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Submitted by Andrew Amadi on
The potential for geothermal energy in the Rift valley is immense. The approach that Africa must model its development path along the lines of other developed countries is a myth that needs to be debunked. Africa is in a unique position in the future or renewable energy. But doing what others have done will only make Africa a secondary market to companies that have worked in such countries. Development organizations favour this approach of tested tried and proven. There is never any room for innovation. The western development path has led to planetary destruction and collapse of financial systems yet time and time again; Africa is urged to borrow from these very systems. When it comes to energy, the situation is the same. The favoured approach is a quasi-industrial model with a centralized grid and distributed energy. In many parts of Africa, people are still largely rural. A decentralized system of energy generation would be more organic. Simple models that make it possible for Africans to invest and benefit from renewable energy where they are shelved. Solar, the most abundantly available source on the continent (even geothermal is from solar) is dismissed as costly. Africa has the opportunity to create an entire economy driven by the sun, productive and vibrant. Mobile technology has shown it is possible. A similar decentralized energy generation and use economy can be made with a mind set shift. We do not have to go through another industrial and technological revolution. We need to feed ourselves first and foremost. It can be achieved by taking a small step back. Renewable energy driving permaculture can create a green revolution and turn the dry lands to productive lands. Industrial agriculture and industrial pollution along the lines of the developed world will kill the one thing that Africa has in abundance. Large productive surface area. A big shift towards conservationist production can make Africa to be the world's food basket and not the world’s basket case. It calls from a clean break from everything as the west knows to things as will save the continent. Sadly, there is no meaningful discussion on these lines; independent thinking is drowned in the sea of poverty and desperation based on creating dependence under the guise of Technical support and Aid.