Africa urged to "escape the false hope of wealth in fossil fuels" & seek alternatives to end poverty

Author: Bitange Ndemo, in Daily Nation (Kenya), Published on: 10 May 2016

"We're squabbling over pipelines while the world moves beyond oil"

In the past decade, a number of African countries have discovered, rather late, that they had oil and other extractives all along. Then prices tumbled, even before they had sold a single barrel, raining on the party. Things are about to get worse. New technologies are testing the sustainability of fossil fuels that have been the source of energy for many years...Consequently, it is prudent at this time to suspend all heavy investments related to fossil fuel and focus attention on innovative solutions that would stand the test of time...

Mention oil and virtually everybody thinks wealth. However, if you thought that oil will take Africa to Canaan, you are dead wrong. The research around energy is mind-boggling. It is happening so fast that Africa will soon be left holding a yelling, cursed oily baby...New energy products will emerge to undermine fossil fuels especially in Africa where effective infrastructure does not exist...It is no longer sexy to talk about fossil fuels where new technologies will certainly disrupt the status quo. It is better for Africa to project into the future and invest prudently...Let Africa for once escape the false hope of wealth in fossil fuels and develop the capacity to innovate for a sustainable future. After all, Africa is home to 60 per cent of the world's arable land. The continent needs to figure out how to use its land and population dividend to change the world.

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