Harnessing Zimbabwe’s abundant renewable energy resources is key to helping the country support its development strategies and leapfrog towards low-carbon socio-economic progress.
Energy is increasingly being recognised as a prerequisite for human development: it’s surprising that it took the world so long a time to acknowledge this reality. Fortunately, it is now enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically SDG number 7 acknowledges that ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is fundamental to achieving all the other SDG goals.
For many people in Zimbabwe, particularly in the rural areas, access to energy remains a pipe dream. According to Unicef, access to electricity is low with 40% of the population being connected. There are huge disparities between rural and urban areas with 83% of urban households being connected to electricity compared to 13% in rural areas. Rural communities get 94% of their energy requirements from traditional fuels, mainly fuel wood.
Without access to energy, rural communities cannot grow economically, opportunities are limited, and health services severely curtailed. Women often bear the brunt of meeting household energy needs and are forced to walk long distances in search of firewood denying them an opportunity to live to the best of their potential.
Having no electricity or clean, efficient ways to cook brings especially tough challenges for women, including particular risks to their health. More people die prematurely from illnesses caused directly by smoke from open fires or inefficient stoves burning traditional solid fuels than from HIV and Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The majority are women and children, who spend the most time around the household hearth.
It is a welcome development that the government of Zimbabwe has been developing a number of policy frameworks to enhance energy investment and access and these include the Renewable Energy Policy, Rural Energy Master Plan, Renewable Energy Readiness Assessment among others. But much more needs to be done.
For Zimbabwe to meet its energy needs — and in a way that is sustainable — huge levels of finance are required to boost its decentralised energy sector. Decentralised technologies which are smaller, faster, and require different financing models to the traditional grid need to be prioritised if we are to increase access to energy for citizens over the next decade.
Renewable-powered off-grid systems can help increase rural communities’ access to affordable energy supplies. To enable this requires a radical shift in policymaking, thinking and action.
Providing sustainable energy for everyone in the truest sense requires an investment in off-grid integrated renewable energy systems. Renewables are the only convincing and affordable solution to provide underserved communities that are far from existing grids with access to modern energy services.
A rapid transition to 100% renewable electricity generation is both technically possible and socioeconomically beneficial. To support this transition, we need to scale up prototypes that have proved successful both at local level and in other countries across the globe. There is also a need to improve knowledge and communication especially simplifying the language around renewables which has traditionally couched in scientific terms.
Rather than simply by counting numbers of connections and megawatts generated, we need to focus on how decentralised energy systems can impact lives and livelihoods.
Nigeria’s Former Jonathan Tells African Leaders To Put Humanity First
Joke Falaju, Abuja Bags African Heritage awardFormer President Goodluck Jonathan has urged African leaders privilege to hold public offices to become servants of the people, and not turn themselves into the “bosses of the people”.Jonathan stated this while receiving the African Democracy and Peace Icon…
7th Edition Connected Banking Summit East Africa – Innovation & Excellence Awards 2023 Concludes
POSTED ON MARCH 28, 2023 BY AFRICA BUSINESS The Summit brought together the best and brightest minds in the banking, financial services, fintechs and techfin sectors. The event, which took place on 7th March 2023, featured insightful speakers, award-winning companies, and top-notch sponsors. Attendees were treated to a range…
2020 Awards | Social Media For Social Good Award Announces 100 Micro & Macro Social Media Influencers For Good
Social Media For Social Good Award Announces 100 Micro & Macro Social Media Influencers For Good and Set To Award 25 Of Them On The 13th Of June 2020. The most anticipated list of Nigerians using social media for social good which is curated by…
Ergonomic Furniture Dealer Formfunc Studio Awarded SA’s First 6-Star Green Star Award
-African Independent The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has awarded Cape Town-based Formfunc Studio, a leading ergonomic furniture supplier, a 6-star Green Star rating following the recent fit-out of their office, showroom and DC in Johannesburg. The project, led by specialist sustainability and…
The Risk And Reward Of ChatGPT In Cybersecurity
Juan is an experienced CTO with a demonstrated history of working in the computer and network security industry. He is an information technology professional skilled in SAP and Oracle applications, computer forensics, vulnerabilities research, IPS/IDS and information security. Unless you’ve been on a retreat in…
Explained – History Of Money From Fiat To Crypto
What is money? Money as a concept has been a cornerstone of human civilization and economic development. To start with the latter, money is a method of storing value and worth, and it also functions as a medium of exchange that allows individuals to exchange…
Studies Show That Nigerian Crypto Foreign Investment Is At A Record Low
Foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell by 33% last year due to a severe shortage of dollars, which discouraged crypto companies from expanding into the country. The largest economy in Africa has a foreign investment problem despite exponential growth in crypto adoption. The National Bureau…
Growing The Bitcoin Development Ecosystem In Africa
– Abubakar Nur Khalil | Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin development in Africa, with a proper regulatory environment, could equally accelerate the continent and the technology. In this piece, we’ll be analyzing the current state of the Bitcoin developer ecosystem in Africa, ways to improve it and…