Energy Poverty Is Killing Africans-Renewables Are Insufficient

Access to electricity for sub-Saharan nations is abysmal. A leading factor in the prevalence of poverty and hunger. (Courtesy of researchgate.net)

W. Gyude Moore published a useful article on the vital need for African nations to produce more energy: On the question of Africa’s Energy Poverty

However, I extend the implications of his analysis of energy poverty to its full impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of Africans. To wit: energy poverty is the leading cause of preventable deaths in Africa. Western political-financial elites are using their pseudo concern to “save the world” from climate change, to prevent African nations from producing vital energy from their abundant natural resources of hydrocarbons. In effect, attempting to deny nations suffering from a dearth of electricity, the right to develop their own energy sources sufficient to industrialize their economies. Hunger and poverty will not be eliminated on the African continent without nation-wide grids providing abundant and accessible electrical power.

Renewables are not capable of powering an industrialized economy. Their low energy flux density, the concentration of heat-power needed to transform minerals, is inadequate. Intense levels of heat and energy are required to convert ores into working metals. Nuclear power is orders of magnitude superior to other forms of energy in satisfying these requirements. Oil, gas, and hydro are energy sources that can be used in transition to nuclear energy. Yet, African nations are given diktats to not develop their sovereign resources and instead rely on inferior energy sources, displaying their disdain for their sovereignty and the welfare of their citizens. Thus, ensuring that African nations will never be able to become manufacturing based industrialized economies capable of eradicating poverty and hunger. One can make the argument that denying African nations this required energy capacity is a new form of colonialism, to keep them undeveloped. It is the effect, if not the intent.

Excerpts from Moore’s article: In Resolving Africa’s Energy Poverty – ALL Options Remain on the Table

Africa’s energy poverty is now a national security crisis. The region’s large and growing population places relentless pressure on small and dwindling resources, exacerbating the crisis of diminished state capacity. The specter of social and political disruption haunts regional stability, from coastal West Africa to the Great Lakes. Africa’s poverty translates into weak economic resilience and heightened vulnerability to shocks – internal and external. The recent spate of global crises has only worsened the problem. After decades of improvement, the World Bank reports that inequality is rising – that the global poor bore the brunt of the economic scarring of the pandemic, with incomes falling in the poorest countries more than they did in rich countries. “As a result, the income losses of the world’s poorest were twice as high as the world’s richest, and global inequality rose for the first time in decades.” These losses are most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa where “incomes are falling further behind the rest of the world.”  

Nothing aggravates this condition more than the continent’s persistent energy poverty. It is thus a positive sign when at this year’s IMF/World Bank Spring meetings, the World Bank and the African Development bank agreed to invest in providing electricity to 300 million Africans by 2030. But the announcement raises a lot of questions, including Todd Moss’s: “What will the Bank do differently?” If the idea is to double down on renewables alone, this only accentuates the glaring divergence between what Africa needs and the “solution” the Bank is offering. In times of existential crises, no options are left off the table. Unless Africa increases the diversity and complexity of its exports, its poverty will persist…

Moore makes the decisive point below that even when African nations establish policies to process their own resources, to ban the export of raw resources: they don’t have the energy for smelting, transforming the ore..

No Balanced Energy mix, No Industrialization

Africa’s export diversification is inextricably tied to its infrastructure – mainly power – endowment. Namibia, Zimbabwe, the DRC and others have all passed laws banning the export of unprocessed minerals. The legitimate attempts by these governments to ensure that their minerals are extracted and processed “in a way that helps [them] realize the full economic benefits of their resources’, should be applauded.”

But the viability of these bans remains contested, and these efforts are very likely to stall, since insufficient smelting capacity has led to repeated issuance of waivers for similar bans in the DRC.

About 80% of global energy consumption is tied to transport and heating (residential and industrial). This focus here is industrial heating (100 to 2000 C). The absence of adequate power supply to smelt ores in a commercially viable way has condemned the continent’s commodity exporters to ship their raw ore to China or India. South Africa, the continent’s most complex commodity exporting economy exports its chromite ore to China for processing into ferrochrome, which is used to manufacture corrosion, acid and heat-resistant steel.

Or take aluminum – the metal that is produced from bauxite. Guinea has the world’s largest bauxite reserves at over 7 billion metric tons. However, aluminum making is one of the most energy-intensive processes in the world. “Only paper, gasoline, steel, and ethylene manufacturing consume more total energy in the United States than aluminum. Aluminum production is the largest consumer of energy on a per-weight basis and is the largest electric energy consumer of all manufactured products.”[xv] In Guinea and Sierra Leone, converting raw bauxite into intermediate metals will require prodigious amounts of installed and dispatchable power. Renewables have struggled to be cost competitive with burning fossil fuels to smelt ores. Even the most basic levels of beneficiation (removing impurities and improving the grade of the ore) often require electricity endowment that many commodity exporters lack. Unless Africa is able to increase the availability of cost-competitive energy at a scale, adding value to its mineral exports will remain a pipe drain. If the average Ethiopian continues to consume a mere 79.25 kWh per year, Ethiopia will struggle to match Bangladesh (497 kWh per year) in apparel manufacturing. If the average Nigeria consumes only about 150 kwH per year, Nigerian firms will struggle to compete with their Vietnamese counterparts  (2450 KwH per year)

Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be a game changer for East Africa; generating 5,150 megawatts of electricity

Fossil Fuels (Including Coal)  and the Existential Question:

While Europe, China and India pursue increasing coal as an energy source, African nations are intentionally denied lending for development of coal powered plants, even though coal is abundant on the continent.

At this year’s Spring Meetings,  “The Big Shift Global”, a global movement against fossil fuels, protested against the Bank’s financing fossil fuels. Their best intentions notwithstanding, this activism condemns Africa and Africans to indigence, since the countries adding the most fossil fuel capacity do not borrow from the World Bank. This earnest, but misguided, activism simply provides a convenient cover for rich countries’ World Bank executive directors who want to push the bank away from financing natural gas in Africa.

Increasing Africa’s energy per capita consumption is an existential question – from keeping South Sudanese children alive in extreme heat to earning more from African exports. African governments ought to understand that outsourcing existential questions to outsiders whose intentions are, at best, ambivalent is a dereliction of duty to their people.

When coal-powered electricity is rising in prominence in the world’s largest industrial countries, it is unreasonable to expect Africans to “save the world”, by sacrificing their poverty reduction and industrialization goals on the unrealistic “hope” of an all-renewable energy mix. Every form of energy generation must remain on the table. Where viable, nuclear energy ought to be pursued too – whether the partner of choice is China or Russia, especially since Rosatom and the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) have approved a plan for cooperation. China has made progress on small modular reactors; this option and all others must remain on the table...

Both the World Bank and some private capital are hesitant to extend financing for new fossil fuel. Because this is a national security imperative, African governments should be prepared to make hard choices about using domestic resources, making cuts to spending elsewhere to fund these plants.

For economies where coal power plants are viable, governments must make demonstrable efforts – setting aside land, conducting feasibility studies, and mapping the coal value chain for these plants. For countries where the option is natural gas – the same processes should be set in motion.

Read my earlier posts below:

South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

“Electricity is the lifeblood of a nation” Nuclear Energy Can Be A Solution To The Continent’s Dearth of Electricity

GERD: Utilizing the Blue Nile to Create Energy for Development in Ethiopia & The Horn of Africa

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com that has hundreds of articles for you to review.

High Speed Railway Network Will Spur Economic Growth on the African Continent

April 3, 2024

My colleague, PD Lawton, creator of the website, africanagenda.net, in her article below, provides an comprehensive and important overview of the progress for transcontinental high speed railroads in Africa. Infrastructure, especially in rail and energy, are the lifeblood for economic progress in Africa. Only with massive investment in hard infrastructure, will African nations be able to achieve economic growth, peace, stability, and the elimination of poverty and hunger. Without expansion of rail lines across the continent and abundant energy, they will not! Without an increase in railway lines, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is mere empty talk, and will not succeed!

Watch the YouTube interview: Unveiling Africa’s Railway Future

Read my earlier posts:

The African Integrated High Speed Rail Network-(AIHSRN) Will Revolutionize Africa’s Economies

Africa Continental Free Trade Area Must Have An Integrated High Speed Rail Network

Shortly, I will be publishing from lawrencefreeman.substack.com

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

Nuclear Energy Safe & Efficient-Every African Nation Should Have Multiple Nuclear Power Plants

Alec Soth/Magnum Photos: Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Station, California

May 2, 2023

Nuclear energy is safe, clean, and the most efficient form of energy existing today. Almost a third of the nations of Africa have plans to include nuclear in their electricity grid. South Africa is the only nation with an existing nuclear energy plant and Egypt is constructing their first nuclear power plants in cooperation with Rostrum.

The massive lack of energy throughout Africa is the biggest single impediment to advancing the economies of African nations. My rough calculations are that Africa nations combined with require a minimum of 1,000 gigawatts (1 gigawatt equals billion watts) of additional electricity to upgrade their primarily agricultural and resource based economies to modern industrialized societies. This cannot be achieved without nuclear energy. This is not an option with the population of Africa projected to reach 2.5 billion in the next 30 years. That is why I am suggesting that each nation must have one or more nuclear energy producing plants. The naysayers and zero growthers are wrong.

The article below exposes the fraud of fear mongering about nuclear waste. Let us end this anti-scientific propaganda and move forward with technologically driven progress.

Opinion | Nuclear Waste Is Misunderstood – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Nuclear Waste Is Misunderstood

by Madison Hilly, founder of the Campaign for a Green Nuclear Deal.

On a visit in February to the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown in Japan, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York did something refreshing: She discussed radiation exposure and nuclear waste without fanning fear. The radiation she got from her visit — about two chest X-rays’ worth — was worth the education she received on the tour, she told her 8.6 million Instagram followers. She then spoke admiringly of France, which, she said, “recycles their waste, increasing the efficiency of their system and reducing the overall amount of radioactive waste to deal with.”

Progressive lawmakers, along with environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, have historically been against nuclear power — often focusing on the danger, longevity and storage requirements of the radioactive waste. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont said, “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to add more dangerous waste to this country and to the world when we don’t know how to get rid of what we have right now.” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts echoed these concerns and pledged not to build any new nuclear plants if elected president.

So it’s no surprise that many Americans believe nuclear waste poses an enormous and terrifying threat. But after talking to engineers, radiation specialists and waste managers, I’ve come to see this misunderstanding is holding us back from embracing a powerful, clean energy source we need to tackle climate change. We must stop seeing nuclear waste as a dangerous problem and instead recognize it as a safe byproduct of carbon-free power.

Why is nuclear so important for reducing carbon emissions? The countries that have cleaned up their electricity production the fastest have generally done so with hydroelectric power, nuclear, or a combination of the two. The distinct advantage of nuclear is that it requires little land and can reliably produce lots of power regardless of weather, time of day or season. Unlike wind and solar, it can substitute directly for fossil fuels without backup or storage. The International Energy Agency believes it’s so crucial that global nuclear capacity must double by 2050 to reach net-zero emissions targets.

For this reason some U.S. investors, policymakers and even the movie director Oliver Stone are calling for greatly expanding our nuclear capabilities. The Inflation Reduction Act is now rolling out credits for the 54 plants currently in operation and incentives for new ones worth tens of billions of dollars. States across the country are overturning decades-old bans on nuclear construction and exploring investment opportunities. A demonstration project in Wyoming is underway to replace a retiring coal plant with a nuclear reactor.

There are many legitimate questions about the future of nuclear — How will we finance new plants? Can we build them on time and under budget? — but “What about the waste?” should not be one of them.

One of our few cultural references to nuclear waste is “The Simpsons,” where it appeared as a glowing green liquid stored in leaky oil drums. In reality, nuclear fuel is made up of shiny metal tubes containing small pellets of uranium oxide. These tubes are gathered into bundles and loaded into the reactor. After five years of making energy, the bundles come out, containing radioactive particles left over from the energy-making reactions.

The bundles cool off in a pool of water for another five to 10 years or so. After that, they are placed in steel and concrete containers for storage at the plant. These casks are designed to last 100 years and to withstand nearly anything — hurricanes, severe floods, extreme temperatures, even missile attacks.

To date, there have been no deaths, injuries or serious environmental releases of nuclear waste in casks anywhere. And the waste can be transferred to another cask, extending storage one century at a time.

With this kind of nuclear waste, I’m not referring to water containing the radioisotope tritium that nuclear plants regularly release. Antinuclear activist groups like to scaremonger about this, despite the fact that you’d need to drink over a gallon of the treated water being released from Fukushima to get the equivalent radiation exposure of eating a banana.

But what about the spent nuclear fuel — isn’t it radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years? The way radiation works, the waste products that are the most radioactive are the shortest-lived, and those that last a long time are far less dangerous. About 40 years after the fuel becomes waste, the heat and radioactivity of the pellets have fallen by over 99 percent. After around 500 years, the waste would have to be broken down and inhaled or ingested to cause significant harm.

Compare this to other hazardous industrial materials we store in less secure ways that don’t become less toxic over time. Take ammonia: It is highly toxic, corrosive, explosive and prone to leaking. Hundreds of ammonia-related injuries and even some fatalities have been reported since 2010, and we continue to produce and transport millions of tons of it annually by pipelines, ships and trains for fertilizer and other uses.

Yet because nuclear waste seems to pose an outsize risk in the imaginations of many — especially those who lived through the Cold War — the conversation veers toward permanent solutions, like burying it deep underground in a facility like the proposed Yucca Mountain project in Nevada. There may be other benefits to consolidating spent fuel in a central facility, but safety is not the primary concern.

By failing to construct such a facility, some worry that we’re saddling the next generation with the burden of waste management. But as a young person in my 20s expecting a child this year, I feel very comfortable with the way we manage nuclear waste, with making more of it and with passing this responsibility on to our kids. I hope my daughter’s generation will inherit many new nuclear plants making clean power — and the waste that comes with them.

The waste should really be a chief selling point for nuclear energy, particularly for those who care about the environment: There’s not very much of it, it’s easily contained, it becomes safer with time and it can be recycled. And every cask of spent nuclear fuel represents about 2.2 million tons of carbon, according to one estimate, that weren’t emitted into the atmosphere from fossil fuels. For me, each cask represents hope for a safer, better future.

Read my earlier posts:

“Electricity is the lifeblood of a nation” Nuclear Energy Can Be A Solution To The Continent’s Dearth of Electricity

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

Africa`s Future Depends on Adopting Nuclear Power Generation

In the Next Decade, Nuclear Power for Africa Is A Necessity, Not An Option

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Freeman Interview: ‘Fighting the Fight’ for Ethiopia, Africa, Justice, and Economic Development

Lawrence Freeman with Dr. Brook Hailu of nahoo tv, December 22, 2022, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This hour long interview above provides an excellent overview of my thoughts concerning Ethiopia, Africa, and US-Africa relations. Topics discussed include:

  • Economic development
  • Ethiopia’s agricultural potential
  • Ethiopia as an economic model
  • Ethno-nationalism
  • Importance of capital intensity and infrastructure
  • Credit and the public sector
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • China’s approach to poverty
  • Railroads and electricity
  • My visit to Northern Ethiopia and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
  • Africa, the center of politics and commerce in this century
  • U.S.-Africa Summit

Lawrence Freeman looking over the huge beautiful reservoir and ongoing construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam -Dec 19, 2022

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

A Nuclear Energy Economic Platform Is The Future for Africa

The only nuclear power plant on the African continent, is in Koeberg, South Africa

Nuclear Energy gives you the benefit of industrialization, and beneficiation within the [African] economy, translating to a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation.”

This is the edited transcript of the presentation of Gaopalelwe Santswere to Panel 2, “Physical Economy: Developing the Nӧosphere,” of the Schiller Institute’s Nov. 12, 2022 Conference, “The Physical Economy of the Noӧsphere: Reviving the Heritage of Vladimir Vernadsky.” Mr. Santswere is a nuclear physicist and senior scientist at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. He is the President of the African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN). (EIR magazine. Nov 25, 2022)

Africa’s Need for Nuclear Power and Nuclear Medicine

Gaopalelwe Santswere (Courtesy of EIR magazine)

Gaopalelwe Santswere: Thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of the speakers today on a very important topic of the growing youth movement for nuclear power and nuclear medicine in Africa. We’ve seen that Africa has adopted what is called the Agenda 2063. One of the ancestors of Agenda 2063 is the need for integration, as one of the key foundations for assuring Africa achieve its goals for inclusive and sustainable growth and development. There we have seen that within the African Agenda 2063, there are about seven aspirations. Just to give you one of the most fundamental ones, which is Aspiration 2 of this Agenda 2063, placing import on the need for Africa to develop world-class infrastructure that criss-crosses Africa and which would improve connectivity through newer and bolder initiatives to link the continent by rail, road, sea, air, and develop regional and continental power pools, as well as ICT [Information and Communication Technology].

So there’s a need for us, if you look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to assure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Now, if you take a look at Africa, we’ve got about 620 million Africans who are sitting without power. So out of 1.2 billion, you can see that almost half of Africans don’t have access to electricity. Therefore, Africa has not the opportunity to industrialize to have a future in the continent which would create sustainable jobs, to improve the conditions of the Africans in order to ensure that they can move forward.

There has been quite a robust debate within the continent as to what sort of technology should the continent adopt in order to ensure that we can move forward, and also develop the continent for the sustainability of most of the continent’s population, which are young people. So, when we look at the types of energy sources that we have, we know that there is some potential hydro in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which can potentially give us 40,000 MW of electricity. But we know what is the problem there: The geopolitical instability, regional instability that has caused the delay of this project seeing its life.

So we have seen, recently also, in the topic of hydro, Ethiopia has just launched or commissioned a hydropower plant that is supplying most of the East African countries there. But it also was not completed without political tension with Egypt and Sudan, because they’re saying that as it continues to fill up, it could potentially dry up some of the [downstream areas in Sudan and Egypt] and also affect the income.

Now we have seen the potential contention between the use of coal or hydrocarbons within the world: The world is saying that we need to move away from hydrocarbons and move to more clean energy that will sustain the world moving forward. But that being said, we’re seeing that world has not been achievable because of what we have seen in terms of the energy crisis in Europe and so forth.

So for Africa to develop, one of the energy sources that we foresee potentially could develop Africa is the use of nuclear power. We know that in Africa we’ve got two units at Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant in South Africa, that are continuously supporting South African electricity to almost 2,000 MW. But it’s the only two power reactors that are currently existing in the continent.

We have seen a number of countries expressing interest within the African continent, countries like Kenya, countries like Nigeria, countries like Ghana and so forth, who want to introduce nuclear power, due to the demand or energy poverty that their populations are subjected to. We have seen recently that Egypt has started construction on 4,800 MW of new nuclear power plants in the continent. This is very much welcome, because we have seen that now nuclear is starting to expand within the continent, and this will bring much relief in terms of the energy poverty that the continent has been experiencing for decades. We know that Africa is mostly referred to as “the darkest continent” because of lack of access to electricity.

So, one of the things that we need to do, in Africa in terms of energy, is to have a strategic plan that will ensure its society or citizens’ wellness within the continent; energy security which takes consideration of the environment; and competitiveness, including affordability and funding, in order to ensure that we have got economic growth and transformation, job creation, and equitable share in fulfillment of the African objective.

Now, when we look at a nuclear power plant, it is one of the most affordable [sources of] electricity. We can take cognizance that when you look at the power generation in South Africa in terms of the cost per kilowatt, nuclear is very, very low compared to other energy sources. Most of the developed countries in the world, they exist because the economy is based also on the development of nuclear power, so therefore, Africa must take some of the lessons from the world to ensure that they also can emphasize energy security, they also improve the lives of their citizens, by developing the nuclear power plan.

So, one fact is that we have over the years developed what we call the African Young Generation in Nuclear, which has enabled the young generations within the continent to emphasize why there is a need for us to go nuclear. We have emphasized that the bottom aspect of this is because Africa has to develop its own capacity and ensure that it addresses the socioeconomic issues of the continent through the promotion of nuclear power technology in Africa.

So, we need to do this. We have been doing it by degrees, to define, first, nuclear technology and educating the public about the benefits of nuclear for the public. We have facilitated the student government platforms and knowledge transfer platforms between the current generation of leading nuclear experts and the young generation about the nuclear profession.

What we are doing is, we have offered the platform to share, exchange ideas, and network on issues related to nuclear science and technology. Because what we have seen is that once we have addressed the energy issues, we have addressed a lot of things. And we strongly believe that nuclear has the capacity to address what Africa is lacking currently. And just to mention a few: We’ve seen that when you develop nuclear, you develop an economy in terms of energy security and by socioeconomic development. We align with national goals in terms of national development plans for energy transfer, and diversifying the African continent’s energy mix, which opens up an array of opportunities within the energy sector. It gives you the benefit of industrialization, and beneficiation within the [African] economy, translating to a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation. Of course, this will increase the pace of inclusive growth, which will face the biggest challenges on the continent.

Also bearing in mind, for sustainable economic growth we need to develop a technology that can develop and advance the economic wellbeing of the African continent.

So what we need also to recognize is that nuclear technology is not only power related. We can also apply it in different sectors like agriculture, nuclear medicine, and so forth. We know, just from the International Atomic Energy Agency this year there was a scientific forum focusing on the Rays of Hope initiative to ensure there can be access to cancer care. So we strongly believe that the nuclear technology can address that kind of issue.

We know that the continent has been losing quite a lot of money, where the patients are taken out of the continent to get care in the East or in Europe. So therefore, we strongly believe in the development of cancer treatment within the continent through radiotherapy, through access to nuclear medicine. Of course, we understand that cancer is one of the most killing diseases of the continent. So diagnosis and treatment of cancer will ensure that the development of Africa moves forward.

Just to give you an example: For a treatment for cancer, for example prostate cancer, we’ve seen South Africa developing the [radioactive isotope] Lutetium-177 production facility, which we have seen can treat prostate cancer much better.

So with that, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity. Thank you very much, and we look forward to the discussion.

Read my earlier posts:

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

South Africa: A Leader on the Continent for Nuclear Energy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

COP 27 “Climate Change” Will Reduce Economic Growth in African Nations-Causing Increased Death Rates

In my interview above with Rogue News- roguenews.com, I explain why COP 27 demands for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources, is beyond hypocritical; it is evil. African nations should have the right to utilize every bit of their fossil fuels to generate energy while providing a transition to a nuclear energy platform. African nations must have abundant and accessible energy to power industrialized economies. Failure is not an option, if we are to prevent unnecessary deaths from hunger, poverty, and disease.

Read my earlier post: “Climate Change” A Weapon to Prevent Industrialization of African Economies: Expect Push-Back at COP 27 in Egypt

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

“Climate Change” A Weapon to Prevent Industrialization of African Economies: Expect Push-Back at COP 27 in Egypt

November 6, 2022

Part I:  Energy for Development

Western nations and their institutions are attempting to dictate that  African nations do not exploit their own valuable energy resources of oil, gas, and coal. They are hysterically disseminating an unfounded fear that development of Africa’s energy will lead to catastrophic consequences for civilization. However, more African leaders are speaking out on the necessity and sovereign obligation for African nations to consume their natural resources to develop their economies.

Mo Ibrahim has added his voice to other African leaders who object to denying African nations the right to utilize their natural hydro-carbon resources for the benefit of their people. Sub-Saharan Africa is resource rich and energy poor, which is the leading cause of poverty and hunger for hundreds of millions of Africans. Unless and until and African nations install a density of energy to power the creation of industrialized economies, their people will continue to suffer.

In a recent interview in The Guardian, entitled, Billionaire Mo Ibrahim Attacks Hypocrisy Over Africa Gas, the philanthropist and Sudanese businessman, bluntly criticized the obscene and unfair policy to prevent African nations from exploiting their gas reserves.    

We have 600 million people without electricity. How can we even think of development if people don’t have power?…Development is a major issue for us, and power is essential.

“Nine hundred million people in Africa suffer from unclean cooking – mainly women. What about the pollution effect of that? It’s a serious problem, a health disaster, and an environmental disaster. That’s why we need gas.

Mo Ibrahim courtesy of mo.ibrahim.foundation

Contrasting the dictates from the U.S. and EU, for Africans increasingly rely on so called renewables, Mr. Ibrahim appropriately objected: “If [renewable energy] is valid, why don’t those guys jump immediately and stop using gas? They’re not doing that – they’re building [LNG infrastructure], they’re actually even reopening coalmines. So, you’re giving me advice which you’re not following yourself.”

The hypocrisy of the West is blatantly obvious. Europe is in overdrive to obtain fossil fuels in Africa now that energy flows from Russia are in jeopardy. Last month, reporters from the New York Times wrote, “European leaders have been converging on Africa’s capital cities, eager to find alternatives to Russian natural gas.” NYT-Europe turns to Africa for natural gas.

What the West is demanding of African nations goes beyond hypocrisy; it is immoral and wicked.

Every competent leader, as well as any honest economist, knows from the history of the development of modern society, that abundant, and accessible forms of power have been essential for nations to progress. That is why all advanced sector nations have exploited fossil fuels in the past and continue to depend on them in the present, even as they demand that African nations do not.

It is scientifically known, that forcing African nations to rely on wind and solar as primary sources of energy will guarantee that these nations will not develop, will not become industrialized, will not be able to feed their populations. Resulting in endless poverty. Hence, is this not a new, modern form of imperialism?

African Leaders Speak Out

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe

  • Speaking in December 2021, South African Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe, said:   

Africa deserves an equal chance to develop its economies on the strength of her natural resources. 

Several countries on the African continent have announced their oil and gas finds which present massive opportunities for economic growth, industrialization, and job creation. As these developments unfold, we have noted with interest, the pushback, and objections from environmental lobby groups against the development of these resources.

I cannot help but ask myself, are these objections meant to ensure the status quo remains in Africa, in general, and South Africa, in particular? That is, the status quo with regards to energy poverty, high unemployment, high debt to GDP ratio at country level and economies that are not growing and, in some cases, jobless economic growth. Could it be possible that this is an extreme pure love for the environment or an unrelenting campaign to ensure that Africa and South Africa do not see the investment inflows they need?

He concluded:

“South Africa deserves the opportunity to capitalize on its natural resources including oil and gas, as these resources have been proven to be game changers elsewhere. We consider the objections to these developments as apartheid and colonialism of a special type, masqueraded as a great interest for environmental protection.” Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Speaking in October of this year, Minister Mantashe got to the heart of the matter:  

I see the protests outside this venue that said, ‘fossil fuels a killer’, but I can tell you that hunger kills faster”.

We have seen the increase of coal purchasing from us to EU growing eightfold, 780%. As they take our coal, they at the same time tell us to move out of it quickly. That is a contradiction that Africa must look at.

“Africa must determine its pathway from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions. It must take into account our developmental needs & must not be dictated to by anybody else who is at a different level of development.” South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

  • Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice-President, wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in August 2021:

But limiting the development of fossil fuel projects and, in particular, natural gas projects would have a profoundly negative impact on Africa. Natural gas doesn’t make sense in every African market. But in many, it is a crucial tool for lifting people out of poverty. It is used not only for power but for industry and fertilizer and for cleaner cooking. Liquified petroleum gas is already replacing huge amounts of hazardous charcoal and kerosene that were most widely used for cooking, saving millions of lives that were previously lost to indoor air pollution. The role of gas as a transition fuel for developing countries, especially in Africa, cannot be overemphasized.

“Yet Africa’s progress could be undone by the rich world’s efforts to curb investments in all fossil fuels.Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari wrote in Newsweek magazine, (10/31/21):

It is an inconvenient truth, but energy solutions proposed by those most eager to address the climate crisis are fuel for the instability of which they warn. No more clearly can this be seen than in Africa.

“For today’s 1.3 billion Africans, access to low-cost and reliable energy is the highest of all possible concerns. Estimated to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050—by 2100 Nigeria alone is projected to have the second largest population on the planet—this “great doubling” (for Nigeria, quadrupling) has the right to more dependable electricity than their forebears.

Without extra and stable power, we cannot build the factories that will transform Africa from a low-job, extractives-led economy to a high employment middle-income continent. Children cannot learn for longer and better by battery light any more than by candlelight. No more than the Africa of today, the Africa of tomorrow cannot advance using energy production that intermittently delivers.President Buhari of Nigeria, Demands More and Reliable Energy for Africa from COP26

Part II: Climate Change Is Complex

Hysterical claims that human generated carbon dioxide (CO2), will destroy civilization, is simply not true. Civilization is not facing a cataclysmic future from “Anthropogenic Global Warming.” Destruction of civilization by nuclear war is a far more likely possibility if we do not pull back from the brink of confrontation with Russia.

Even the term “climate change” is a misnomer and completely misleading. Our planet, since its creation, estimated to be over four billion years old, has undergone constant climate change, driven by geological, solar, astronomical, and galactic forces.

One cannot determine the causes for climate change in days, months, or even years. Serious thinkers seek to understand changes in climate by examining data from hundreds, thousands, and millions of years ago.

Our Solar System not only rotates around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy every 230 million years, but also bobs above and below the elliptic plane of the Milky Way every 60 million years. Both of these long cycle movements affect weather. The intensity and density of the 11-year cycle of Sunspots also affects our climate.

Over millions of years, there have been huge temperature swings. Our planet has experienced many ice ages followed by warming periods. The Sahara Desert only came into existence a few million years ago, as the African tectonic plate crashed into what is today known as Europe. However, even the Sahara, which is the largest, driest, hottest desert in the world is constantly undergoing change from wet to dry. This is the result of a 22,500-25,000-year cycle caused by the wobble of the earth due to its tilted axis, as it rotates around the Sun. This wobble causes dramatic changes in temperature and rainfall.

C02 Is Not Our Enemy

The theory, if you can call it that, falsely predicts that civilization will die from rising temperatures as a result of industrial societies producing too much CO2. It is based on the simplistic assumption that if you pump CO2 into a sealed container, it will heat up. This heat-death scenario for the human race relies on the erroneous theory that our universe is entropic. In fact, our universe is not marching towards ultimate heat-death. Our biosphere is a developing organism, which does not function as a closed system, but exists in a growing living universe.

Anthropogenic contributions to CO2 emissions are minuscule and have no impact on our climate. Examine the facts from In Defense of co2 and Astro Climatology listed below.

Today, large amounts of carbon dioxide are regularly generated by biotic and abiotic activity from living animals, decaying biomass as well as volcanos which constantly emit CO2 and other greenhouse gases. A surprisingly small portion of that naturally occurring CO2 is caused by human economic activity.

Taking the entire composition of greenhouse gases together, water vapor makes up 95% of the bulk, carbon dioxide makes up 3.6%, nitrous oxide (0.9%), methane (0.3%), and aerosols about 0.07%.

Of the sum total of the 3.6% carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, approximately 0.9% is caused by human activity. To restate this statistic: Human CO2 makes up less than 1% of the 3.6% of the total greenhouse gases influencing our climate. (Emphasis added)

Causation between CO2 and rising temperatures has not been proven. During the ice ages,  thousands of years ago, CO2 levels were magnitudes higher. More recently, from 1000-1350 A.D., during the age of the Vikings, global mean temperatures were also elevated. This was followed by the Little Ice Age that lasted from (1450-1850). Both these periods of history existed before human industrialized activity, which is falsely claimed to be the cause of global warming.

Dr. Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and former Chairman of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, has written: Another interesting observation, which is regularly overlooked, is that there are clear indications that atmospheric temperature increase precedes CO2 concentration, and not the other way around…if even a shallow depth of the oceans warms by a small amount, huge amounts of CO2 would be expected to be released. So, CO2 atmospheric concentration lagging behind temperature change strikes one as extremely logical.” Climate Change ebb and flow of the tide

Dr Kemm’s point is corroborated by scientific data. If one looks a temperatures and levels of C02 going back hundreds of thousands of years, one observes that rising temperatures proceeded higher concentrations of CO2.

The Promethean Principle

It is scientifically known that any short term drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuels as an energy source will lead to more poverty, and an increase in the death rate. So-called renewables are a poor substitute for 24×7 abundant reliable energy. More dangerously for civilization is the neo-Malthusian ideology of the extreme environmentalists. This anti-scientific belief asserts that humankind’s existence is in a fundamental antagonistic relationship to the physical universe, and to the environment. The followers of this dogma have a not so hidden prejudice against the human race, who they see as malignant disrupters of so called pristine nature. They believe that humankind is inherently evil, thus it must have its behavior modified.

Like Thomas Malthus, they falsely claim that we live in a fixed universe, with fixed resources, and therefore the human race must be controlled and curtailed. Sadly, a substantial portion of the world’s population has imbibed their anti-scientific propaganda. To wit: that too many people will use up the planet’s resources, thus we must limit population growth. To this end they intend to use the hysteria of climate change to prevent African nations from ever becoming industrialized. This same ideology will contribute to the deindustrialization of the West, serving the same goal; population reduction and decreasing people’s standard of living.

Prometheus binging fire (light, energy) from Mount Olympus to human beings (courtesy of containerjournal.com)

Enter Prometheus and his successful battle for the soul and mind of humankind against Zeus, the tyrant of the all-powerful Gods of Olympus. According to the Greek myth, Prometheus accepted to be tortured for centuries for his crime of giving fire-energy to the human species. Prometheus brought light, science, and knowledge to the “mud-people,” as Zeus referred to them. In so doing, Prometheus fashioned the human race uniquely endowed with the power of creative imagination, the power to discover the embedded principles of our physical universe. Millions of years of history, provide unmistakable evidence that we humans are not mere care takers or stewards of the universe. Rather, humankind  are transmitters of change. We lawfully transform the universe for the perpetuation of our species.

Recent images from NASA’s Webb telescope reveal a highly structured and living universe. Our universe is governed by a creative principle, which corresponds to humankind’s potential of willful creativity. As the great philosopher Gottfried Leibniz understood and eloquently wrote, humankind lives in an “pre-established harmony” with the universe. Humans are not outsiders intruding on a predetermined ecosystem. Quite the opposite. The Promethean human race was created to uniquely intervene through the power of reason to advance the universe to a higher manifold of existence.

Africa’s Energy Future

Governments are obligated to act with speed and determination to produce as much energy as possible from every resources available to address the massive energy deficit that is killing Africans throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Immediately, nuclear fission energy should proliferate across the African continent to power industrialized economies. A fission energy centered economic platform will prepare the transition to a fusion powered economy. Nuclear fusion energy, which replicates the power of the Sun here on earth, will generate energy at magnitudes greater than what we produce from fossil fuels and fission.

Some may object to my optimism that Africa will be powered by fission and fusion energy in the future. Better to be proud Prometheans, than accept today’s diktats from the would be “Gods of Olympus” to remain economically underdeveloped, plagued with hunger, poverty, and death.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Nigerian Water Minister Promotes Transaqua–A Water Project to Save Lake Chad & Transform Africa

The drying up of Lake Chad would be catastrophic for Africa. The disappearance of this body of water in the Sahel would not only affect the tens of millions of Africans living on and around the lake and the nations of the Lake Chad Basin, but the entirety of the continent. The lake has shrunk over the last six decades to 90% of its original area of 25,000 square kilometers.

Suleiman Adamu, Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, under President Mahammadu Buhari, has called for recharging Lake Chad, as reported in environewsnigeria.com, (excerpted below). Although Minister Adamu does not mention its name, the transformative water infrastructure project to save Lake Chad that he refers to is, Transaqua. It was first proposed by engineer Marcello Vichi in 1980.

Transaqua, was adopted as the preferred solution to restore Lake Chad to its earlier size, at the International Conference to Save Lake Chad, held in Abuja, Nigeria from February 26-28, 2018. I was a prominent speaker at this conference. Read: The Time is Now For TRANSAQUA-to Save Lake Chad and Transform Africa,

Essentially, Dr. Vichi’s proposal called for constructing a 2,400 kilometer canal from the southeast section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that would flow by gravity northwest to the Central African Republic. There, this navigable canal would connect to the Chari River, the primary contributor of water to Lake Chad. By utilizing a small percentage of water from the Congo River, this canal would conduit an up to one hundred billion cubic meters of water to refurbish Lake Chad. Through human intervention, water is being transferred from the moist Congo River Basin to the arid Lake Chad Basin.

Dr. Vichi recently wrote:

“TRANSAQUA is the only project capable of transforming about 25% of the surface of the African continent by producing agricultural and livestock products sufficient for the domestic market and for export; to stop the advance of the Sahara and save Lake Chad; to produce large production of hydroelectric energy in the heart of Africa with the possibility of industrialization of economic activities; to create a river and road axis of about 2400 km capable of activating a collateral road network for the development of all types of activities; and much more.

“It has been calculated that the TRANSAQUA project could produce in the heart of the African continent, around 30 billion kw/h per year using only 6-8% of the water of the Congo River subtracted from dispersion in the ocean.”

For more information on the transformative impact of Transaqua for Africa, read: Save Lake Chad With Transaqua: Franklin Roosevelt and Kwame Nkrumah Would Concur

U.S. Rebuffs Transaqua

Despite all the ballyhoo and so called concern on the effects of climate change on the African continent, the U.S. has done nothing to address the crippling conditions of poverty and lack of energy. United Nations Envoy, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, typifies the Biden Administration’s deeply flawed outlook when it comes to assisting Africa. Speaking at the UN Security Council  on October 12, Ambassador Greenfield laments the effects of hotter dryer weather in Africa including on Lake Chad, “…we’ve watched Lake Chad as it diminishes in size. And we all wonder when Lake Chad will be no more.”

What rubbish. There is no reason for Lake Chad to disappear. There is a solution. It is called Transaqua. The U.S. has shown zero interest in saving Lake Chad. For decades, I have been the lone American voice advocating vociferously for saving Lake Chad. As Minister Adamu discussed, all that is required to start the project is three million dollars for a feasibility study, which no U.S. government has ever considered. While tens of billions of dollars have been promised to fight climate change in Africa, a tiny fraction of those funds could be spent to initiate Transaqua, a project that can save the lake and transform almost a third of the continent of Africa. Why hasn’t the U.S. allocated this small amount of money for a feasibility study of Transaqua?

The U.S. rejects Transaqua because it rejects development. The U.S. refuses to build infrastructure in Africa, the single most crucial element to address Africa’s massive energy and transportation needs, and create economic growth. Since the death of President John Kennedy, the concept of development has vanished from our thinking-from our culture. For over half a century, American elected officials have failed to demonstrate even a modicum of understanding of how to assist African nations to develop into industrialized economies.

The author advocating for Transaqua at the United Nations, August 2019

Excerpts from remarks by Minister Adamu follow:

Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has called for more funding and understanding from international partners to save the fast drying Lake Chad from disappearing totally.

Part of the plan to revive the Lake Chad includes inter-basin water transfer from the River Congo to the Chad Basin.

“Although we don’t need $50 billion for Lake Chad but, at least with that kind of fund, the inter-basin water transfer has another angle that you can create a roadway and canals for river navigation.

“You can create many dams and hydropower schemes that will benefit countries like the Central African Republic.

“We can even have a highway from Lagos to Nairobi to Mombasa, from West Coast to the East Coast. It’s all part of the grand plan. But these things, you have to take those systematically.

“So, now we’re waiting to sign the MoU with the AfDB, So, once we’re able to sign that, we hope that we can get some funding, about 2 million to 3 million dollars to do the feasibility study,” Adamu said.

“We had a successful conference in February 2018. In that conference, we achieved two things.

“Number one, we achieved consensus. There is an international consensus, not only an African consensus, an international consensus that the Lake Chad has to be saved.

“Secondly, the consensus we had among us African countries was that the inter-basin water transfer should be given a shot at as the best way for the long term sustainability of the lake,” Adamu said.

“I’m worried that in the next 50 years we may wake up one day and there’s no Lake Chad,” the minister warned.

Read the entire article: Nigerian Minister Calls for International Funding to Revive Lake Chad

Read my earlier posts:

United Nations Conference: The Lake Chad Basin Should not be ‘Managed’; it Should be ‘Transformed.’

Water Transfer With Transaqua Will Bring Peace & Development to Lake Chad Basin

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

Fossil fuels kill, but hunger kills faster, Mantashe tells conference

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe

The paucity of energy in sub-Saharan Africa is killing Africans every day. South Africa Energy Minister Mantashe has continually rejected demands by Western nations and their political-financial institutions for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources. To improve the living conditions of their citizens, African nations must industrialize their economies, which necessitates exploiting every resource available. Not only are these dictates an infringement on the sovereignty of African nations, but those in the West, who are trying to prevent Africa’s energy utilization, are contributing to poverty, hunger, and loss of life.

Reported on October 4, from news24.com

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the African continent should not be dictated to when it comes to the pace of its energy transition. This as a R150 billion funding deal from rich countries to help fund South Africa’s transition from coal hangs in the balance.

In an address to the 2022 Africa Oil Week in Cape Town on Tuesday, Mantashe said the war in Ukraine has hit developing economies with high energy costs, along with increasing food prices and interest rates.

He said the climate change question “sits uncomfortably with energy poverty”, adding that the pressure on African economies to decarbonize quickly will expose it to the risk that its people will not have access to reliable and affordable energy if handled with haste.

“Africa must determine its pathway from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions. It must take into account our developmental needs, & must not be dictated to by anybody else who is at a different level of development.”

“I see the protests outside this venue that said ‘fossil fuels a killer’, but I can tell you that hunger kills faster”.

“We have seen the increase of coal purchasing from us to EU growing eightfold, 780%. As they take our coal, they at the same time tell us to move out of it quickly. That is a contradiction that Africa must look at,” he said.

Read entire article here from news24.com

Originally posted below by africanagenda.net

Read below earlier posts from my website on this subject:

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Freeman Interview: “Living Conditions in Africa Today Are Morally, Politically, and Economically Unacceptable”

Listen to my 45 minute radio interview: TNT Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022, beginning at 5 minutes 50 seconds

July 16, 2022

I discussed the following subjects concerning Africa:

*Unacceptable living conditions in Africa today

*Fraud of the “green transition” to prevent industrialization

*Importance of China’s infrastructure investment in Africa

*Lack of U.S. development policy for Africa

*Current destabilization of Ethiopia using ethnicity

*Potential of BRICS plus

Listen to 45 minute discussion on TNT Radio Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022

Read my earlier posts:

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.