We, the members of the PASCAL team, are in Accra to organize the program, to give lectures and to do exercises with the participants – and some of us are here to report about it. Unfortunately, for most of us there is not much time besides or after the scientific program to get to know the capital and its people. At least we get an impression of this incredible city when we commute between the hotel and WASCAL headquarters. Thankfully the other day on the way back to our hotel we could persuade our driver to make some extra turns and show us “his” Accra.
Africa is no doubt the fastest growing continent in the world with a population of nearly 1.3 billion, growing at an average annual rate of 2.5% since the last 10 years. The growing population directly implies growing demand for food, energy, safe drinking water and health care. The growing youth population in most African countries has not been met with corresponding job opportunities within the continent to stem the incidences of high youth criminalities and quest for emigration. Infrastructures such as good road and public transportation systems, reliable power supply and affordable housing facilities, on which sustainable development can be built have not evolved with the evolving population in many Africa countries hence grossly affecting the living standard of the people.
Did you know that 95 percent of our food is directly or indirectly produced on the soils? Yes, it is. This is according to estimates by the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Soil is a living ecosystem storing more carbon than the atmosphere and the planet’s biomass combined. This is according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
We have a new blogger in our team. Dr. Solomon Agbo joined Forschungszentrum Jülich in 2015 as a Postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and worked on monolithic integration of energy harvesters with storage batteries at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-5). Since June he works in the International relations unit where he is responsible for cooperations with Africa. Here comes his first blog post about “Research and Future of Africa”.
Six of the World’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa. The continent has been growing at an average of 5 percent per annum for over a decade, despite the global financial and economic crisis. This makes Africa confident that it can achieve its ambitious development dream, dubbed Agenda-2063 within 50 or even fewer years according to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU).
Did you know that about one billion people mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia live without electricity? This is according to the latest World Bank estimates. Currently, about 640 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity.
By 2040, it is estimated that Africa will require 700gigawatts of power to meet its demand. This is seven times more than what is currently installed.