Weekly Review November 20-26

Every week, we read about the subtle signs of development in Africa. Here is the round up from this week, featuring everything from renewable energy to mobile money.

Looking to Africa for innovation” by Nikki and Rob Wilson on The Guardian
The common school of thought believes that Africa should borrow from Western ways of thinking to promote development. On the contrary, there are many social systems and informal economies in place that are allowing Africans to make a living in ways we can’t imagine. Read the article for several examples that will really get you thinking.

Our blog post last week touched on the Ethiopian government’s capacity to increase mobile penetration in the country over the next five years. Another major problem the country faces is the severe under-electrified population. Now, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation has launched six wind power projects and one geo thermal plant to generate 1,015 megawatts of renewable energy. A $300M USD project, it would propel the country to be a top exporter of green power.

It is likely that we will never see another mobile money service provider with the same dominant success as M-Pesa. It is interesting to see how new markets are hosting mobile money services. Mozambique, for example, is seeing intensified efforts to push the adoption of mobile money. The state-owned mcel launched mKesh and now has 41,000 registered customers and 2,700 registered agents.

Durban Climate Talks to Aim for Pragmatic Results” by Leon Marshall, Environmental Journalist on News Watch South Africa
The annual UN meeting to discuss climate change is happening in Durban, South Africa next week. Emerging markets are having more say in international agreements. Climate change will drastically affect and possibly reverse positive developments in emerging markets, unless we take action now. For example, the African Enterprise Challenge Fund supports technologies for adapting to climate change.

If you’re in Boston, don’t forget to sign up for our event #CleanTechThatMaters on December 14! Find out more here.
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