D.A. Barber

  • Closing Africa’s Skill-Gap Offers Private Sector Opportunities

    By D.A. Barber, 5:43 am AFKI Original

    Africa is facing a critical shortage of hands-on tech and engineering skills with a particular need for energy-related technicians to build and maintain projects all over the subcontinent. The World Bank, World Economic Forum, General Electric and even China are among the entities that have recently stepped up to close the gaping tech skill-gap in order to get more sub-Saharans into the 21st Century workforce. “Capacity and skills building are central to the development of Africa,” Patricia Obozuwa, Director of Corporate Communications for GE Africa told AFKInsider in an interview.

  • More Believers Join Africa’s Off-Grid Energy Revolution

    By D.A. Barber, 4:38 am AFKI Original

    More than two-thirds of the population in sub-Sahara Africa is without electricity because they are not grid-connected, including more than 85 percent of those living in rural areas. That is nearly 600 million with no access to an electricity grid, a number expected to reach 700 million by 2030, according to World Energy Outlook. But now everyone from local entrepreneurs to a new United States government program are jumping on Africa’s off-grid energy revolution bandwagon.

  • US Stepping Up Presence In Sub-Saharan Africa Energy Boom

    By D.A. Barber, 2:51 am AFKI Original

    Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world, with the International Monetary Fund predicting continued growth as part of the continents economic transformation. Much of that transformation has to do with a fast-growing middle class, as well as vast agricultural and mineral resources, which are attracting investors and businesses from around the world.

  • Africa’s ‘Clean Energy Corridor’ Sparking Cross-border Cooperation

    By D.A. Barber, 4:13 am AFKI Original

    Spearheaded by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Africa Clean Energy Corridor would create a 5,000-mile north-south electricity transmission grid stretching from Egypt through Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe to South Africa.

  • May Is A Busy Month For African Energy Investors

    By D.A. Barber, 3:36 pm AFKI Original

    More than two thirds of Africa’s population is without electricity, including roughly 85 percent of those living in rural areas. Private investment will play a critical role. The “Third Annual Powering Africa: Mozambique” conference is scheduled for May 8 and May 9 in Maputo, one of many major conferences in Africa in May targeting energy and infrastructure investment.

  • South Africa’s Innovation Hub Promotes Smart Industries

    By D.A. Barber, 1:43 pm AFKI Original

    “Technology allows us to connect to anything at anytime, anywhere in the world and therefore we encourage our employees to be flexible in how they work by using remote connectivity and cloud computing while collaborating with their peers,” said Kurisani Maswanganyi, managing director of Kulani Engineering. “And this is why it is important for us to remain at the Innovation Hub.”

  • Certification Training For West African Solar Workforce Could Go Global

    By D.A. Barber, 11:24 am AFKI Original

    Arizona State University is helping to establish standardized certification training for solar technicians in West Africa that could become a global model. This could help African companies in their efforts to secure financing and it could even help narrow the gender gap. ASU is considered a world leader in solar research, power-grid management and sustainability. If standardized certification for solar workers is successful in West Africa, it could expand to East Africa and perhaps other countries.

  • Southern Africa Riding The SOLTRAIN To Solar Thermal Jobs

    By D.A. Barber, 2:33 am AFKI Original

    Solar thermal energy is commonly used to heat water and, though it may sound counter-intuitive, it can also be used to generate cool air without the need for electricity. Africa is considered the holy grail of the solar thermal cooling market. Solar thermal energy projects are popping up around Southern Africa, and the largest potential for that market is solar thermal cooling, aka air conditioning.

  • Empowering Africa’s Coasts For A Blue Economy

    By D.A. Barber, 11:08 am AFKI Original

    For some 200 million people — about 30 percent of Africa’s population — fish is the cheapest and main source of animal protein. Fisheries are major contributors to rural livelihoods, income and food security for most African coastal countries. They also attract foreign investment. When it comes to conceptualizing a blue economy, Seychelles may be leading the continent. “Our future depends on diversification of our economy and the blue economy presents the best chance for this,” Seychelles President Michel said. “Our determination to lead the development of Seychelles towards a blue economy is bearing fruit. We have succeeded in getting this concept onto the world agenda.”

  • Nigeria, Africa’s Biggest Economy On Paper?

    By D.A. Barber, 11:22 am AFKI Original

    Rebasing Nigeria’s GDP may be easier than changing investors’ perceptions when it comes to doing business in the country, experts say. “Just revising your GDP upward doesn’t mean that you are structurally more important as a location for investment, as a producer, as an exporter, as a trading partner, or a voice in the global economy,” said Peter M. Lewis, director of African Studies at Johns Hopkins University.