Mining in Africa

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Mining in Africa has a long history. For over 2000 years iron ore and other metals have been mined in North Africa. Iron mining began in sub-Saharan Africa around 500 BC and had spread throughout the region by 200 AD.

The African continent is home to plentiful natural resources including diamonds, cobalt, oil, natural gas, copper, and gold among others.

Some examples of African countries that are rich in minerals are:

Niger – rich in uranium, coal, cement, and gold (PPA 16847: The Madaouela Uranium Project, Niger)

Namibia – rich in uranium, diamonds, zinc, lead, sulphur, salt, tantalite, and copper (PPA 23396: Hagenhof Copper Cobalt Project, Namibia)

Democratic Republic of Congo – rich in copper, cobalt, diamond, oil, coltan, gold, and tin (PPA 19431: Kamoa-Kakula Project, DRC)

Zambia – rich in gold, copper, emerald, uranium and cobalt (PPA 23526: Pangeni Copper Project, Zambia)

South Africa – rich in diamonds and gold (PPA 4394: Venetia Diamond Mine, Limpopo)

Mozambique – rich in coal and aluminium (PPA 9162: Ncondezi Coal Project, Mozambique)

Guinea – rich in bauxite and gold (PPA 14746: Tri-K Gold Project, Guinea)

Tanzania – rich in tanzanite, uranium, gold, diamonds, and silver (PPA 13651: Panda Hill Niobium Project, Tanzania)

Ghana – rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, manganese, crude oil, silver, and salt (PPA 18070: Namdini Gold Project, Ghana)

Botswana – rich in diamonds, copper, coal, soda ash and nickel (PPA 11481: Khoemacau Copper Project, Botswana)

Venetia Diamond Mine, Limpopo
Venetia Diamond Mine, Limpopo
Khoemacau Copper Project, Botswana
Khoemacau Copper Project, Botswana

Some fun facts:

Around 55% of the world’s diamonds are led by Botswana and Congo

Africa produces about 483 tons of gold which equate to 22% of the world’s total production

60% of mining in Africa is Gold Mining.

Africa hosts 30% of the world’s mineral reserve.

South Deep gold mine is the largest gold mine in the world, by reserves. Located 45km south-west of Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, South Deep is also the seventh deepest mine in the world, with a mine depth up to 2,998m below the surface.

The Mponeng Mine located south-west of Johannesburg in South Africa is currently the deepest pit in the world.

Botswana heads Africa’s list of diamond miners, housing seven well-established mines including Jwaneng, the world’s richest in terms of value, Orapa, the world’s largest by area, along with Karowe and Letlhakane.

Ghana has cemented its position as Africa’s largest gold producer after increasing its industrial gold output by 6% in 2019.

The Big Hole in Kimberley is considered one of the deepest cavities excavated by man. From mid-July 1871 to 1914, 50,000 miners dug the now famous Big Hole (then called the Kimberley Mine) in Kimberley with picks and shovels yielding 2 722 kilograms of diamonds. The hole has a surface of 17 hectares (42 acres) and is 463 meters wide. It was excavated to a depth of 240 meters, but then partially infilled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 m. Since then it has accumulated water to a depth of 40 meters, leaving only 175 meters visible.

The word “Diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adamas” and means “unconquerable and indestructible”

To produce a single one-carat diamond, 250 tonnes of earth needs to be mined

The Cullinan Diamond was the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3 106.75 carats (621.35 g), discovered at the Premier No.2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905.

Leads 2 Business currently has 417 active mining projects on our database and growing.

Should you wish to subscribe to receive and follow mining project leads, please feel free to contact me MelanieM@L2B.co.za.


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About Melanie Miles

One girl who would rather wear boots than high heels...

Leads 2 Business Weekly Quote

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This week’s quote is from the English business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist; Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

A Diamond is Forever

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– De Beers Clever Marketing Strategy

When I first read this story, I was intrigued by how clever the marketing strategy was and how it has lasted through the decades. As a result, I wanted to share this fascinating story with you.

In the 1930s few Americans proposed with a diamond ring. Then, through some clever marketing, the diamond engagement ring was born.

In 1938, amid the ravages of the Depression and the rumblings of war, Harry Oppenheimer, the De Beers founder’s son, recruited the New York-based ad agency, N.W. Ayer to brighten the image of diamonds in the United States, where the practice of giving diamond engagement rings was not a common one.

The price of diamonds was falling around the world and De Beers needed a strategy to create a multi-faceted demand for diamonds in a way that hadn’t been widely marketed before. A copywriter at Ayer, a woman, Frances Gerety, was set the task of persuading young men that diamonds (and only diamonds) were synonymous with romance and that the measure of a man’s love (and even his personal and professional success) was directly proportional to the size and quality of the diamond he purchased. Young women, in turn, had to be convinced that courtship concluded, invariably, in the presentation of a diamond ring. The brilliant concept was to create an emotional link to diamonds, the sentiment being love, like diamonds, is eternal.

So, in 1947 Frances came up with the now-iconic slogan “A Diamond is Forever”. These four iconic words have appeared in every De Beers engagement advert since 1948.

“A Diamond is Forever” gives the concept of eternity, perfectly captured the magical qualities that the advertising agency wanted to attribute to diamonds and diamonds only and the sentiment De Beers was going for – that a diamond, like your relationship, is eternal.

Between 1939 and 1979, De Beers’s wholesale diamond sales in the United States increased from $23 million to $2.1 billion. Over those four decades, the company’s ad budget soared from $200,000 to $10 million a year.

A 2014 report by Bain & Company noted that China, India, and the United States will drive the majority of growth in diamond-jewellery consumption over the next decade, in part because of growing interest in diamond engagement rings in India and China, and stable interest in the U.S.


These days you will be hard-pressed to find someone whose engagement ring doesn’t involve a diamond of some sorts, which just proves that advertising can have a substantial impact on culture and can change the way generations of men and women view the institution of marriage.

It’s fascinating how De Beers and N.W. Ayer created such a demand from a diamond by coming up with a clever story and value proposition that gained worldwide appeal for their product – and it’s still successful today. 

Sources:
The Drum
The Atlantic
Hubspot


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About Marlaine Andersen

I have been working for Leads 2 Business, in the Private Projects Department, for 10 years this July. I am Deputy HoD for Private Projects. Researching mining projects and projects through-out the African continent are my areas of research and I find them most interesting.

Affordable Housing in Africa – what’s being done?

 

It is hard to argue that housing is not a fundamental human need. Decent, affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in the world. The reason is simple: without stable shelter, everything else falls apart. Across the world, people are being asked to stay at home and practice social distancing, to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This first strategy against the global epidemic brings the home or Housing into sharp focus.

Africa is all about low-cost affordable housing. Housing is an often contentious and aggressively debated topic as it carries the weight of a huge number of socio-economic factors. While there have been local and global investors who are investing in most affordable housing projects, we will be looking at how Government bodies facilitate in meeting the requirements through various schemes and policy initiatives that are favourable to the low-income groups.

Do we have affordable housing in Africa?

Nigeria: One of the notable interventions has been the creation of Family Homes Funds which is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority. The Fund has the commitment to facilitate and supply 500 000 houses for low-income earners by 2023. The gap between supply and the huge housing demand in Nigeria is exacerbated by market variables such as accessibility of land, infrastructure and building materials. The UNOPS and its partners have signed an agreement with Nigeria to build houses in Ekiti State. The affordable homes will feature renewable energy and disease preventative technology including solar panel roofs, waste-to-energy technology and mosquito-repelling coatings. The initiative is expected to create thousands of local jobs and spur economic growth to a host of local industries.

Ghana: The development of 6,500 homes has begun in Amasaman, near Accra, in the first part of an ambitious project by the government of Ghana, UNOPS and Sustainable Housing Solutions (SHS) Holdings, to build 200,000 affordable and sustainable homes. The project will support the local economy and help reduce the country’s current housing deficit of two million units. Local employees will carry out all production and construction, creating several thousand new jobs. SHS has established a local factory to make building materials needed for the homes, which will be constructed with energy-efficient materials, including solar panels. Ghana has proposed an annual delivery of 85 000 homes over the next decade. The government is also working towards facilitating creative finance schemes that improve overall affordability and access to modern communities for all working-class citizens.

Kenya: Low-cost housing Kenya project will be funded by Kenyan investors who will be supported by the government. The government has also put in place mechanisms to collect cash from its population and invest it into the project. The Ngara housing project comes with a different set of housing units. One bedroom houses are covering 30 square meters all the way to three-bedroom houses covering 80 square meters, these costs are very low compared to what developers are charging at the moment. It is proof enough that the low-cost housing projects in Kenya are indeed low and targeted for the different types of Kenyan earners.

South Africa: The government, however, addresses the affordability challenge by focusing on the supply side, providing houses to low-income households as part of a comprehensive subsidized programmed in which government is the delivery agent. Minimum 45 m² floor area, two bedrooms, renewable source, wind, solar, rainwater collection with filters, prevent pollution for a family earning less than R3,500 per month can qualify for a subsidy of up to R160,000. Another option that the government plans to employ and considers to be a potential factor is microfinance, which rolls out loans at an affordable repay rate. The South African government has allocated R2 billion to upgrading slums to improve access to water and sanitation facilities. This could have a significant impact not only on the current pandemic, but on health, overall.

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa’s housing sector has been a long-standing challenge. For over a century the rapidly growing Ethiopian capital has been unable to provide adequate and sufficient housing, particularly for its low-income citizens. Ethiopia’s financial sector has been State-controlled, limiting foreign investment. Affordability is a major issue in the housing market in Ethiopia. The problem of the generally low income of urban residents is exacerbated by costly construction material and unreasonably high land prices. Most of the inner cities in most urban centres are houses owned by the government and rented to residents at a comparatively low fee. The government has committed to reducing the housing shortage and has recently showed interest in enhancing the role of the private sector in supplying houses.

Uganda: Uganda’s housing situation is characterized by inadequate homes in terms of quality and quantity in both rural and urban areas. The housing deficit currently stands at 2.4 million housing units. The government has sponsored housing development projects in urban areas such as Kampala, where there is a tremendous need to provide new housing units to keep up with the rising population. Credit is a real challenge for low-income families in Uganda’s cash-based society.

Rwanda: The Government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Infrastructure, has developed the Urbanization and Rural Settlement Sector Strategic Plan, 2018-2024. The Strategic Plan focuses on integrated human settlement planning and coordinated development of the City of Kigali and secondary towns, creation of livable, well serviced, connected, compact, green and productive urban and rural settlements with cultural identity access to social and affordable housing, and informal settlements upgrading.

Sources:
Wikimedia
Economist
IFC
All Africa
SA Affordable Housing


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About Nirasha Rampersad

I started working for Leads to Business June 2017 as Support Assistance in L2Q.

5 Essential Tools used in Construction

When I was first given this topic, my mind went straight to the larger tools such as concrete mixers, scaffolding, etc but why do we always need to think big, what about the basic tools, not even the powered tools, let’s get back to the basics.

After giving it some thought, I realized that 5 essential tools would be different for everyone, as no two constructors are the same, and it would all depend on what one specializes in and of course what they deem useful to them


So from an office worker, here’s my take on the five most essential tools to have in one’s tool belt if you are in construction:

 

  1. Tape measure, as the saying goes measure twice, cut once. Everything in construction needs to be measured, no matter what field you are in.
  2. Pencil/chalk – once measured, the measurement needs to be marked off, drawings and designs need to be marked too.
  3. Hammer – what would a builder be without a hammer especially one with a claw. So many things one can do with a hammer!.
  4. Stanley knife – such a handy tool, one can cut tape, rubber, electrical wire, etc. Strip the end of the wire and so much more.
  5. Pliers – a good quality pair of pliers is vital to hold, pull and cut building materials.

 

This is my take but I am sure that many will find that other items are more essential or important to them.
Happy Constructing:)


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About Debora Keet

My journey at Leads 2 Business started in January 2006 as a Private Projects Researcher, Since October 2008, I have been in the Administration and Human Resources department.

Interesting Facts about KZN

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Washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, KwaZulu-Natal, with its subtropical coastline, sweeping savannah in the east and magnificent Drakensberg mountain range in the west, generously caters for just about every taste imaginable.

KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province, is known for its beaches, mountains and savannah populated by big game. The safari destination Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, in the northeast, is home to black and white rhinos, lions and giraffes. Durban is an Indian-influenced harbour city and a popular surfing spot. Cultural villages around the town of Eshowe showcase the traditions of the indigenous Zulu people.

Sardine Run


An extraordinary natural phenomenon, that is witnessed annually on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, during late autumn or early winter is the “sardine run”. Also referred to as “the greatest shoal on earth”, the sardine run occurs when millions of sardines migrate from their spawning grounds south of the southern tip of Africa, northwards along the Eastern Cape coastline towards KwaZulu-Natal, following a path close inshore, often resulting in many fish washing up on beaches along the coast. The huge shoal of tiny fish can stretch for many kilometres and is followed and preyed upon by thousands of predators, including game fish, sharks, dolphins and seabirds. Usually, the shoals break up and the fish disappear into deeper water around Durban.

Economy

Durban is a rapidly growing urban area and is by most measures the busiest port in Africa, with a good rail network linking into Southern Africa. Sugar refining is the main industry. Sheep, cattle, dairy, citrus fruits, corn, sorghum, cotton, bananas, and pineapples are also raised. There is an embryonic KwaZulu-Natal wine industry. In addition to sugar refining, industries (located mainly in and around Durban) include textile, clothing, chemicals, rubber, fertilizer, paper, vehicle assembly and food-processing plants, tanneries, and oil refineries.

There are large aluminium-smelting plants at Richards Bay, on the north coast. The province produces considerable amounts of coal and timber. Majority of the population is black.

Sport – Famous sports events in KZN
  • Comrades Marathon – An annual marathon run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban
  • Midmar Mile – A mile-long swimming race held annually at Midmar Dam
  • Dusi Canoe Marathon – An annual canoe marathon, starts in Pietermaritzburg & ends in Durban
  • Durban July Handicap – South Africa’s premier annual horse racing event at Greyville Racecourse in Durban
  • Gunston 500 – a premier international surfing event hosted in Durban.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site

Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Howick, KZN, South Africa. Nelson Mandela is the late former president of South Africa. He earned his acclaim based more on his efforts to establish racial, social and political equality and had been ravaged by the harmful effects of the Apartheid regime. The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is a cultural and historical exhibition that is situated at the site at which Nelson Mandela was apprehended for his anti-Apartheid activism acts in August 1952.

Big Five Animals in Kwa-Zulu Natal


The Big Five are the five animals originally used by hunters as being difficult to hunt and unpredictable. They comprise the African Elephant, Cape buffalo, African Leopard, African Lion, and the African Rhino.

SA’s Highest Mountain Range is in KZN


The Drakensberg, the main mountain range of Southern Africa. The Drakensberg rises to more than 11,400 feet which is (3,475 metres) & extends roughly northeast to southwest for 700 miles (1,125 km) parallel to the south-eastern coast of South Africa. Rock and cave art several thousands of years old have been found in the range.

Largest Indian Community outside of India

Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal’s largest city is also the city with the largest Indian population outside of India. Indians were brought to KZN via ships in 1860 to work as indentured labourers and brought with them the culinary traditions and culture that contributes to the rich diversity of KZN.

Sources:
Kwazulu Tours
The Capture Site
Show Me


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About Devika Suresh

I started at Leads 2 Business in January 2010 (7 Years ago). I am presently an L2Q Assistant. Started in the Daily Tenders Bills department and worked my way up to the L2Q department working the bills.

6 Beautiful Buildings in Durban

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6 Beautiful Buildings in Durban

Often my colleagues and I would talk about a road trip to Durban as they would say….” Take us to your Mommas house”. But that has not happened due to the Pandemic. For now though, perhaps this 20-minute read will help you with a glimpse of what to expect?

Durban (Zulu: Ethekwini, from Itheku meaning “city”) is the third most populous city in South Africa  (after Johannesburg and Cape Town) and is the largest city in the South African Province of KwaZulu Natal.

So whether you are in the City for Business or Pleasure be prepared to be blown away by some of its Structures and Buildings (in no particular order).

1: Durban ICC – also known as Inkosi Albert Luthuli

The Durban ICC is constructed on the site od the old Durban Central Prison, and today the centre stands as a symbolic reminder of the transformation the country has undergone. It’s hard to believe that this site was once a place of darkness and incarceration has turned into a place of enlightenment and a venue of the global dialogue. Personally, I also call this an all-in-one Building, as it can host the following events:

  • Conferences
  • Exhibitions
  • Sports and Events
  • Weddings  / Banquets and private functions
  • Concerts

2. Durban City Hall

Known for its authentic structures as its construction is historical,  landmark finished in 1910. In 1903 architects were invited to submit designs when it was found that the original Town Hall (now the Durban Post Office) was no longer large enough. The exterior now has sculptures representing the Arts, Music, Literature, Commerce Industry. The Durban City Hall is home to a Public Library, the Natural Science Museum and the Durban Art Gallery. The entrance along Dr Pixlsy Kaseme Street takes you to the Municipal Offices and Meeting Rooms.

3. Durban Hilton Hotel

An award-winning business hotel located next to the Durban ICC within 5 munites of the beachfront, Hilton Hotel is a 5-star property featuring 3 restaurants and a business lounge. Hilton Durban first opened in 1997 and celebrates its 20 years having transformed all 327 bedrooms into contemporary spaces. The overall design is inspired by Durban’s rich, diverse cultural heritage and captivating history with the breathtaking stretch of golden shorelines and the warmth and hospitality of its people which fulfil the needs of the modern traveller.

4. Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Mabhida has been voted the most popular stadium in South Africa via an online poll, hosted 7 FIFA World Cup matches (including a semi-final attended by the likes of Paris Hilton, Leonardo DiCaprio and John Travolta) in 2010.

The success of this stadium is well documented, not only via the 27 awards received to date but more importantly, in just two years the highest level of utilisation for the new stadia in South Africa can be claimed by Durban’s stadium. Named after a giant of a man, Moses Mbheki Mncane Mabhida, who was one of those who helped to forge and maintain the powerful United Front that eventually saw the creation of a democratic and non-racial South Africa.  The design allows for natural ventilation and creates an incredible sense of space every bit as striking as the famous arch inspired by the “Y shape” on the South African flag.

5. uShaka Marine World

An 18 Hectare theme park which was opened on 30 April 2004 in Durban, KwaZulu Natal is located on the strip of land between the Beachfront and the Harbour. Comprised of 8 Sections, Seaworld, Wet ‘n Wild, Sea Animal Encounters Island, Beach, Village Walk, Moyo Pier, Dangerous Creatures and Chimp and Zee. It is know known for its safe, secure, clean environment that resonates the sound of fun, laughter and the spirit of togetherness.

6. Sibaya Casino  – Umhlanga

Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom is a top holiday destination and casino in Durban, located just a few minutes’ drive away from King Shaka International Airport. Set in the green hills of KwaZulu-Natal, overlooking the Indian Ocean, Sibaya invites you in with a royal welcome.

A taste of what to look forward to when visiting Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom:

  • Luxury hotel suites and comfortable lodge rooms overlooking the swimming pools and ocean.
  • A selection of slot machines and tables for gaming in style at the main casino.
  • Durban’s top restaurants, serving the local flavour and international cuisine.
  • A variety of entertainment options from theatre, shows, movies and special events.
  • State-of-the-art conference and function facilities.
  • Personalised treatments at the in-house Mangwanani Spa.

 

As the City Slogan goes…Welcome to Durban, The warmest place to be – Which can also be translated as…Durban Rocks!

Sources:
Buildings Pier and Ocean
Durban ICC
Durban City Hall
Durban Hilton Hotel
Moses Mabhida Stadium
uShaka Marine World
SunShades emoji


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About Michelle Ngubo

I have been working at L2B since March 2014 and my current position is Content Researcher - Africa Department and Classy is the best word that describes me.

Leads 2 Business Weekly Quote

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This week’s quote to celebrate Women’s Month in August is an inspirational quote by an inspirational woman, Eleanor Roosevelt.


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About Marlaine Andersen

I have been working for Leads 2 Business, in the Private Projects Department, for 10 years this July. I am Deputy HoD for Private Projects. Researching mining projects and projects through-out the African continent are my areas of research and I find them most interesting.

Why are Coal-Powered Power Stations harmful to the Environment?

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Why are coal-powered power stations harmful to the environment?

Fossil fuels are indeed the top fuels used all over the world for generating power and electricity. Among the fossil fuels, coal is the most widely used fuel in power plants. Coal-fired power plants boiler use different kinds of machinery that convert heat energy produced from combustion into mechanical energy. Coal, gas, and oil are fossil fuels responsible for most of the world’s electricity and energy demands. Coal, which is readily available in most of the developing and developed world, has been used as a major source of fuel even in ancient human civilizations. It also found its use in historic steam engines at the dawn of the industrial revolution.

There are many advantages to coal power stations like Reliability, Affordability, Safety, etc. but as much as coal is reliable and affordable how safe is it?

The major disadvantage of coal is its negative impact on the environment. Coal-burning energy plants are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to carbon monoxide and heavy metals like mercury, the use of coal releases sulfur dioxide, a harmful substance linked to acid rain.

Air pollution from coal power stations causes disease and kills thousands of South Africans every year, says UK expert. Air pollution from coal-fired power stations kills more than 2,200 South Africans every year and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually.

In 2016 these were the statistics that were provided by Dr Holland to the Department of Environmental Affairs and to members of the Environmental Affairs and Health Portfolio Committees

2 239 deaths per year: 157 from lung cancer; 1 110 from ischaemic heart disease; 73 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;719 from strokes; and 180 from a lower respiratory infection
2 781 cases of chronic bronchitis per year in adults
9 533 cases of bronchitis per year in children aged 6 to 12
2 379 hospital admissions per year
3 972 902 days of restricted activity per year
94 680 days of asthma symptoms per year in children aged 5 to 19
996 628 lost working days per year
All these statistics and yet the Minister of Mineral Resources unveiled the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan, saying “coal will continue to play a significant role in electricity generation. This is a 10-year plan which includes increasing the country’s current 47,000 megawatts of energy by 1,500 megawatts from coal, 2,500 megawatts from hydro, 6,000 megawatts from solar and 14,400 megawatts from wind. Mantashe said coal would contribute 59% of the country’s energy, as “the country has the resource in abundance” and coal-fired power plants “are going to be around for a long time.”

For clean fresh air, we must say no to coal. It continues to fuel climate change, supercharge extreme weather events, poison our air and consumes precious freshwater.

Sources:
Phys
LinkedIn
The Guardian
CER


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About Nazeema Shelembe

I am a content researcher who just started with Leads 2 Business in February this year, I work in the Daily Tenders South Africa department. I am a young vibrant lady who enjoys meeting new people and doing new things. I welcome challenges and always find new ways of doing things. I am a mum and I love spending time with my not so little, very talkative son.

Electricity in Africa

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Africa’s people don’t have access to electricity – why and what is being done?

So I was a bit worried about the topic of this blog and I’m not going to lie…doing research on it gave me a bit of a wake-up call. It made me realise how easy and often we take things for granted. I have realised that the small things in life are what truly counts and that without them people’s lives can be really dim 😉

The first question…WHY?

Some countries don’t have enough resources to provide electricity to the citizens. If those countries don’t have the resources or if they don’t have the money to buy or build the resources that generate electricity, the country, unfortunately, can’t provide it to their citizens. Today, one in three Africans do not have access to electricity, which means they have to make use of paraffin or spend their lives in darkness. Power providers are financially unable to provide electricity and often suffer from old infrastructure, which then means they can’t deliver their services to customers. If this does not change, there will be more people without power by 2030 than there are now.

One of the major barriers to electrification is the cost of a grid connection. A grid connection in Kenya, for example, is estimated at USD 400 per household…I mean, really!

Another big reason…Some households won’t be metered as they do not have a formal address, or people live in an area that is difficult to access – for example near flood plains or in informal settlements.  So then again how would these families be able to afford USD 400 to be connected to electricity???

And then probably the biggest reason…Corruption…between service providers, power theft and the establishment of electricity cartels also upset and limits electricity access.

So, let’s look at some statistics:

The number of people without access to electricity globally has dropped, from 1.2 billion in 2010 to 840 million in 2017. It is predicted that by 2030, there will still be about 650 million people without access to electricity, and 9 out of 10 of them will live in Sub-Saharan Africa…how scary is this!

Which country has no electricity? – South Sudan is the country with the worst level of electricity access in the world, with a minimal amount of 4.5% of the population connected to the power grid as of 2014. Only 7% of those living in Burundi have access to electricity, while in Chad this figure is 8%.

The 15 most under-powered countries are all based in Africa. In Sierra Leone, the situation had gotten worse since 1990, down from 18.4% to 13.1%. Same situation in Angola – down from 47% to 32%, Djibouti – down from 63.4% to 46.7% and Kiribati – down from 95.2% to 48.1%.

Across most of central Africa, the overall percentage who have access to electricity averages less than 21.22%. Many clinics and hospitals lack access to reliable electricity as well as half of the secondary schools in sub-Saharan Africa do not have power.

The below graph is a good illustration of the percentage of households in various countries who have access to electricity:

With this all being said, what can be done to improve this situation for millions of people on the African continent?

A very important recommendation is that households must be encouraged to have individual meters to measure their electricity usage. Installing prepaid meters can be very beneficial whereby it gives low-income households the option of paying in smaller amounts instead of a bigger amount at the end of the month this allows poorer households to budget and pay for electricity as and when they can.

A study found that the above option can be very beneficial and affordable to the poorer households. However, service providers must minimize technical and commercial power system losses due to activities such as meter tampering. Increasing tariffs, which are the rates consumers pay for electricity, are also necessary but should aim at large- and medium-size consumers first and in line with service quality improvement.  Sharing the initial cost of connection across all electricity users, including large- and medium-sized firms, could also help take away the burden of upfront connection costs for poor households. However, a more efficient billing system should be implemented to ensure revenue is collected on a broader scale and not always just focus on large and medium-size consumers.

Millions of people still living without access to electricity live in urban areas. Most are within a stone throw from existing power grid infrastructure. So, why aren’t these consumers connected to the formal grid?

Urban communities also often face many challenges in obtaining access to electricity. These range from extremely high costs of a connection, to informal housing, power theft and many more.

Decentralised renewable energy technologies (solar, wind, small hydro) offer an important solution for “under-the-grid” electrification. They are simple, fast and easier to set up. They have short installation times, and also offer a reliable electricity service for informal settlements. The willingness to pay for decentralised renewables is much higher than a grid connection because they are seen as more reliable. People are looking for new ways to create a more reliable and efficient system to produce electricity.  Another advantage of decentralised renewables is that they are much easier to maintain than current grid systems in place and also contribute to factors such as job creation.

Access to reliable, safe, and affordable electricity can improve so many lives in Sub-Saharan Africa—people can work longer and be more productive, children can study at night and hospitals can provide reliable healthcare to those who need it.

In conclusion, there is light at the end of the tunnel…60% of the newly connected population were in rural areas, where it is more difficult to connect people. The urban electrification rate increased from 72% to 74% and rural electrification increased from 16% to 23% in the same time frame. These solutions show that with the right approach, and simple innovations, Africa’s prospective urban customers can finally get access to electricity. This, in turn, will boost countries’ economies and will hopefully provide a brighter future for all!

Sources:
Worldbank
WRI
Economist
QZ
The Conversation
Brookings
Express


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About Bianca Horne

I started working at Leads 2 Business in May 2013 in the Africa Tenders Department. I worked my way to the Leads 2 Quotes Department in September 2016 and have been there ever since.

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