Equatorial Guinea has kicked off a year-long investment campaign aimed at driving capital investment into the country’s bankable projects; Major U.S. firms have pledged to increase their investment in Equatorial Guinea in 2020, along with Nigerian banking and financial institutions; Notable investment-ready projects include the construction of two modular oil refineries, an ammonia plant, a […]
New Hope for Africa through Investment and Freedom from UN interference
There are two worlds in countries of sub-Saharan Africa and many other underdeveloped countries, the urban world of development, investment and progress, and the rural world that is isolated, poor and struggling to survive. Between these two are the more developed agricultural areas near cities and the slums surrounding cities where rural people who come to cities for more opportunity, end up living in deplorable conditions without proper infrastructure. The areas with modern agriculture have many of the amenities of the city such as access to electricity, clean water, sanitation and roads, but the slums have more in common with the rural poor, without access to clean water, sanitation and sometimes electricity.
In most developing countries the leaders tend to concentrate infrastructure development in urban areas while largely ignoring the needs of the isolated rural poor. Because the businesses of the cities attract investment, and bring in both market value and taxes, they are given priority. This is natural since the cities are the hope of future economic development, and attracting investment from other countries is one of the main means of improving the lives of all of their countrymen in the long run. However, part of the funds available from this economic development should go into extending electrical distribution and transportation over time to the rural communities. In the short term it makes sense to support the cities, but in the long term extending support to the rural poor can further raise the overall economy and attract more investment. Rural electrification, transportation and opportunities through markets and business investments will raise many of those in extreme poverty to a higher economic level.
Investment, not aid, is the answer to raising developing countries out of poverty. See next section for information about the investment climate in Africa. Aid should only be a temporary measure for support in emergencies and for infrastructure building in the form of loans that can be repaid when conditions have improved. Aid should never be used for permanent or long term support of generationally poor populations. What you subsidize, you get more of. The rural poor don’t need hand-outs; they need jobs, electricity and roads so they can climb out of poverty.
The worst type of aid is government to government foreign aid, which should be ended as soon as practical. Typically less than 2% of this type of aid goes to improving the lives of ordinary people. Most of it goes to corrupt leaders and their administrations. Ending the practice of government to government foreign aid will reduce or end much of the government corruption and make leaders more responsible to their constituents. If they are dependent on the tax base and not foreign donors they will have incentive to build the infrastructure in order to attract business investors and grow the economy, and thus the tax base. Building the transportation and energy sectors into more rural areas would then make practical sense in order to attract investors and open markets to rural agricultural production.
China is investing heavily in African energy projects such as hydroelectric and fossil fuel power plants. While I would like to assume that China has only benign motives, that has not been their history. The Western world would be wise to invest in similar projects and not just throw money at corrupt governments in an attempt to stave off Chinese communist incursions and power.
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The book: Saving Africa from Lies that Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries was published in September, 2018. Print and ebook are available online.
My first book, Perverted Truth Exposed: How Progressive Philosophy has Corrupted Science was published in 2016. It is available in print and ebook, on line only, through Amazon, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble. See the companion blog at www.realscienceblog.com for related posts and pages.
The Board of Directors of African Development Bank Group (https://www.AfDB.org) has approved an €8 million grant drawn from the European Union’s Africa Investment Platform (EU-AIP) to support the preparation of the Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project. The plant will be situated on the Ruzizi River between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and will supply […]
Editor’s note: This column is authored byDavid Wojick. Africa has the world’s lowest electrification rate. Its power consumption per capita is just 613 kilowatt-hours per year, compared to 6,500 kWh in Europe and 13,000 in the United States, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina observed in July 2017. That’s 9.4% of EU and 4.7% of US electricity consumption. It’s equivalent to Americans having electricity only 1 hour a day, 8 hours a week, 411 hours per year – at totally unpredictable times, for a few minutes, hours or days at a stretch.It’s actually even worse than that. Excluding significantly electrified South Africa, sub-Sahara Africans consume an almost irrelevant 181 kWh of electricity per capita – 1.4% of the average American’s!
In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 600 million people have no electricity, and over 700 million rely on wood, grass and dung for cooking and heating. The region is home to 16% of the world’s population, and 53% of those without electricity. By 2050, its urban populations could increase by 600 million.
Determined to transform the “dark continent,” the AfDB launched a $12-billion New Deal on Energy in 2017 and a Light Up and Power Africa initiative in July 2018. It frequently emphasized that access to sufficient supplies of reliable, affordable modern energy – including fossil fuels – is critical for the continent’s social and economic development. Without energy, it is impossible to create jobs, increase productivity, reduce inequality, improve people’s health and wellbeing, or end poverty.
The bank’s lofty goal for its energy New Deal is 100% access to electricity in urban areas, and 95% in rural areas, by 2025. In July 2017, Mr. Adesina told the African Union Summit he was excited that “Japan has answered our call” to “adopt a balanced energy mix” that includes “its ultra-super critical clean coal technologies” that remove sulfur, nitrogen oxides and particulates, while greatly reducing CO2 emissions.
In 2018, the bank approved seed money for a Nigerian coal project and geared up to finance a 350MW coal plant in Senegal. It also initiated plans for a $2-billion coal-fired power station in the Kenya’s port city of Lamu, after the IMF, World Bank and other western lenders rebuffed Kenya.
But then Mr. Adesina and the AfDB caved in to carbon colonialist pressure. The bank now says almost nothing about coal or even natural gas. Its new themes include: responding to global concerns about climate change, gradually adopting a “low-carbon and sustainable growth path,” significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and transitioning to “green growth” and “clean renewable energy,”
In September 2019, the bank announced that it planned to begin scrapping coal-fired power plants all across Africa, build “the largest solar zone” in the world, and pull funding for the Lamu power plant. “We’re getting out of coal,” Mr. Adesina said. “Coal is the past, and renewable energy is the future.”
So the AfDB has joined the World Bank, Goldman Sachs and other Multilateral anti-Development Banks in caring more about climate alarmism and avoiding criticism from the likes of Greta, the perpetually aggrieved and angry Grinch of Christmas 2019 – than they do about safeguarding the lives, livelihoods, health and living standards of hundreds of millions of electricity-deprived Africans.
This 180-degree flip-flop is delusional, dysfunctional and disingenuous. For many, it will be lethal.
. . .
Finally, banishing fossil fuels (and nuclear), and focusing on pseudo-renewable energy will mean millions of children and parents will continue to suffer and die needlessly every year from diseases of poverty and energy deprivation. This eco-manslaughter at the hands of climate activists and banks must not continue.
With a second FID in just 2 years, Mozambique has officially positioned itself as a key player in the global gas and LNG market for years to come. The latest FID on the US$20 billion Mozambique LNG project, makes it the largest sanction ever in sub-Saharan Africa oil and gas. Described by His Excellency President […]
New UK aid package will help mobilise £500 million in private sector investment and create 50,000 jobs across sub-Saharan Africa. UK aid to mobilise over £500 million of private sector investment, creating over 50,000 jobs in sub-Saharan Africa. The package will support financial start-ups and entrepreneurs and boost economic growth across the region. It will […]
Participants group photo during the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project review and planning meeting held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 10–11 September 2019 (photo credit: Eveline Massam/ IITA).Earlier this month (10–11 September 2019), the Africa RISING project in East and Southern Africa (ESA) held its annual review and planning meeting in Dar es…
By investing in Africa’s food markets, governments can win the fight against stunting and improve nutrition across the continent. And with support from institutions like the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), the results would be a win-win situation for all. “What a huge potential the food markets represent. “Feed Africa,” which is one of the Bank’s […]
get out of the way!! UN & advocacy groups keep Africa and Developing Countries where the entire Preindustrial world was in the past
Much of Africa and the developing world are where the whole world was before the advances in technology and knowledge in the 19th and 20th century; the entire world was struggling, poor and sick, so that even the more well-off people had short lifespans due to preventable and curable diseases, poor nutrition and infections. In the developed world, widespread acceptance of germ theory and the development of antibiotics and vaccines only occurred in the early to mid 20th century. Malaria, meaning “bad air,’ was only eradicated in the developed world, in the mid 20th century due to 20 plus years of spraying pesticides for effective mosquito control, development of anti-malaria medicines and window screens. Likewise, malaria in poor countries could be reduced or eradicated by allowing proper pesticide use and providing malaria medicines.
Even into the late 20th century, some isolated areas in the developed world did not have electricity, purified water or paved roads and some people still lived in drafty shacks or log cabins, sometimes with dirt floors. Before the improvements in infrastructure, large multi-generational families were the norm because of high childhood death rates and the need for surviving children to care for their parents in a world where there was no social safety net for the disabled and elderly. Large families also filled the need for labor in a world where mechanical devices were few or lacking and back breaking work was needed for every job, whether agricultural, industrial or domestic. Without reliable electricity, transportation systems and industrial and agricultural development, we all could be back there now.
This is where rural Africa and underdeveloped countries are now. What will it take for developing countries to catch up with the developed world? First, we need to end counterproductive and damaging interference by international organizations that are working under wrong assumptions from the distant past about supposed overpopulation as a cause of environmental harm. Wrong practices include imposing population control and blocking effective insect and disease control, as well as modern agriculture and infrastructure development, while putting cultural and wildlife preservation above the real immediate needs of the people. Poverty, not overpopulation, causes environmental harm. Improving the economy can stabilize the population and preserve both cultural heritage and wildlife. Modern agricultural practices can end slash and burn deforestation and feed everyone.
Africa needs Investment, Infrastructure, Employment, Education and Disease Control.
Education in hygiene can end much of the disease burden, facilitate clean water and sanitation systems, and provide a healthy workforce. Education in agricultural, industrial and technical skills can open opportunities for employment, small business earnings and raise their standard of living. Transportation in the form of improved and extended roads and railroads can end isolation, encourage foreign investment and provide access to markets, employment opportunities, education and medical facilities.
Reliable electricity is important for economic growth and can facilitate the development of transportation systems, medical facilities and industrial investment, all of which cannot run on intermittent and varying power as provided by wind and solar power. Solar panels on huts are a start, but should only be a temporary energy solution until reliable electrical systems can be installed and extended into rural areas. Solar panels should never be used as a substitute for true energy security or an excuse for neglect.
Poor countries cannot afford to skip the reliable types of energy generation that have made the developed world what it is today. The solution should include all means possible, including hydroelectric, geothermal, fossil fuel and nuclear power. Africa has enough hydroelectric potential to supply all of their needs for the foreseeable future. Hydroelectric power is both clean and reliable. In Africa alone, over 200 hydroelectric dams have been blocked by environmentalists. This must stop!
Africa needs Investment, Infrastructure, Employment, Education and Disease Control.
Foreign aid must be replaced by investment in infrastructure. Most of the foreign aid is given to prop up corrupt governments. Leaders become rich while most of the aid is not used for famine relief or to build rural infrastructure and seldom reaches the people in need. Government to government foreign aid props up corrupt leaders, makes them accountable only to their donors, not the people, and prolongs poverty. Leaders that depend on foreign aid, not the tax base, are less likely to want to attract investment in new businesses or to invest in infrastructure that facilitates economic growth. As long as the problems are not solved, foreign aid money keeps coming, so corrupt leaders benefit from keeping their countries poor and controlled.
Foreign aid, other than temporary disaster relief, must be replaced with investment in infrastructure including extended electrical systems, powered by all means available, and improved and extended roads, railroads, airports and bridges, as well as education and medical facilities, and industry. The aim is to raise the economy so that poor countries no longer need outside help, but rather are net contributors to the world economy, or at least are self sufficient. It can be done and you can help.
What can you do? Lots! Here are a few suggestions from my book. Start by contacting government officials and elected representatives to demand that perpetual government to government foreign aid be replaced with accountable infrastructure investment, and that abuses by the UN and other organizations be eliminated and better practices be implemented ASAP. Donate to charities that help build infrastructure such as World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse. Volunteer to go and work with these organizations in poor countries. Invest in businesses/industries that are selling or buying African goods or are locating new businesses in Africa, or are offering real infrastructure assistance, or are improving medical and educational facilities.
My award winning book, Saving Africa From Lies That Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is now available online and in book stores everywhere. In print and eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million.
Award-Winning Finalist in the Social Change category of the 2019 International Book Awards