Rural Electrification

Rural Electrification is one of the biggest challenges which is affecting most developing countries in Afrika. Few cities have the privileges to have electricity. However, most of the countries have the potential to power all their territories. A typical case is the DR Congo who can power the whole of Afrika if the country makes good use of her water bodies. What are the main issues? The contributing factors for this situation are diverse. I will try to elucidate the main problems of this inefficiency and propose some viable solutions for this pandemic in Afrika.

 Lack of Expertise

How many of us in our science project in college, built a dam? I am pretty sure a very handful of us. This is where the problem starts from. We have a lot of water bodies in Afrika and less experts to build dam for electrification. This is a technology that can be easily imported in Afrika. This does not require nuclear physics to

understand. The lack of expertise is a real gangrene to the development of rural electrification using water bodies. Our universities and polytechnic institutions made the matter worst by not training any experts on that respect. When will we see an Edison in Afrika? For the mean time the experts the universities are producing are business related experts. This new breed of business people have only one vision. How do we make more profit by exporting raw material and importing finish goods? My frustration is clear on the type of education we are producing at the grass root and at the university level. We should not be shocked if we are in this current situation today. The lack of expertise is not only affecting the rural electrification projects. There is a lack of qualified man power in the whole scientific spectrum of education you can think about.

The solution for the lack of expertise

The solution is pretty clear to our leaders, one may wonder why it is not implemented. The breeding of scientific knowledge from the elementary school to the university level is the key. This should be drafted in the national agenda of all Afrika countries. This is a long term project. As we could realize by now in our country, our politicians are very happy with short term visible projects for the electorate, for example the construction of roads, stadium and public amenities. All governments shall set aside a fund for the development of science. All science graduates should be given the opportunity to exercise what they learn in their field of expertise. A project of small dam/Solar should be launched in most rural areas to engage this new emerging force in the market. If the environment is not created as when the graduates are ready, we will see a migration to other sectors of the economy where they will be welcome. This will provide a decentralization of the power grid at the regional level based on the availability of the resources to generate power. Smaller unit of the power grid will be easier to manage than a huge national grid which serves only some few cities in the country.

 Solar Alternatives

Some Afrika countries are not blessed with rivers to build dam. Nevertheless there is one source of energy all the Afrikan countries possesses. This is due to the mere fact that the Afrika continent is divided in equal part by an imaginary line call the equator. The sun is then on that line at least 365 days in the year. Solar is our best source of energy to produce electricity. One may wonder what we are waiting for to develop this industry. The lack of development is based on the first point I made about the lack of expertise. We are still waiting for the technology to be made available by some so called Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) before we can enjoy it. This is a cheap technology that is now available on the internet for all Afrika countries to research and implement. Did I just say research? Research is a word that does not exist in the dictionary of Afrikans. There is no shortcut for development. As people we have to realize that we need to constantly research on a particular field no matter the government on power. The bigger picture from Afrika countries should be clear. The solar energy for rural electrification is not a political discussion is a matter of survival for the Afrikans. We need to bring light to these rural areas to improve their education and therefore their health and this will definitely boosts their contributions to the greater Afrikan goal.

In summary it has become clear that all the solutions of our rural electrification problem is right in front of our nose. We need a leadership direction and a political will to mount some of the hurdlers. Most solutions are at hand and are available on the continent, we must have a long term approach to this problem. As Afrikans we need to play our quota in the development of the continent. One have to bear in mind that there is a sacrifice to turn around situation and there is no shortcut for development.

Why will you set up a nuclear energy commission in our Afrikan contest? Let us not forget about the environmental impact this can have on our population in a long term. We should not contemplate the electrification of rural areas as a luxury project. This is a “Trampoline” to develop other sectors like health and education. Since this will help in disseminating information to the rural part. A better informed person takes rather full control of his life.