She says that Sampson’s mission is aligned with CTSA’s commitment to protect the environment in which it operates. “We recognise that during the manufacturing of tyres, our activities, products and services can potentially impact both people and the environment. We therefore design our processes and products with an emphasis on reducing the effect on the environment and our fellow humans.”