We can deal with diseases, viruses, and other health ills through collective efforts. This week it’s been announced that the entire continent of Africa is free of polio spreading in the wild. After decades of working to eradicate it, people can now rest easy. There was no single solution that worked, instead it was a series of measures that culminated in such success!
Polio is a virus which spreads from person to person, usually through contaminated water. It can lead to paralysis by attacking the nervous system.
Two out of three strains of wild polio virus have been eradicated worldwide. On Tuesday, Africa has been declared free of the last remaining strain of wild poliovirus.
More than 95% of Africa’s population has now been immunised. This was one of the conditions that the Africa Regional Certification Commission set before declaring the continent free from wild polio.
A panel at Collision Conference today looked at the state of the energy grid in Africa. The panellists are involved in bringing sustainable energy solutions to the continent in various ways.
The artist Akon has founded Akoin to help people better deal with currency complications throughout the continent. The profits from the company are then used to fund solar installations so the coin and the continent can run sustainably.
The AKoin Ecosystem unlocks the potential of the world’s largest emerging economy through the creation of a stable currency and innovative, revenue-generating opportunities that stimulate and support youth entrepreneurship, economic stability, and growth across Africa and the world.
Jesse Moore from M-Kopa has built a solar panel company that sells solar energy directly to consumers. They’ve brought electricity to over 750,000 houses and are open to skipping the electricity grid entirely. Customers can’t afford the full installation but they they can afford to pay for electricity as it’s needed without having to connect to a larger system.
The future of sustainable energy in Africa is looking bright!
Banks have a reputation for being too greedy for the good of anyone outside themselves; however, some banks are thinking in the long term. The African Development Bank has announced a partnership with Green Climate Fund to push renewable energy and resilient systems. They figure that Africa is the best part of the world to achieve a sustainable economy because of the increasing investment in the continent and the ability to ‘leap frog’ older energy technology.
Together with the Green Climate Fund, we can do a lot to move the continent towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development.”
Approved as a GCF Accredited Entity in March 2016, AfDB is working on a series of mitigation and adaptation initiatives at the national and regional levels designed to enhance African countries’ access to GCF resources.
GCF Executive Director, Howard Bamsey said GCF’s partnership with AfDB will be key in unlocking the potential across the African continent to pursue climate resilient and low-emission growth.
Renewable energy production is growing more every year and 2016 was no exception to that growth. In 2016 capacity of renewables increased by 8.7% and for the first time solar growth outpaced wind energy. Unsurprisingly the majority of the growth occurred in Asia seeing 58% of global growth happening in that one continent. Africa saw their installation of renewable energy sources per year double to 4GW of new capacity. These numbers all come from a report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
This reenable growth is great to see! With the coal plants being shutdown in every major economy (except the USA) we should see this growth in capacity of renewable energy production continue! Cleaner air for all.
“We are witnessing an energy transformation taking hold around the world, and this is reflected in another year of record breaking additions in new renewable energy capacity,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “This growth in deployment emphasizes the increasingly strong business case for renewables which also have multiple socio-economic benefits in terms of fueling economic growth, creating jobs and improving human welfare and the environment. But accelerating this momentum will require additional investment in order to move decisively towards decarbonising the energy sector and meet climate objectives. This new data is an encouraging sign that though there is much yet to do, we are on the right path,” Mr. Amin added.
The African Union has announced that a significant step has been made to creating free movement between borders. That significant step is a special passport for government officials and head of state who need to travel between countries. The passport is only useful for a small group of people but it shows that the AU is on its way to creating a stronger union with free movement for the population.
Having a visa-free passport is instrumental to the creation of a borderless Africa which will, in turn, accelerate socio-economic growth. According to Acha Leke, the Director of Mckinsey & Company, the passport is essential in order to boost tourism revenue and increase intra-African trade.
The release of the AU passport is a significant mile stone for the outgoing AU Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. In her last opening speech on Sunday, she noted that with the launch of the passport, the body has been able to cross off two big items on its to-do list. At the summit, Dlamini Zuma presented the new passport to the incoming chairperson, H.E. Idriss Deby Itno, the President of Chad, and Paul Kagame, the Rwandan President.