If You Want To Bring Energy To Africa, Look To Its Future! President Obama In Africa

From global governments, corporations to media houses. Every one wants a piece of the “Africa Is The Future” story that has had a new global scramble for Africa from all sectors of business expansion and developmentThe Obamas visited Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania for an official visit that lasted for almost a week. I hope this time around Africans will get out of the glare of the shine of Americas first Black family and focus on the policy issues and our uncomfortable truths that have been and will continue to effect their lives long after President Obama leaves office. With all the talk of President Obama’s first trip in his presidency back to Africa since his one day fly through to Ghana in 2009. All in all it seemed lack luster overshadowed by the chaos, disastrous political and social unrests worldwide of people and governments really getting to know one another in self expression that can only stand with action not words, pageantry and pleasantries which can only capture and move the crowd for so long and  so far.

It was billed as a new chapter in relations with a continent on the move, but US President Barack Obama’s whirlwind tour of Africa left many underwhelmed by pledges that were thin on detail and dwarfed by China’s lavish investment….Obama’s long-awaited return to sub-Saharan Africa was seen as recognition of the region’s rising significance on the world stage, and a challenge to Beijing’s growing economic clout on the continent…”There is clear recognition in Washington that Africa is becoming a strategic player in the global arena and that those countries that do not exploit the opportunities that are beginning to emerge in Africa … will be left behind,” said Aubrey Matshiqi, a research fellow with the Helen Suzman Foundation in South Africa…While the US leader’s soaring rhetoric and calls for African leaders to serve their people drew rapturous applause, observers noted his speeches were light on actual promises. In the end his visit was “no cure-all,” noted South African daily The New Age. Obama announced he would host a landmark summit of leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa next year. But a $7 billion offer to boost energy production in the region was just a fraction of Chinese investment of around $20 billion in infrastructure on the continent…”The $7 billion is effectively what South Africa is spending on one power station,” Matshiqi said.READ MORE

 The once global rock star status of  President Obama has been gradually fading in Africa and throughout the world as the people have awakened to see that they can not put hope in change coming from saviors outside of themselves. President Obama’s Africa visit brought the usual words, pageantry and pleasantries with billion dollar pledges in tow for future projects in aid for Africa with little talk of the return that Africa will have to give back in policy , militarization and obedience to those who supply the continent with financial aid. Many Africans continue to be left wondering if and when these pledges of billion dollar projects will ever trickle down to them to make any difference in their everyday quality of life and progress as a people and as nations. All around Africa our young people are are creating innovation and setting precedents for the future of Africa from technology to electricity!

Africa has every resource to harness its own energy particularly new sustainable energy utilizing the abundance of sunlight for solar energy and the abundance of many other natural resources that can produce the energy that Africans need to rid themselves of constant light offs and not being able to have light at all. It’s time for the so called “Dark Continent” to see the light -literally! Africa needs to shine the light on where all these billions pledged go if and when it comes at all because often when we here of these pledges it’s often pageantry in prepartion for real negotiations where there is never any transparency on the side of the givers nor receivers.  Right after President Obama pledged 7 billion to bring Africa electricity , I got the usual letter for the the usual organizations like One.org to “tell Congress: Provide 50 million Africans with electricity for the first time” –huh? I thought Obmaa had already promised that to Africans on African soil? This is the usual  power plays and players- where NGOs, corporations, foreign governments and African government officials and their cohorts all benefit while the poster child for need and demand –The African- him or herself never seems to see the full benefits of the aid and investments that come in their name but are constantly reminded of their growing debt for that aid.

One.org just sent this e-mail out with the usual desperation for Africa message without any real details outside of a personal sob story to tell me that I need to to tell congress to provide aid to a continent for electricity, while Americans are suffering from poverty in record numbers and we have all been told of the billions given to Africa by the pen of congress through the president without ever being notified of the results and progress of the investment, except to hear about constant desperation and need for more aid. Before I could even find out more details about this bill they wanted me to tell Congress to pass -I was sent to a page that thanked me for adding my name to support the bill- ermmm I just clicked to get more info. not to support any bill hat I know little about -but an automatic clicks denies one freedom to choose informatively.  This whole show seems to be deja vu. It is the usual play where the president goes to a Africa,  makes big speeches and financial pledges that have not even been approved by his nation, NGO’s tell you to fight for congressional aid for a project that is a life and death situations for Africans, the lobbyists for the corporations ride the NGO momentum in pushing their congressional allies to approve aid that get marketed and siphoned out as government partnerships and contracts for corporations, and as Kanye said “And a white man get paid off of all of that#AllFallsDown. Sometimes the truth is not always a pretty picture and perhaps that’s why we fail to ask questions and fight for complete transparency  because many people would rather not know that they are living in a false sense of freedom, where at any moment all can fall down.

 If Africans and the world want to bring mass electricity to Africa -stop looking to aid solely and look to our Future! Young Africans are already doing just that in bringing to many African nations what the USA and others keep promising to do with less than the billions pledged. The way to help Africa for the long term is to help these young people become their own energy suppliers instead of just dependent consumers enriching multinational companies and often corrupt governments without the interest of the people at hand. #2013ReClaiming #KelvinDoe #WilliamKamkwamba #NigerianSchoolGirls #Africa’sFuture #Entrepreneurs #Innovators #Inventors #Africa

President Obama on Tuesday promoted a new, multibillion-dollar Power Africa initiative to expand electricity access as a “win-win” for investors and the continent.

Obama spoke in Tanzania after touring a formerly idled power plant brought online with aid from the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corp., as well as General Electric and Symbion Power.

“[T]his is a win-win. It’s a win for Africans — families get to electrify their homes; businesses can run their plants; investors can say if we locate in an African country, that they’re going to be able to power up in a reliable way. All this will make economies grow,” Obama said, according to a White House transcript.

“It’s a win for the United States because the investments made here, including in cleaner energy, means more exports for the U.S. and more jobs in the U.S.,” he said.READ MORE