Comments on: Despite $7 billion to ‘Power Africa,’ why the continent is still in the dark http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: aeci http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/#comment-1091827 Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:14:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=42414#comment-1091827 Solidar’s concern about runaway foreign aid infrastructure projects only takes on greater alarm when you consider the corruption, inefficiency and lack of oversight. And … the ‘NGO industrial complex’ which has sprouted up in the last few decades needs close scrutiny. The foreign aid needs to be tightly controlled, projects should be funded by several donors, matched by the host country (some percentage) and monitored from start to finish. This particular project … electrification … can produce tangible economic development. Maybe projects of this nature should have a ‘pay back’, a loan (no interest) that kicks in once GDP starts increasing. The era of the blank check is over.

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By: S.D. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/#comment-1091701 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:24:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=42414#comment-1091701 I work in solar in East Africa so I will state my bias upfront. I appreciate your final statement: “Powering Africa will require not just technological investments, but also economic and institutional solutions to the many barriers to access.” Recent developments in low cost metering and pay-as-you go technology are helping to facilitate access from a technology point of view, but in much of my experience technology is the simplest challenge to overcome in the context of developing energy access in the region. Due to the diversity of non technology related challenges I am interested in the research that has led you to believe in a national or international power grid as the only viable solution. Improved and increased grid connections in urban areas and industrial hubs can certainly benefit from economies of scale. Around 75% of Kenyans and more than 80% of Tanzanians are considered rural. The upfront cost of connecting such dispersed populations is incredibly high.

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By: Solidar http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/#comment-1091697 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 21:25:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=42414#comment-1091697 This is an area with 3 times more people than the United States. Spread out over jungles and deserts twice the size of America. It took us 100 billion dollars just fix some Hurricane Sandy damage. That was one relatively small chunk of America.

Building power infrastructure for sub-saharan Africa to make them modern customers of the world? Try 7 trillion.

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By: Solidar http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/#comment-1091524 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:13:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=42414#comment-1091524 7 billion dollars. Cute. That was about one afternoon in the 10-year Iraq war.

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By: SumitVerma4 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/#comment-1091522 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:12:36 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=42414#comment-1091522 It’s always a good oppurtunity to build a new system from scratch rather correting a already setup one. The challanges are more regarding to training/awareness rather than technical.
Infrastructure is another aspect and to keep the cost low you need to have local skilled workers which is possible through setting up structured institutions.
Secondly, In earlier stages power should be distributed at subsudised cost. becuase the target is to empower poor people in continent.

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By: aeci http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/#comment-1091510 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:58:31 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=42414#comment-1091510 There’s always development money for the large aspects of infrastructure. You hit upon the next stage, which is delivery to the end user. This is best accomplished through small electrical contractors, which do not exist, or are very small in number. Encouraging development of small electrical contractors has the added advantage of economic development, and much less graft/corruption than the big contractors.

Training programs are not difficult to provide electricians, from whence the small contractors will emerge. I know, as I was a master electrician, contractor and apprentice educator.

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By: aeci http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/07/30/despite-a-7-billion-pledge-to-power-africa-why-the-continent-is-still-in-the-dark/#comment-1091509 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:57:33 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=42414#comment-1091509 There’s always development money for the large aspects of infrastructure. You hit upon the next stage, which is delivery to the end user. This is best accomplished through small electrical contractors, which do not exist, or are very small in number. Encouraging development of small electrical contractors has the added advantage of economic development, and much less graft/corruption than the big contractors.

Training programs are not difficult to provide electricians, from whence the small contractors will emerge. I know, as I was a master electrician, contractor and apprentice educator.

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