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Solar Would Bring ‘Dignity, Opportunity, Freedom’ to Africa: Annan

http://tcktcktck.org/2011/09/climate-solutions-for-africa/

Ex-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is leading a global campaign to bring affordable solar energy to 620 million people in Africa who still use kerosene, candles, and wood for lighting and cooking.

http://tcktcktck.org/2011/09/climate-solutions-for-africa/
Creative Commons / Solar Enima

Lack of electricity access “is an injustice that robs millions of our fellow citizens of the dignity, opportunity, and freedom that comes with access to modern energy,” Annan said. “At present rates of progress, 300 million people in Africa will still lack electricity by 2040. This is intolerable, avoidable, and profoundly unfair.”

Without electricity, the poorest people in the world “pay the world’s highest prices for power,” he added. “Households are losing out as a result of higher prices, investors are losing out on market opportunities, and countries are losing out from failure to harness productive technologies and broaden their development base.”

Annan launched the global campaign last week alongside representatives of 14 countries and celebrities Bob Geldof and Richard Branson.

“A dramatic fall in the cost of solar power, combined with growing access to mobile phones, has given Africa the chance to leapfrog richer countries’ polluting energy sources and to kickstart business,” The Guardian reports. “Annan said Africa did not have to follow the carbon-intensive pathway and energy practices of the rich countries and emerging countries that have brought the world to the brink of catastrophe.”

Noted Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo: “Ten years ago this was not possible. Now it can be turned round easily. The lower costs of solar power have made this possible. Nigeria has 96 million people without access to electricity. Most use kerosene. The default energy source should be solar. That was not available 10 years ago. Now it is.”

Lack of electricity access “is an injustice that robs millions of our fellow citizens of the dignity, opportunity, and freedom that comes with access to modern energy,” Annan said. “At present rates of progress, 300 million people in Africa will still lack electricity by 2040. This is intolerable, avoidable, and profoundly unfair.”

Without electricity, the poorest people in the world “pay the world’s highest prices for power,” he added. “Households are losing out as a result of higher prices, investors are losing out on market opportunities, and countries are losing out from failure to harness productive technologies and broaden their development base.”

Annan launched the global campaign last week alongside representatives of 14 countries and celebrities Bob Geldof and Richard Branson.

“A dramatic fall in the cost of solar power, combined with growing access to mobile phones, has given Africa the chance to leapfrog richer countries’ polluting energy sources and to kickstart business,” The Guardian reports. “Annan said Africa did not have to follow the carbon-intensive pathway and energy practices of the rich countries and emerging countries that have brought the world to the brink of catastrophe.”

Noted Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo: “Ten years ago this was not possible. Now it can be turned round easily. The lower costs of solar power have made this possible. Nigeria has 96 million people without access to electricity. Most use kerosene. The default energy source should be solar. That was not available 10 years ago. Now it is.”