UNDERSTANDING AFRICA’S OPPORTUNITY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE FROM A CRISIS POINT OF VIEW

Recently I was invited to a wonderful panel symposium by the Fellesrådet Afrika Association in Norway on: Climate change are the older generations doing enough?

I was intrigued with the topic on climate change and Africa. Africa today is under the threat of environmental, economic and social extinction due to the impacts of climate change. Not caused by Africa’s past or current generation but by the age of high mass consumption and production countries. This indeed is a classic Walt Whitman Rostow model of economic growth prediction on the age of high mass consumption and production, that now at the root cause of climate change. To address the symposium, I recapped the history of Africa’s past generations that in fact was slaved, in chains, and displaced, stripped off freedom, sovereignty and political power. And I would not put a single blame in on the past or the older generations for not doing enough for climate change. The older generations had a lot on their plate to deal with. However, the post colonial generations are complicit to spreading inequality and divisiveness in Africa, they should be blamed and educated. The focus now should be the current generation to inspire rapid change that will drive environmental, social, economic and responsible political governance prosperity for the present and future generations in Africa.

For Africa, climate change should be treated as an OPPORTUNITY and not a crisis. An opportunity to foster economic, environmental, social and political governance responsibility and best practices change.

An OPPORTUNITY to leverage on the strength of the youth population in Africa. Today, Africa is the youngest population on earth, sixty percent of the population in Africa are below the age of 25 years. An opportunity to workshop and mode the youth population equal access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational opportunities that will provide the economic scaffold for skilled labor to power industries.

An OPPORTUNITY to provide the universal access to clean, sustainable and affordable electricity and clean cooking. Today, statistically 600 million people do not have access to electricity and over a billion do not have access to clean cooking. A continent endowed with natural resources and a major supplier of mineral resources that are vital to support the global energy transition to low carbon. Africa needs to leverage on this very open opportunity to create a responsible resource governance and international marketplace for the global energy transition. One third of rare earth and mineral resources for renewable energy production systems are from Africa. This is the opportunity for Africa to leapfrog our clean energy technology demand and consumption but also empower and lead the energy transition to low carbon from our rich mineral resource vantage point.

An OPPORTUNITY to build climate-resilient technology-proof ‘cathedrals’ that will stand the harshest conditions from climate impact. Investing in modern technology and expertise to build sustainable roads, good water and sanitation capture and harvest systems, bridges and infrastructure development that will stand the test of climate change impact and time. According to floodlist over a million people are displaced, and thousand die everyday in Africa due to heavy precipitation that results into flooding. Climate change impacts could not be written on the wall like this in Africa. We need to take the opportunity to invest in people, communities and society to change by building waterways and drainage system that not only provides safety when flood hit but also we can harvest from the floods and heavy precipitations. Investing in sustainable urban and rural planning and development and asset management systems. While we also aim to reduce any negative impact on the environment, we should understand that, the current and coming impact of climate change would be based exclusively on current and historical global emissions. Climate change impact is not an act of god, it is climate change caused by global emissions from human activities.

An OPPORTUNITY to achieve the sustainable development for both urban and rural settings in Africa. This will require doing it our way, taking responsibility and opportunity to say :

  • No Poverty…
  • Zero Hunger…
  • Good Health…
  • Quality Education…
  • Gender Equality…
  • Clean Water and Sanitation…
  • Provide Affordable and Clean Energy…
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth…
  • Industry Innovation and Infrastructure…
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities…
  • Regenerating ecosystems both on land and below water…
  • And last not least, building on peace, justice and accountable institutions…

All these opportunities to leverage on for the current and future generation can only be achieved by responsible leadership and incorporating the 60% young Africans to take leadership. We surely don’t have a climate crisis in Africa, however we have a leadership crisis. Leadership crisis that lacks the basic sense of responsibility for the general citizenry. A leadership crisis that lacks good judgement on economic, social, environmental and political issues. A leadership crisis infested with chronic corruption and collective greed. A leadership crisis that thrives on inequality and divisive politics. A leadership crisis that harvest on personal and political power over equal access environmental, social and economic opportunities for all. A leadership crisis the list goes on and on. The future of Africa is the young people today aspiring to drive the change for the future generations.

The CAPITAL OPPORTUNITY, as alluded to earlier Africa today has the youngest population by 2050 42% of the youths in the World will be African. This not only provides the opportunity to nurture, educate and train highly skilled human capital to thrive Africa’s industries growth and development. This is an unusual opportunity, seen it happen in the far east but the far east population is highly ageing too. The responsible investment in young people human capital is a vital element in driving change that will propel the social, environmental, economic and political governance responsibility for Africa.

The million dollar question comes, where is the the capital and finance coming from to power this youth-driven change in Africa? Firstly, we need to invest in our resource inventory that are tradable commodities the world needs right now. The energy transition to low carbon is that great opportunity. Africa has billions of untapped cubic volumes of oil and gas resources onshore and offshore that we need to extract to power our growth and the future. We need to dive deep into the renewable energy transition and leverage it as a key business opportunity to raise capital and financing for Africa. A population of 1.3 billion people and 2 billion by 2050, this is a single-market opportunity to power economic growth and development and safeguard the future generations. We have the endowed with resources, have the human capital to thrive economic development and also have the means to accumulate capital locally without aid or concessions trade-offs. The top 5 biggest economies in Africa should take leadership to drive capital for investment within the continent. The future of Africa is to leverage on intra-continental trade and cooperation. According to the World Integrated Trade Solution,

“Sub-Saharan Africa had a total export of 241,361,532.57 billion dollars and total imports of 253,395,460.66 billion dollars leading to a negative trade balance of -12,033,928.10 billion dollars.”

That highlighted, a single market opportunity is the sunshine opportunity and that requires a single digital currency opportunity to trade and invest within Africa and intercontinental. Why not crypto currency?

This is a follow up article from the recent discussion panel on The Future of Africa, leadership, Climate Change, Energy Transition and single-market and digital currency OPPORTUNITIES… hashtag#africa hashtag#futureofafrica hashtag#climatechange hashtag#energytransition hashtag#singlemarket hashtag#singledigitalcurrency hashtag#africaleadership hashtag#africaunion

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Wannabe writer, wannabe best-seller. Low carbon preacher & people and planet first. Openminded to life and criticism.

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Kenny Kal

Kenny Kal

Wannabe writer, wannabe best-seller. Low carbon preacher & people and planet first. Openminded to life and criticism.