Editorials

The power of mini-grids

The power of mini-grids

HARARE – Despite impressive economic development in recent years, Africa still lags far behind on energy, with almost two-thirds of the continent’s citizens lacking access to electricity. While getting more power to the people is an important goal, extending electricity grids is expensive and slow. Meanwhile, off-grid options may not be sufficient to meet people’s energy needs. Fortunately, there is a third approach that can help fill in the gaps: mini-grids. Mini-grids are essentially...
Lights out: poor governance and Africa’s energy crisis

Lights out: poor governance and Africa’s energy crisis

Photo credit: Solar Aid Africa is rich in resources and opportunities. In so many fields, however, the continent is yet to hit its stride, often because there is not enough political will to manage resources better and create necessary incentives. Africa's energy crisis is a prime example. Two-thirds of Africans – 620 million people – still do not have access to "affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern electricity", one of the key global development goals. Decades of neglect and...
Africa and the G20’s moment of truth

Africa and the G20’s moment of truth

Lagos – This year is turning out to be one of global disruption. We’re seeing not only political upheaval and economic uncertainty, but also transformational innovation and the emergence of fresh thinking. Global-governance institutions are facing many challenges: slowing economic growth, volatile financial markets, falling commodity prices, emerging-economy risks (especially in China), refugee and migrant waves, geopolitical tensions, rising inequality and social fragmentation, and the...
Invest in digital and transform agriculture in Africa

Invest in digital and transform agriculture in Africa

Africa has the potential to feed not just itself but other regions too. Our report ‘Grain, Fish, Money’ shows that technology can help transform agriculture in Africa. The spread of mobile devices has created opportunities for agribusiness, banking, commerce and investment. Mobile technology can accelerate Africa’s productivity in farming and fisheries. Examples of applied tech innovations developed by Africans for Africa and the world include mobile apps such as: - ESOKO, which...