Africa's population is expected to double over the next 25 years. But with Africa's housing already insufficient, expensive and not meeting the soaring demand, the continent faces a housing crisis. Today, 56 percent of Africa's urban population lives in informal settlements as a result of natural disasters and the significant lack of affordable housing available. Could eco-friendly homes offer an affordable and sustainable housing solution?
A new global financial analysis released in March revealed that sustainable investment has surged worldwide by more than a third since 2016, reaching assets of more than $30 trillion. Across the African continent, a new wave of ecopreneurship is taking root. Local enterprises are paving the way for sustainability and exemplifying the impact that local knowledge and ingenuity can have when combined with innovative business models.
Three African countries are piloting the use of a 3 and 4 wheeled bikes powered by solar energy. Dubbed the Solar E Cycles, the bikes are fitted with solar panels that tap the sun’s energy and charge the batteries during the day. The energy stored in the batteries powers the vehicle for a distance of up to 50 kilometers a day, at a maximum speed of 35 kilometers per hour, before a recharge is needed.
The global electric bike market was estimated at $16.3 billion in 2017, and is expected to rise to $23.8 billion by 2025. There is high potential for the African governments to set policies that encourage green mobility and the investors are likely to jump into this new booming business sector. It the near future most big car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Ford are preparing for their biggest move to electric cars, the bike industry is gearing up too.
Farmers are at the center of the problem regarding global warming; since the rise in temperature affects the climate change which in turn affects the agriculture produce. World population is continuously increasing and the demand for food products is witnessing a significant rise. Using solar power can help us to curb climate change and help us fight the problem effectively.
West Africa's largest healthcare project has been launched in Accra, Ghana. The Eco Medical Village is set to become a 1,100-bed sub-regional project, providing specialized medical centers across 40 acres. Offering African's an alternative to traveling to India, Europe or the US for their healthcare needs, it also keeps this valuable investment within West Africa.
The United Nations Environment Programme in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance released their annual Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018. The report focuses on investment in renewable power and fuels - wind, solar, biomass and waste, biofuels, geothermal and marine projects, and small hydro-electric dams. The rise of solar power has dominated renewable energy investment in 2017, more than that new coal, gas and nuclear plants put together.
One of the most exciting ventures a country and its cities can undergo is that of modernizing and redeveloping its buildings. The progress made is almost always positive, and literally can give cities a new face. Major infrastructure projects in Vietnam are not so slowly transforming the city for the better, upgrading various aspects ranging from transportation to water treatment and infrastructure.
In Northern Upper East Ghana, a water conservation technology is enabling about 400 smallholder farmers from 10 communities to farm in dry seasons. As a result they are now getting at least two crop seasons annually as opposed to one, after implementing the PAVE irrigation Technology which harvests flood and rain water, and stores it in underground aquifers where it lasts for up to 180 days.
In Rwanda, a ‘Pico-hydro’ refers to a power system with a capacity less than 50kW. Their advantage over other power systems is their cost-effectiveness and simplicity, and come in different designs, planning and installation processes. It is an economical source of power that has proven useful in delivering clean energy to some of the world’s poorest and most remote places.
Whether they are consumed as grains or flour they are always products in high demand in Africa - these being cereals such maize, sorghum, millet and wheat. One of the issues with these widely consumed crops is when people want to grind them and consume them as flour, with most remote areas lacking access to electricity and therefore use expensive fossil fuel to run milling machines.
Better housing is one of the key indicators of the economic development, but most developing countries still have a challenge to secure clean homes for their habitants. Dirt floors are often responsible up to 80 percent of diseases. In most cases, parasites live in soil in form of feces and bacteria that can be contagious by either absorption or a simple contact. EarthEnable has introduced a solution to all those problems.
The Croton tree, which is commonly known as Mukinduri in Eastern and Central part of Kenya, is now a good known source of biofuels and that is being practiced. It grows in a challenging environment and unlike jatropha and palm, it won't bring food and fuel competition. It has no chemical additives and burns cleaner than traditional diesel fuel, with no sulfuric content. It can save our environment from carbon emissions and help in better land usage.
Many companies use traditional methods to measure the impact of solar power investments such as quoting the many dollars invested, number of people using their kits and areas covered by their product, which are inadequate tools for measuring social impact for solar power investments if we have to get it right. Traditional approaches of gathering data are not only expensive, take time to give results and complicated to use, but are also not helpful in terms of boosting solar power funding. The lean data approach proposed by Acumen could, not only bridge solar power funding gaps in developing worlds, but will also help companies to understand emerging markets.
Research undertaken by Greentech Media (GTM) predicts that over the next five years, the global solar market will demonstrate a cumulative average growth rate of around 8%, with emerging economies including India and Latin America leading the progress.