Monday, August 12, 2013

Change Is Possible Despite Skepticism

Some people have doubts on whether the Electrify Africa Act will actually make a difference. There is a lot of banter circulating over whether Africa is able to improve its infrastructure after it receives aid from America. Click here to learn more about the Electrify Africa Act of 2013. In reality, Africa is in fact capable to lift itself up. The continent as a whole has a fighting chance to alleviate energy poverty. Many forget that Africa has the energy resource to provide for its people. It has been stated that Africa had exploited only 0.6 percent of its geothermal energy, less than 2 percent of its wind energy and only 7 percent of its hydro-power potential. Additionally, Africa has hardly even scratched the surface of its solar or gas potential. These natural resources, if harnessed, would easily provide for Africa’s people. Globally, there are technologies that exist that can harness these energy resources – it is simply a question of working together to deploy these technologies on the continent. Additionally, it is important to remember that countries have rapidly expanded electricity access before. For example, in the last two decades more than two billion people have gained access to electricity. Brazil, Thailand, China, Laos and Morocco, for example, have all dramatically increased electricity access to their populations over short time-frames. Regulatory and financial assistance, coupled with political prioritization, will bring about huge leaps in electricity access. Energy poverty is such a devastating thing that it would be unfair for us not to help put an end to it. America is more than capable of helping and Africa is more than ready to move forward. 

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