by Developed Africa 3. March 2014 09:00

Energy has always been an issue of high importance in terms of Africa's development, but it could be that sights should be set on smaller targets.

The recent meeting of the African EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), an organisation formed in 2007 to deal with Africa's energy needs, found that many of the targets that had been made back in 2010 were now looking unrealistic, and perhaps based on poor data.  It would appear that whilst energy is often so high on the agenda across most African nations it is perhaps being set at too high a goal. That's according to the panel discussion by the AEEP, highlighting that the energy goals for 2020 are now known to be unreachable and that setting sights a little lower would be preferable, and better for the poor too.

What is more, there is a lot of evidence to show that by western countries, and western international organisations imposing their climate change goals onto development in the developing world, including across Africa, that a lot less people are on the receiving end of energy programmes than if fossil fuels were used.

It is an incredibly tricky conundrum, because whilst wanting to ensure that climate change is curtailed, at the same time it seems wrong to stop people in developing nations having the same energy aspirations as those from developed nations.

if the rapidly urbanising poor are to have any chance of prosperity, they need access to energy on the same scale as all modern economies"

The Financial Times article is very much of the mind that developing countries should be allowed to develop as well as protect themselves from the consequences of climate change:

If we are forced to adapt to life on a planet with a less hospitable climate, the poor should at least confront the challenge with the same advantages that are enjoyed by the rich"

It is a complicated situation, and one that one cannot make a final decision on, but what is clear is that energy production, whatever kind of energy that may be, needs to be focused on reaching as many people as possible.


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