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The Forum > Article Comments > Africa analysis: securing the right climate deal > Comments

Africa analysis: securing the right climate deal : Comments

By Linda Nordling, published 16/9/2009

Time is running out for African countries to ensure that a global climate deal addresses their needs.

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A major problem facing African governments is their credibility in delivering promised climate change outcomes with any donations from the donor countries. So many African leaders have a track record for sequestration of donor money into their overseas bank havens or diversion into arms in order to maintain their grip on power. Leakage of donor money is always a major problem with government to government financial assistance.

There is a much better way forward for the people living in Africa. Advanced countries should consider providing direct targetted aid through NGOs who have decades of experience working with African communities and making significant improvements.

What could work? India has a successful cottage industry where mostly illiterate woman have been taught how to assemble solar cells for local power generation. Ideal for Africa too. New polymer solar cell coatings offer the opportunity for application to corrugated iron roofing, shielding homes from heat and converting wasted energy into solar generators across the continent, providing basic household electricity self-sufficiency.

African governments have a role as facilitators to establish a fast track approval process for factories that manufacture every kind of renewable energy products. To get there, researchers ought to be funded by the advanced countries to collaborate with local scientists and inventors to examine how local resources and recycled materials can be best utilised to manufacture and deploy wind turbines and solar technology.

It can be done. It just needs a political will and a reality check on what works in Africa and what cannot. People power is Africa's greatest strength.
Posted by Quick response, Friday, 18 September 2009 9:28:18 AM
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