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  • 30 May 2016
    The past few days have been particularly difficult for me and saw my dad get admitted to the hospital for about five days. I knew he was unwell and his sugar level had been abnormally high but I did not think it would warrant a stay at the hospital. So you can imagine my shock and panic when I received a message telling me he had been admitted.  I called him right away and he sounded very weak and tired and it made me all weepy because I knew he was hurting and there is nothing I could do about it. More frustrating for me was not being able to see him and verifying for myself that he was going to be alright, so I called him and my mum everyday and somehow I found some peace in that. Luckily I had a very strong support system around me and that helped some and he is now back home healthy as a horse.   During this period I remember writing to a good friend of mine and telling him I was thinking of turning down an internship offer I had received because I needed to get home immediately after the end of the semester. He was very empathetic  with me but reminded me that sometimes being away from our loved ones is the cost we have to pay to make them proud and better ourselves. It made me think of what all of us have had to give up by being here. Some left little kids and a partner behind and they have missed some important milestones in their young lives and yet they keep going. Some have missed important occasions like weddings, graduations, family gatherings and a chance to properly bid farewell to a fallen loved one. For some they have seen relationships crumble because they could not withstand the test of distance. So this brings me to the big question, is it really worth it?    I believe with all my being that the sacrifices I have made have been worth every moment I have missed. Forget the academics even though that is why we are all here but think of all other opportunities that have come our way. I feel like coming to this country was necessary for me in order to start the journey to self discovery and growth. I might have been working before but my level of confidence has tripled over the past couple of months and I have grown into my own person. I have had a chance to find things that I am deeply passionate about and made connections with people I never thought I could stand a chance of meeting. Strangers have become family even though different blood runs in our veins. I continue to learn and make mistakes but the bottom line is I simply refuse to leave the same way I came.   That is my hope for all of us. That we may find something we are good at or care enough about while we are here and channel all our energy into making ourselves better. Like Foster Ofosu from the African Development Bank said during the International Water and Energy Fair; no one owes us anything other than ourselves. We have to motivate ourselves and knock on those doors that we have been made to believe cannot open for one reason or another. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to exploit every opportunity provided so that when our time is done here every sacrifice we have made will be worth it. Eventually you will find that what you consider to be the greatest sacrifice now will prove to be one of the greatest investments you could ever make.
    556 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • The past few days have been particularly difficult for me and saw my dad get admitted to the hospital for about five days. I knew he was unwell and his sugar level had been abnormally high but I did not think it would warrant a stay at the hospital. So you can imagine my shock and panic when I received a message telling me he had been admitted.  I called him right away and he sounded very weak and tired and it made me all weepy because I knew he was hurting and there is nothing I could do about it. More frustrating for me was not being able to see him and verifying for myself that he was going to be alright, so I called him and my mum everyday and somehow I found some peace in that. Luckily I had a very strong support system around me and that helped some and he is now back home healthy as a horse.   During this period I remember writing to a good friend of mine and telling him I was thinking of turning down an internship offer I had received because I needed to get home immediately after the end of the semester. He was very empathetic  with me but reminded me that sometimes being away from our loved ones is the cost we have to pay to make them proud and better ourselves. It made me think of what all of us have had to give up by being here. Some left little kids and a partner behind and they have missed some important milestones in their young lives and yet they keep going. Some have missed important occasions like weddings, graduations, family gatherings and a chance to properly bid farewell to a fallen loved one. For some they have seen relationships crumble because they could not withstand the test of distance. So this brings me to the big question, is it really worth it?    I believe with all my being that the sacrifices I have made have been worth every moment I have missed. Forget the academics even though that is why we are all here but think of all other opportunities that have come our way. I feel like coming to this country was necessary for me in order to start the journey to self discovery and growth. I might have been working before but my level of confidence has tripled over the past couple of months and I have grown into my own person. I have had a chance to find things that I am deeply passionate about and made connections with people I never thought I could stand a chance of meeting. Strangers have become family even though different blood runs in our veins. I continue to learn and make mistakes but the bottom line is I simply refuse to leave the same way I came.   That is my hope for all of us. That we may find something we are good at or care enough about while we are here and channel all our energy into making ourselves better. Like Foster Ofosu from the African Development Bank said during the International Water and Energy Fair; no one owes us anything other than ourselves. We have to motivate ourselves and knock on those doors that we have been made to believe cannot open for one reason or another. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to exploit every opportunity provided so that when our time is done here every sacrifice we have made will be worth it. Eventually you will find that what you consider to be the greatest sacrifice now will prove to be one of the greatest investments you could ever make.
    May 30, 2016 556
  • 15 Aug 2016
    It is funny how you can be going about your day and you have no idea that the universe is conspiring to turn your life around. In the past week I have known sorrow deep enough to drown in after I lost someone dear to me and my very close friend lost his father but I have also witnessed unadulterated love as one of my closest friends became a first time father. It is actually comical listening to him go on and on about how the daughter is not allowed to date until she is forty and you can bet I take great pleasure in tormenting him with just how karma will get him back for all his sins. As you can imagine it has been emotionally frustrating to be so far from home when all I want is to be surrounded by friends and family. To give and receive comfort. Regardless of the happenings my internship at the UNU-FLORES has been good and a great learning experience. I have also had immense pleasure of exploring the city and its rich history especially during the reign of Augustus the Strong. I have visited the castles and some of his hunting grounds and it felt like I was literally walking through history. I studied European history and as many of you may be aware Germany and France are at the center of it. I was always greatly fascinated by leaders like Otto Von Bismarck and Napoleon Bonaparte and left to wonder how men like Adolf Hitler could have possibly risen to power. Walking through Berlin brought all the history I could remember back to life and I took great pleasure in walking through it and knowing what it all meant. Yet even as a foreigner you can tell that the past is still influencing the present either by how people interact or even by what is left unsaid. I like to travel and being here is a testament to that. I honestly believe that travelling to new places opens up your mind to new possibilities and limitless opportunities. The biggest challenge however is in making new ties and friendships and carving a place for yourself in people’s lives. Sometimes it is difficult to establish roots when you do not intend to stay at a place for too long but other times you meet adventurous spirits like yourself and a connection is formed. Yet you have to keep trying because part of learning and growing as a person is getting to know how to break the social barriers and stereotypes. I love watching animation movies and if you are like me I am sure you have watched “The Lion King” which holds so much truth even in real life. There is so much in this life to be done and seen and it can all seem so daunting. In the midst of it all we have to remember who we are and what defines us and keep those we care about close. Life will change whether we want it to or not, that is just the circle of life but we can all ease into it through making subtle changes. In the end we have all loved and lost, gotten it right or wrong but that is what makes this life so intriguing.
    536 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • It is funny how you can be going about your day and you have no idea that the universe is conspiring to turn your life around. In the past week I have known sorrow deep enough to drown in after I lost someone dear to me and my very close friend lost his father but I have also witnessed unadulterated love as one of my closest friends became a first time father. It is actually comical listening to him go on and on about how the daughter is not allowed to date until she is forty and you can bet I take great pleasure in tormenting him with just how karma will get him back for all his sins. As you can imagine it has been emotionally frustrating to be so far from home when all I want is to be surrounded by friends and family. To give and receive comfort. Regardless of the happenings my internship at the UNU-FLORES has been good and a great learning experience. I have also had immense pleasure of exploring the city and its rich history especially during the reign of Augustus the Strong. I have visited the castles and some of his hunting grounds and it felt like I was literally walking through history. I studied European history and as many of you may be aware Germany and France are at the center of it. I was always greatly fascinated by leaders like Otto Von Bismarck and Napoleon Bonaparte and left to wonder how men like Adolf Hitler could have possibly risen to power. Walking through Berlin brought all the history I could remember back to life and I took great pleasure in walking through it and knowing what it all meant. Yet even as a foreigner you can tell that the past is still influencing the present either by how people interact or even by what is left unsaid. I like to travel and being here is a testament to that. I honestly believe that travelling to new places opens up your mind to new possibilities and limitless opportunities. The biggest challenge however is in making new ties and friendships and carving a place for yourself in people’s lives. Sometimes it is difficult to establish roots when you do not intend to stay at a place for too long but other times you meet adventurous spirits like yourself and a connection is formed. Yet you have to keep trying because part of learning and growing as a person is getting to know how to break the social barriers and stereotypes. I love watching animation movies and if you are like me I am sure you have watched “The Lion King” which holds so much truth even in real life. There is so much in this life to be done and seen and it can all seem so daunting. In the midst of it all we have to remember who we are and what defines us and keep those we care about close. Life will change whether we want it to or not, that is just the circle of life but we can all ease into it through making subtle changes. In the end we have all loved and lost, gotten it right or wrong but that is what makes this life so intriguing.
    Aug 15, 2016 536
  • 20 Jan 2016
    Morocco establishes international tender for large-scale solar power project ESI Africa – 15 January 2016 – Click here for full article In North Africa, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy has established a new international tender for a large-scale solar power project with a total installed capacity of 400MW. The solar power project will include systems based on solar PV and solar thermal power generation technology, according to The North Africa Post.   L’Algérie et l’Inde veulent développer la coopération énergétique L’Econews – 14 January 2016 – Click here for full article Le ministre de l'Energie, Salah Khebri, a reçu jeudi, l'ambassadeur de l'Inde en Algérie, Kuldeep Singh Bhardwaj, avec qui, il a discuté des opportunités de coopération dans le domaine de l'énergie, indique un communiqué du ministère.   World Bank endorses financial aid for Liberian energy projects ESI Africa – 13 January 2016 – Click here for full article On Monday, the World Bank announced that it has endorsed a new funding contract that is worth a total of $27 million, which will be aimed at fast-tracking access to affordable and reliable electricity in Liberia   Les énergies renouvelables en Afrique ne sont pas une utopie Le Monde – 13 January 2016 – Click here for full article Face aux enjeux économiques, sociaux et environnementaux que présente la situation énergétique du continent africain, il est temps de développer un modèle fondé sur la compétitivité des énergies renouvelables et la participation financière des capitaux locaux. L’Afrique est à la veille d’un bond technologique dans les énergies comme elle en a connu un dans les télécoms   African Sunshine Can Now Be Bought and Sold on the Bond Market Bloomberg – 12 January 2016 – Click here for full article Africa’s off-grid solar industry has been turned into an asset class for the first time, bundling contracts for thousands of the sun-powered rooftop electricity systems to sell as bonds. Dutch investor Oikocredit International and Persistent Energy Capital LLC, a New York-based merchant bank, jointly decided to try to replicate the U.S. model of securitizing residential solar panels. They are working with the London-based developer BBOXX Ltd.   Formation de techniciens en énergie solaire photovoltaïque Afriquejet – 12 January 2016 – Click here for full article Éclairer l’Afrique à partir de l’énergie solaire photovoltaïque - A partir du 16 janvier 2016, Bamako abritera une académie de formation de techniciens en énergie solaire. Cette formation s'adressera à des étudiants ayant un profil d’entrepreneur, d’acteur du domaine de l'énergie solaire ou de décideur politique de l’orientation énergétique dans leurs pays respectifs.
    1488 Posted by David Paulus
  • Morocco establishes international tender for large-scale solar power project ESI Africa – 15 January 2016 – Click here for full article In North Africa, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy has established a new international tender for a large-scale solar power project with a total installed capacity of 400MW. The solar power project will include systems based on solar PV and solar thermal power generation technology, according to The North Africa Post.   L’Algérie et l’Inde veulent développer la coopération énergétique L’Econews – 14 January 2016 – Click here for full article Le ministre de l'Energie, Salah Khebri, a reçu jeudi, l'ambassadeur de l'Inde en Algérie, Kuldeep Singh Bhardwaj, avec qui, il a discuté des opportunités de coopération dans le domaine de l'énergie, indique un communiqué du ministère.   World Bank endorses financial aid for Liberian energy projects ESI Africa – 13 January 2016 – Click here for full article On Monday, the World Bank announced that it has endorsed a new funding contract that is worth a total of $27 million, which will be aimed at fast-tracking access to affordable and reliable electricity in Liberia   Les énergies renouvelables en Afrique ne sont pas une utopie Le Monde – 13 January 2016 – Click here for full article Face aux enjeux économiques, sociaux et environnementaux que présente la situation énergétique du continent africain, il est temps de développer un modèle fondé sur la compétitivité des énergies renouvelables et la participation financière des capitaux locaux. L’Afrique est à la veille d’un bond technologique dans les énergies comme elle en a connu un dans les télécoms   African Sunshine Can Now Be Bought and Sold on the Bond Market Bloomberg – 12 January 2016 – Click here for full article Africa’s off-grid solar industry has been turned into an asset class for the first time, bundling contracts for thousands of the sun-powered rooftop electricity systems to sell as bonds. Dutch investor Oikocredit International and Persistent Energy Capital LLC, a New York-based merchant bank, jointly decided to try to replicate the U.S. model of securitizing residential solar panels. They are working with the London-based developer BBOXX Ltd.   Formation de techniciens en énergie solaire photovoltaïque Afriquejet – 12 January 2016 – Click here for full article Éclairer l’Afrique à partir de l’énergie solaire photovoltaïque - A partir du 16 janvier 2016, Bamako abritera une académie de formation de techniciens en énergie solaire. Cette formation s'adressera à des étudiants ayant un profil d’entrepreneur, d’acteur du domaine de l'énergie solaire ou de décideur politique de l’orientation énergétique dans leurs pays respectifs.
    Jan 20, 2016 1488
  • 29 Mar 2016
    “I am sorry for your loss” I do not think there exists a less inadequate word in the face of grief and yet there is nothing else to say. We have all lost a loved one or know someone who has. It is like our eyes get opened and we suddenly realize that our loved ones are immortal and the anxiety starts. We spend endless nights worrying if we will lose someone else, after all the clock is ticking. The disbelief that you can never call them again, hear their laughter or their voice is the tip of the iceberg. The pain is so numbing it hurts to breath, your mind constantly whirls with thoughts that make little to no sense. You operate on autopilot, it is a nightmare you tell yourself and you have to eventually wake up only you never. I remember that day as if it was just yesterday, funny how you wake up and you do not realize your life is about to be forever changed.. I would watch him sleep and feel for any sign of life, sometimes I would wake him just to make sure. I must have looked like a fool thinking that my gaze and touch could keep him breathing just a little bit longer. I thought in all my selfishness I could will him to stay in the land of the living. When he finally breathed his last I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders especially when we had to leave him behind. I remember thinking what if he wakes up and he is all alone and freezing, maybe he was alive and the doctors couldn’t tell. I still left and the guilt ate at me, guilt over leaving him and wondering if we had done enough to get him the best care. Still you have to hide the pain because you are not the only one suffering or grieving and you have to be strong they say. It is the cycle of life. The condolences begin to pour in and for a minute you just want everyone to stop treating you like you are fragile China. Every one tip toes around the loss and treat you like a nut case waiting to crack at the mention of your loved one. You do not want to look in their eyes because you will see the pity while all you crave for is for someone to act normal around you. Then that day, when dust returns to dust comes. You realize things just got real, your loved one is never coming home again, never calling or picking your calls, you are never seeing them again. They are gone. Everybody else goes home and you are expected to go on with life, pick up the pieces and man up. You want to hide from the world, sleep all day, and forget you even have a job or friends. You worry that you won’t be able to keep their memory alive. You will forget their face, voice or the sound of their laughter. If you let it, depression will set in. It is an ugly monster so you have to fight it or seek help. They say time heals all wounds but I strongly refute this. The pain never goes away; the tears never truly dry nor does life ever go back to normal. But we take comfort in the hope that they are watching over us and they would want us to be happy. We soldier on and put on a brave face because that is who we are, resilient with an unbreakable spirit and heart. We can still love them from the other side of life; we can still say their name and keep their memory alive. And in all this maybe we can learn to treasure those who are still with us.
    558 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • “I am sorry for your loss” I do not think there exists a less inadequate word in the face of grief and yet there is nothing else to say. We have all lost a loved one or know someone who has. It is like our eyes get opened and we suddenly realize that our loved ones are immortal and the anxiety starts. We spend endless nights worrying if we will lose someone else, after all the clock is ticking. The disbelief that you can never call them again, hear their laughter or their voice is the tip of the iceberg. The pain is so numbing it hurts to breath, your mind constantly whirls with thoughts that make little to no sense. You operate on autopilot, it is a nightmare you tell yourself and you have to eventually wake up only you never. I remember that day as if it was just yesterday, funny how you wake up and you do not realize your life is about to be forever changed.. I would watch him sleep and feel for any sign of life, sometimes I would wake him just to make sure. I must have looked like a fool thinking that my gaze and touch could keep him breathing just a little bit longer. I thought in all my selfishness I could will him to stay in the land of the living. When he finally breathed his last I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders especially when we had to leave him behind. I remember thinking what if he wakes up and he is all alone and freezing, maybe he was alive and the doctors couldn’t tell. I still left and the guilt ate at me, guilt over leaving him and wondering if we had done enough to get him the best care. Still you have to hide the pain because you are not the only one suffering or grieving and you have to be strong they say. It is the cycle of life. The condolences begin to pour in and for a minute you just want everyone to stop treating you like you are fragile China. Every one tip toes around the loss and treat you like a nut case waiting to crack at the mention of your loved one. You do not want to look in their eyes because you will see the pity while all you crave for is for someone to act normal around you. Then that day, when dust returns to dust comes. You realize things just got real, your loved one is never coming home again, never calling or picking your calls, you are never seeing them again. They are gone. Everybody else goes home and you are expected to go on with life, pick up the pieces and man up. You want to hide from the world, sleep all day, and forget you even have a job or friends. You worry that you won’t be able to keep their memory alive. You will forget their face, voice or the sound of their laughter. If you let it, depression will set in. It is an ugly monster so you have to fight it or seek help. They say time heals all wounds but I strongly refute this. The pain never goes away; the tears never truly dry nor does life ever go back to normal. But we take comfort in the hope that they are watching over us and they would want us to be happy. We soldier on and put on a brave face because that is who we are, resilient with an unbreakable spirit and heart. We can still love them from the other side of life; we can still say their name and keep their memory alive. And in all this maybe we can learn to treasure those who are still with us.
    Mar 29, 2016 558
  • 27 Apr 2016
    Day 2, Session 1This session was mainly focused on presentations concerning Economics and Finance plus potential assessment in relation to Renewable Energy scenarios . Among the presentations that were held included one that was solely on the exploration of the conditions for Renewable Energy transitions in Nigeria. The presenter highlighted the reasons behind the unequal distribution of the adoption of renewable energy across the thirty six states of the country. The multi-level socio-technical perspective (MLP) which involves the examination of the variation along three hypotheses: the niche hypothesis, the regime hypothesis and the landscape hypothesis was used. The presenter argued that while all three hypotheses are able to explain variation in the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Nigeria to some extent, the regime hypothesis plays a more prominent role. He explained that the hypothesis exposes clearly the structural dependence of states on oil and its influence on the adoption of renewable energy technologies. The presenter additionally discussed the crucial pathways in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria and beyond. After this topic, a presenter from Wits Business School, Johannesburg, South Africa followed with an investigation on the state of financing Renewable Energy projects (REPs). According his survey, the following results were obtained; firstly, with firms, the risk to lose the capital in financing Renewable energy projects located in semi-urban and rural areas is higher than projects implemented in urban areas. Secondly, it was found out that in investing capital, safety of the environment or impacting local economic development is not a priority for larger firms financing REPs. Thirdly, with smaller localised firms, in financing REPs, the capacity of renewable energy technologies (RETs) to contribute to sustainable economic development is an important consideration. As a solution for sustainable economic development improvement in semi-rural and rural communities, the presenter proposed the two hand renewable energy service company model of ESCO as efficient financial vehicles to increase sustainable economic development through the production of reliable and stable electricity in semi-urban and rural communities. The presentation that followed was about Smart Pricing Implementation where a simulator with ICT Infrastructure was used to approximate the system in operation. The presenter highlighted that due to a general lack of established designs, technologies and business models in developing countries, a generic platform for planning and evaluating alternative microgrid technologies and operating strategies is needed for the developing world context. He underscored that while microgrid testbeds have proved effective in many developed countries – notably within the European Union (EU) and North America – such a tool has not been developed specifically to address the variety of system architectures and technologies that arise in developing world settings. A testbed for developing world microgrids, now being planned in Rwanda was used in his study for the different case scenarios. Both DC and AC micro grids as well as Solar Home Systems (SHS), were to be represented in the testbed scenarios. The testbed would also calculate the economic effects of tiered pricing, where consumers would agree to different electricity prices in the same microgrid based on the level of service they choose. The presenter commended such a system as it modeled smart meters that provide precision monitoring and control to estimate economic returns from microgrids with different pricing schemes and different power clipping levels that correspond to the levels of service offered to consumers. Follow this heading for more interesting researches that were presented in the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Research and Innovations Symposium. @Editorial_team  
    538 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • Day 2, Session 1This session was mainly focused on presentations concerning Economics and Finance plus potential assessment in relation to Renewable Energy scenarios . Among the presentations that were held included one that was solely on the exploration of the conditions for Renewable Energy transitions in Nigeria. The presenter highlighted the reasons behind the unequal distribution of the adoption of renewable energy across the thirty six states of the country. The multi-level socio-technical perspective (MLP) which involves the examination of the variation along three hypotheses: the niche hypothesis, the regime hypothesis and the landscape hypothesis was used. The presenter argued that while all three hypotheses are able to explain variation in the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Nigeria to some extent, the regime hypothesis plays a more prominent role. He explained that the hypothesis exposes clearly the structural dependence of states on oil and its influence on the adoption of renewable energy technologies. The presenter additionally discussed the crucial pathways in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria and beyond. After this topic, a presenter from Wits Business School, Johannesburg, South Africa followed with an investigation on the state of financing Renewable Energy projects (REPs). According his survey, the following results were obtained; firstly, with firms, the risk to lose the capital in financing Renewable energy projects located in semi-urban and rural areas is higher than projects implemented in urban areas. Secondly, it was found out that in investing capital, safety of the environment or impacting local economic development is not a priority for larger firms financing REPs. Thirdly, with smaller localised firms, in financing REPs, the capacity of renewable energy technologies (RETs) to contribute to sustainable economic development is an important consideration. As a solution for sustainable economic development improvement in semi-rural and rural communities, the presenter proposed the two hand renewable energy service company model of ESCO as efficient financial vehicles to increase sustainable economic development through the production of reliable and stable electricity in semi-urban and rural communities. The presentation that followed was about Smart Pricing Implementation where a simulator with ICT Infrastructure was used to approximate the system in operation. The presenter highlighted that due to a general lack of established designs, technologies and business models in developing countries, a generic platform for planning and evaluating alternative microgrid technologies and operating strategies is needed for the developing world context. He underscored that while microgrid testbeds have proved effective in many developed countries – notably within the European Union (EU) and North America – such a tool has not been developed specifically to address the variety of system architectures and technologies that arise in developing world settings. A testbed for developing world microgrids, now being planned in Rwanda was used in his study for the different case scenarios. Both DC and AC micro grids as well as Solar Home Systems (SHS), were to be represented in the testbed scenarios. The testbed would also calculate the economic effects of tiered pricing, where consumers would agree to different electricity prices in the same microgrid based on the level of service they choose. The presenter commended such a system as it modeled smart meters that provide precision monitoring and control to estimate economic returns from microgrids with different pricing schemes and different power clipping levels that correspond to the levels of service offered to consumers. Follow this heading for more interesting researches that were presented in the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Research and Innovations Symposium. @Editorial_team  
    Apr 27, 2016 538
  • 02 May 2016
    Session 4 The first presenter for this session, Dr. Bertrand Tchanche from the International Institute for Science and Sustainable Development (IISSD), Amiens, France; presented on the “Interdisciplinary Approach to Accelerate Energy Access across Africa”. He holistically explained the disparities in energy resources at national and regional levels in Africa and the energy situation characterized by: a mismatch between the supply deficit and the surplus of untapped potential of renewable energies (wind, hydro, biomass, solar, geothermal); the polluting effects of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) on the environment and the impact on global warming; and the fact that energy was not taken into account as a fundamental and essential factor for sustainable development in political economy. He suggested an interdisciplinary methodology to put in conjunction with engineering and social sciences. This will help overcome barriers to energy access and contribute to sustainable development of communities through appropriate methods that facilitate the acceleration and adoption of renewable energy technologies. His method being also organizational seeks to foster collaboration between different actors and institutions (governments, organizations, communities) in order to implement a regulatory, legal and administrative framework that encourages investors and make reliable and affordable renewable energy technologies. Thereafter came the second presenter, Jerome Ndam Mungwe, from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. The presentation titled was “Sustainable Energization of Rural Areas of Developing Countries. A comprehensive planning approach” highlighted that Access to modern energy and energy related services in developing countries is a double-faced challenge with 1.3 billion people unable to access electricity and 2.6 billion relying on traditional biomass for cooking. According to him, solutions to this challenge can neither be through the isolated promotion of individual technologies nor fuel switching, but rather through a systemic approach to a more comprehensive energy access strategy, with the supply of alternative energy carriers and planning of complete energy solutions via a more comprehensive and sustainable rural energy planning. He further explained that the current approaches to Sustainable Energization do not account for the current energy balance and have not been applied in the context of rural areas. In conclusion, he proposed a comprehensive seven step rural energy planning methodology for the sustainable energization of rural areas in developing countries, which takes into account the current energy balance and integrate energy drivers in the energy services supply network. The application of this approach in a rural context shows a great improvement in the quantity, quality, and variety of accessible and affordable energy services for a more sustainable development of rural areas. The presenter that followed was, Prof Yekeen A. Sanusi, from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria, in a presentation titled “Energy Poverty and its Spatial Differences in Nigeria: Reversing the Trend” who clearly pointed out that the high level of poverty in the developing countries is also manifested in energy. Using his home country as a case study, he said that despite the abundant natural resources in Nigeria, access to energy is very low; with attention only on hydro sources for electricity generation and other renewable energy sources attracting very little attention. He examined thoroughly, households’ access to energy, energy poverty, spatial disparity in energy poverty and established relationships between energy poverty and factors of energy access. Finally, Yusto M. Yustas, from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania schooled the conference participants on “Characterisation of Renewable Energy Resources and Energy Demand in Semi-Arid Rural Areas”. He pointed out that the semi-arid rural areas in Tanzania predominantly lack access to clean, reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy for cooking, lighting and electrification; with also scarcity in fertile lands. Thus, practices that lead to environmental degradation such as rapid deforestation due to agricultural land expansions, charcoal making and firewood collection in these areas are very common. He explained that biogas plants of continuous low solid anaerobic digestion design were introduced in the area to address the unsustainable energy supply but because of the climate in the region most of the installed plants turned unsustainable and unreliable, hence the need for more reliable renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind in the area.   @Editorial_team  
    801 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • Session 4 The first presenter for this session, Dr. Bertrand Tchanche from the International Institute for Science and Sustainable Development (IISSD), Amiens, France; presented on the “Interdisciplinary Approach to Accelerate Energy Access across Africa”. He holistically explained the disparities in energy resources at national and regional levels in Africa and the energy situation characterized by: a mismatch between the supply deficit and the surplus of untapped potential of renewable energies (wind, hydro, biomass, solar, geothermal); the polluting effects of fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) on the environment and the impact on global warming; and the fact that energy was not taken into account as a fundamental and essential factor for sustainable development in political economy. He suggested an interdisciplinary methodology to put in conjunction with engineering and social sciences. This will help overcome barriers to energy access and contribute to sustainable development of communities through appropriate methods that facilitate the acceleration and adoption of renewable energy technologies. His method being also organizational seeks to foster collaboration between different actors and institutions (governments, organizations, communities) in order to implement a regulatory, legal and administrative framework that encourages investors and make reliable and affordable renewable energy technologies. Thereafter came the second presenter, Jerome Ndam Mungwe, from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. The presentation titled was “Sustainable Energization of Rural Areas of Developing Countries. A comprehensive planning approach” highlighted that Access to modern energy and energy related services in developing countries is a double-faced challenge with 1.3 billion people unable to access electricity and 2.6 billion relying on traditional biomass for cooking. According to him, solutions to this challenge can neither be through the isolated promotion of individual technologies nor fuel switching, but rather through a systemic approach to a more comprehensive energy access strategy, with the supply of alternative energy carriers and planning of complete energy solutions via a more comprehensive and sustainable rural energy planning. He further explained that the current approaches to Sustainable Energization do not account for the current energy balance and have not been applied in the context of rural areas. In conclusion, he proposed a comprehensive seven step rural energy planning methodology for the sustainable energization of rural areas in developing countries, which takes into account the current energy balance and integrate energy drivers in the energy services supply network. The application of this approach in a rural context shows a great improvement in the quantity, quality, and variety of accessible and affordable energy services for a more sustainable development of rural areas. The presenter that followed was, Prof Yekeen A. Sanusi, from the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria, in a presentation titled “Energy Poverty and its Spatial Differences in Nigeria: Reversing the Trend” who clearly pointed out that the high level of poverty in the developing countries is also manifested in energy. Using his home country as a case study, he said that despite the abundant natural resources in Nigeria, access to energy is very low; with attention only on hydro sources for electricity generation and other renewable energy sources attracting very little attention. He examined thoroughly, households’ access to energy, energy poverty, spatial disparity in energy poverty and established relationships between energy poverty and factors of energy access. Finally, Yusto M. Yustas, from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania schooled the conference participants on “Characterisation of Renewable Energy Resources and Energy Demand in Semi-Arid Rural Areas”. He pointed out that the semi-arid rural areas in Tanzania predominantly lack access to clean, reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy for cooking, lighting and electrification; with also scarcity in fertile lands. Thus, practices that lead to environmental degradation such as rapid deforestation due to agricultural land expansions, charcoal making and firewood collection in these areas are very common. He explained that biogas plants of continuous low solid anaerobic digestion design were introduced in the area to address the unsustainable energy supply but because of the climate in the region most of the installed plants turned unsustainable and unreliable, hence the need for more reliable renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind in the area.   @Editorial_team  
    May 02, 2016 801
  • 16 May 2016
    I have been battling about writing this piece for a long time, majorly because I do not think I can do it the justice it deserves. I have many memories from childhood and some are a bit fuzzy but not for this particular incidence. I can still see myself sitting on my favorite seat watching the international weekly news roundup. I remember watching as dozens of people migrated from their homes in search of safety and thousands were reported dead. To be honest I felt far removed from these events and I didn’t pay it much attention until recently. Since moving to Algeria I have come to meet people who know the horrors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. They have shared the stories of the survivors and those who were not so lucky to escape and in more times than one I have begged them to stop because it made me sick to my stomach. I have often wondered what the survivors would think of me and my cowardly reaction. I hide from hearing the truth while they lived it for 100 days with no escape. They begged them to stop but no one listened, not even the international community that turned a deaf ear to their plea for help.   Approximately 1,000,000 men, women and children were killed and estimated 150,000-250,000 women were raped between the months of 7th April to 4th July 1994 in what is commonly referred to as 100 days of slaughter. It must have felt like a life time hoping that help would eventually come and realizing the world did not consider them a priority and they would have to wait a little longer for salvation to come. I wonder how many died hoping the next day would be better or help would arrive, how many felt the pain of betrayal and abandonment as their flicker of faith in humanity died. It was a period where the name on your identity card could mean the difference between life and death. The target of the attacks was the Tutsi minority as well as any political opponents irrespective of their ethnic background. Families and neighbors turned against each other and the whole country was bleeding. I wonder what would have driven fellow countrymen to such hatred. The root cause has been speculated to be political incitement out of the economic and social inequalities in Rwanda during that time but questions still remain. It is hard to comprehend and 22 years later we may never really get the answers and the closure the victims seek.   Rwanda maybe a unique case in terms of magnitude but the political incitement and ethnic cleansing rituals is not. It is common place for African leaders to divide their countries in ethnic lines in a bid to stay in office or win elective seats. Kenya for example experienced post election violence in 2007 where the presidential elections were heavily disputed. As a result neighbors turned against each other and over 1000 people lost their lives ,thousands were displaced from their homes and property worth millions destroyed. We are now preparing for the 2017 elections and the atmosphere in the country is politically charged and sadly politicians continue to incite the public based on ethnic affiliations with no consequence at all. The tale is the same across the continent on politically incited crashes like in Angola, Central Republic, South Sudan, and Burundi among many others.   How I wish we could all learn from the blood bath in Rwanda 22 years ago. Rwanda has risen from the ashes to become one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. I like to give my best friend grief over their loyalty to President Paul Kagame but who can blame them really. He is the man who has guided his country to reconciliation and healing and steered the economy on the right direction. To many Rwandeses he is popularly known as a leader who holds those within government accountable for their actions and demands performance in service delivery. He may be a man of many faults like his critics have said but let’s give credit where it is due.   I do not understand politics; it is a dirty game after all. I will never understand how the loss of lives is brushed off as collateral damage so a few people can remain in power or take over the political class. It is like to become a politician you have to trade your conscious for an ice cold heart than has no respect for human lives. We like to blame the west for all our troubles but if we are to apportion blame we deserve the heaviest load on our shoulders. We sit on the sidelines as the politicians squander public funds and resources and invest them in the west. We cheer them when they attack other ethnic groups in a bid to consolidate power and when they are put on trial for crimes against humanity we buy their lies that democracy is under trial. No wonder the west continues to poke their noses in our business since we can’t seem to get our house in order. I wonder when we will decide enough is enough hopefully heavens forbid not after we experience the horrors of Rwanda. ************************************************************************************************************************************************ I asked some of my friends from Rwanda what they wished Africa could learn from the genocide and here is what they had to say; Umulisa Diana: Africa has to realize we are the authors of our own destiny. The west does not create problems for us we do that all by ourselves. We fight against each other and kill but at the end of the day when all the dust settles we are faced by the reality that no one has the solutions we so desperately seek apart from ourselves. We are all we need to rebuild this continent. Pascal Kwisanga: I am Pascal KWISANGA from Rwanda. I was born  in Rwanda and I had been in  Rwanda before the genocide, during the genocide and after the genocide. I was 5 years old when the genocide happened in        Rwanda, I saw a lot of things      and learnt from what   happened and  what is happening in Rwanda. Africaand the            rest ofthe world should learn from what happened        in Rwanda in 1994. Genocide has taken         the life  of a million victims of         Rwandans and other  friends and more thana million became orphans, widowers  and widows. I  know what it means to lose your beloved parents and relatives; it is painful more than you think. Having tribes or clans is not a problem in a society but the way they can be used and be manipulated to the point you can exterminate human-being because of       the actual regime's mindset, this is not humanity. It    is better to help your country as          citizen  not as         regionalism ortribalism to make your country be developed in different        ways.  We don't need  to be used by        the politicians  or actual governments to satisfy their  needs   to destroy our  relationship and friendship but we need to act as a           nation and build our    country together. Hope, unity  and forgiveness are the key weapons  to strengthen our nations.                                                                                                            ENOUGH SAID                  
    867 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I have been battling about writing this piece for a long time, majorly because I do not think I can do it the justice it deserves. I have many memories from childhood and some are a bit fuzzy but not for this particular incidence. I can still see myself sitting on my favorite seat watching the international weekly news roundup. I remember watching as dozens of people migrated from their homes in search of safety and thousands were reported dead. To be honest I felt far removed from these events and I didn’t pay it much attention until recently. Since moving to Algeria I have come to meet people who know the horrors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. They have shared the stories of the survivors and those who were not so lucky to escape and in more times than one I have begged them to stop because it made me sick to my stomach. I have often wondered what the survivors would think of me and my cowardly reaction. I hide from hearing the truth while they lived it for 100 days with no escape. They begged them to stop but no one listened, not even the international community that turned a deaf ear to their plea for help.   Approximately 1,000,000 men, women and children were killed and estimated 150,000-250,000 women were raped between the months of 7th April to 4th July 1994 in what is commonly referred to as 100 days of slaughter. It must have felt like a life time hoping that help would eventually come and realizing the world did not consider them a priority and they would have to wait a little longer for salvation to come. I wonder how many died hoping the next day would be better or help would arrive, how many felt the pain of betrayal and abandonment as their flicker of faith in humanity died. It was a period where the name on your identity card could mean the difference between life and death. The target of the attacks was the Tutsi minority as well as any political opponents irrespective of their ethnic background. Families and neighbors turned against each other and the whole country was bleeding. I wonder what would have driven fellow countrymen to such hatred. The root cause has been speculated to be political incitement out of the economic and social inequalities in Rwanda during that time but questions still remain. It is hard to comprehend and 22 years later we may never really get the answers and the closure the victims seek.   Rwanda maybe a unique case in terms of magnitude but the political incitement and ethnic cleansing rituals is not. It is common place for African leaders to divide their countries in ethnic lines in a bid to stay in office or win elective seats. Kenya for example experienced post election violence in 2007 where the presidential elections were heavily disputed. As a result neighbors turned against each other and over 1000 people lost their lives ,thousands were displaced from their homes and property worth millions destroyed. We are now preparing for the 2017 elections and the atmosphere in the country is politically charged and sadly politicians continue to incite the public based on ethnic affiliations with no consequence at all. The tale is the same across the continent on politically incited crashes like in Angola, Central Republic, South Sudan, and Burundi among many others.   How I wish we could all learn from the blood bath in Rwanda 22 years ago. Rwanda has risen from the ashes to become one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. I like to give my best friend grief over their loyalty to President Paul Kagame but who can blame them really. He is the man who has guided his country to reconciliation and healing and steered the economy on the right direction. To many Rwandeses he is popularly known as a leader who holds those within government accountable for their actions and demands performance in service delivery. He may be a man of many faults like his critics have said but let’s give credit where it is due.   I do not understand politics; it is a dirty game after all. I will never understand how the loss of lives is brushed off as collateral damage so a few people can remain in power or take over the political class. It is like to become a politician you have to trade your conscious for an ice cold heart than has no respect for human lives. We like to blame the west for all our troubles but if we are to apportion blame we deserve the heaviest load on our shoulders. We sit on the sidelines as the politicians squander public funds and resources and invest them in the west. We cheer them when they attack other ethnic groups in a bid to consolidate power and when they are put on trial for crimes against humanity we buy their lies that democracy is under trial. No wonder the west continues to poke their noses in our business since we can’t seem to get our house in order. I wonder when we will decide enough is enough hopefully heavens forbid not after we experience the horrors of Rwanda. ************************************************************************************************************************************************ I asked some of my friends from Rwanda what they wished Africa could learn from the genocide and here is what they had to say; Umulisa Diana: Africa has to realize we are the authors of our own destiny. The west does not create problems for us we do that all by ourselves. We fight against each other and kill but at the end of the day when all the dust settles we are faced by the reality that no one has the solutions we so desperately seek apart from ourselves. We are all we need to rebuild this continent. Pascal Kwisanga: I am Pascal KWISANGA from Rwanda. I was born  in Rwanda and I had been in  Rwanda before the genocide, during the genocide and after the genocide. I was 5 years old when the genocide happened in        Rwanda, I saw a lot of things      and learnt from what   happened and  what is happening in Rwanda. Africaand the            rest ofthe world should learn from what happened        in Rwanda in 1994. Genocide has taken         the life  of a million victims of         Rwandans and other  friends and more thana million became orphans, widowers  and widows. I  know what it means to lose your beloved parents and relatives; it is painful more than you think. Having tribes or clans is not a problem in a society but the way they can be used and be manipulated to the point you can exterminate human-being because of       the actual regime's mindset, this is not humanity. It    is better to help your country as          citizen  not as         regionalism ortribalism to make your country be developed in different        ways.  We don't need  to be used by        the politicians  or actual governments to satisfy their  needs   to destroy our  relationship and friendship but we need to act as a           nation and build our    country together. Hope, unity  and forgiveness are the key weapons  to strengthen our nations.                                                                                                            ENOUGH SAID                  
    May 16, 2016 867
  • 31 May 2016
    I have thought about starting my own blog on COP for a while now. However, I have remained adamantly ‘lazy’ resulting in the decision to start dragging for some time now. It only took the realization that I was losing some of my ‘soft skills’, therefore, urgently needed to do something. I am particularly thrilled with what is happening in the technological field especially on electromobility. I believe the technology is not mature as for now, but a lot of R&D is ongoing that will see it viable and cheap in the next few years. Most technologies in their early years were expensive and deemed as luxury for the rich. But after more research, they ended up being cheap and of even better quality that the initial products. It is essential to look into the path taken by these technologies and relate it with the developments made in electromobility. Take the case of smartphones. Did you know that development of smartphones started way back in the early 1990s? Yes, several companies tried their hands on developing a combined telephone and computer. One of the flagship devices was Apple’s tablet Apple Newton PDA or MessagePad that had handwriting recognition. After being launched in 1993 at a retail price of $700, the end users complained that it had inaccurate handwriting. The high price also meant only a few hundred thousand units were sold before it was removed from the market in 1998. However, a breakthrough was made by the same company through introduction of the iPad. Apart from Apple, Nokia tried its hand on smartphone and launched Nokia Communicator in 1996. The NOKIA 9000 Communicator was considered a convenient device because of combined phone and computer. It had 8MB of memory and 33MHz processor. The screen was black and white LCD with a ‘high resolution’ of 640 × 200 pixel – was the best at the time. Imagine those specifications and you had to part with $800 to have that device. Now that everyone loves selfies, I am obliged to check out the evolution of the digital camera before I move back to the issue of electromobility. You will be surprised that Logitech, not Nikon or Canon, made the first digital camera. Their flagship, Logitech Fotoman, retailed at $980 in 1993! And the specifications were ridiculous compared to what we have in the market today; 1MB of internal memory holding 32 shots only at a resolution of 320 × 240 pixel. Was there anything special? Yes, you could ‘save’ money on developing photos. However, you could not preview the photos without connecting to your computer. Looking at all those and many more technologies, you will agree with me that we have not yet seen the best in electric cars. Traditional car companies have continuously aimed at perfecting the internal combustion engine. However, the need to go green is pushing them out of their comfort zone. We do not know what will come of it, but I have no doubt that electromobility will overcome the present challenges in the near future. When it happens, do not be surprised to see more electric vehicles on the roads even in your village in Africa than those using fuel. The G7 countries have set 2025 as the year subsidies on fossil fuel will be fully eliminated. Looking closely at the trend, more companies are also coming up in a bid to outdo the traditional car manufacturing companies with regards to development of electric cars. When the technology becomes mature, we will only look back and laugh at the flaws and the high price tag attached to the present electric cars. I also believe the rate of development is faster now than it was before super computers. Who thought that a smartphone sold for $980 in 1996 would have improved features to those we have in the market today at lower prices? For electric cars, we haven’t even started yet.  I hope you will one day drive me in your super car sometimes in the near future.
    725 Posted by Eric Akumu
  • I have thought about starting my own blog on COP for a while now. However, I have remained adamantly ‘lazy’ resulting in the decision to start dragging for some time now. It only took the realization that I was losing some of my ‘soft skills’, therefore, urgently needed to do something. I am particularly thrilled with what is happening in the technological field especially on electromobility. I believe the technology is not mature as for now, but a lot of R&D is ongoing that will see it viable and cheap in the next few years. Most technologies in their early years were expensive and deemed as luxury for the rich. But after more research, they ended up being cheap and of even better quality that the initial products. It is essential to look into the path taken by these technologies and relate it with the developments made in electromobility. Take the case of smartphones. Did you know that development of smartphones started way back in the early 1990s? Yes, several companies tried their hands on developing a combined telephone and computer. One of the flagship devices was Apple’s tablet Apple Newton PDA or MessagePad that had handwriting recognition. After being launched in 1993 at a retail price of $700, the end users complained that it had inaccurate handwriting. The high price also meant only a few hundred thousand units were sold before it was removed from the market in 1998. However, a breakthrough was made by the same company through introduction of the iPad. Apart from Apple, Nokia tried its hand on smartphone and launched Nokia Communicator in 1996. The NOKIA 9000 Communicator was considered a convenient device because of combined phone and computer. It had 8MB of memory and 33MHz processor. The screen was black and white LCD with a ‘high resolution’ of 640 × 200 pixel – was the best at the time. Imagine those specifications and you had to part with $800 to have that device. Now that everyone loves selfies, I am obliged to check out the evolution of the digital camera before I move back to the issue of electromobility. You will be surprised that Logitech, not Nikon or Canon, made the first digital camera. Their flagship, Logitech Fotoman, retailed at $980 in 1993! And the specifications were ridiculous compared to what we have in the market today; 1MB of internal memory holding 32 shots only at a resolution of 320 × 240 pixel. Was there anything special? Yes, you could ‘save’ money on developing photos. However, you could not preview the photos without connecting to your computer. Looking at all those and many more technologies, you will agree with me that we have not yet seen the best in electric cars. Traditional car companies have continuously aimed at perfecting the internal combustion engine. However, the need to go green is pushing them out of their comfort zone. We do not know what will come of it, but I have no doubt that electromobility will overcome the present challenges in the near future. When it happens, do not be surprised to see more electric vehicles on the roads even in your village in Africa than those using fuel. The G7 countries have set 2025 as the year subsidies on fossil fuel will be fully eliminated. Looking closely at the trend, more companies are also coming up in a bid to outdo the traditional car manufacturing companies with regards to development of electric cars. When the technology becomes mature, we will only look back and laugh at the flaws and the high price tag attached to the present electric cars. I also believe the rate of development is faster now than it was before super computers. Who thought that a smartphone sold for $980 in 1996 would have improved features to those we have in the market today at lower prices? For electric cars, we haven’t even started yet.  I hope you will one day drive me in your super car sometimes in the near future.
    May 31, 2016 725
  • 13 Jun 2016
    I have enjoyed the last couple of days off from class and I am now mentally rested and ready to finish the next two modules and get a start on the summer holidays as I am sure most of you are. I am glad to report I finished my reading on a few books that have been pending and I also had time to watch the CIS Cyber Crime series. I have always known that danger lurks in the web and online privacy is more of an illusion than it is real, but watching this series drove the point home. I am sure they add some theatrics and drama to make the plot more interesting but the message cannot be ignored. We have built our lives around wireless and wired connections and very few of us give second thought to the dangers we are exposing ourselves to or our loved ones.    Cybercrimes are offences committed over the web. There are many types of cyber crimes ranging from theft, terrorism, stalking, bullying, identity theft, malicious software, child grooming and abuse and hacking among many others. One may argue that these crimes are only common in the west but it is happening in Africa as well. Cyber criminals consider Africa as an opportune place to commit their criminal activities majorly because of the high number of domains coupled with weak network and information security. The legislation to tackle cyber crime is also non-existent in most African countries which provide a safe haven for criminals within and beyond our borders.   In Africa Nigeria is the largest target and source of malicious internet activities and the trend is quickly spreading to other countries in West Africa. The rest of Africa has not been spared especially in the large economic hubs like Nairobi, Cairo, and Johannesburg where criminal activities on the web such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnapping are on the rise. There is proof that terrorist activities organized by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Alshabaab in Somalia and Kenya have been coordinated and planned over the web. Take for example the West gate attack in Kenya where 67 people lost their lives and cost the economy an estimated $200 million in tourism revenue. A study carried out by the International Data Group Connect estimates that annually, cybercrimes cost the South African economy $573 million, the Nigeria economy $200 million and $36 million to the Kenyan economy.   If you go through the web you will come across numerous stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were victims of cyber crimes. There are heartbreaking stories of women and men who have lost their entire fortune to cons on the internet. Homes have been broken into and assault or murder committed because someone thought it was a good idea to post their where about or home address online. Parents have been victims of their children’s photographs being stolen from social sites and posted on adult sites. Children have been bullied relentlessly on the web and some have ended their lives as a result. People have reported being watched by stalkers for months without their knowledge on their webcams. Heinous acts such as child grooming by pedophiles and human traffickers are a daily occurrence and yet most of us continue to share every moment of our lives with careless abandon.   I am not here to scare you (maybe a little) or preach against the internet and the various platforms it offers, heaven knows we continue to reap numerous benefits from the easy connectivity it gives. What I want is for all of us to be conscious of what we post and share and with whom and on what platform. We are guilty of agreeing to terms and conditions on websites so that we can start using their services without carefully reading their privacy regulations. Every time we post something online or disclose our location we are leaving a trail or footprint that can be used to harm us. I will give you an easy example; go to your Facebook or Instagram account or any other social account you may have and look at the number of “friends” you have. How many of these people do you really know and yet you give a chronicle of your life to them every single day.     Some of the most practical and easy ways suggested by INTERPOL on how you can ensure online safety are keeping your computer safe from viruses, opening attachments from only contacts you trust, being cautious about public wireless connections, keeping your spam filter switched on among many others at your disposal on their website. The internet is here to stay and our need for it will only grow but what we can do is taking it upon ourselves to ensure that our privacy and that of our loved ones is not defiled and realizing with time not every moment needs to be shared with the world.
    665 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I have enjoyed the last couple of days off from class and I am now mentally rested and ready to finish the next two modules and get a start on the summer holidays as I am sure most of you are. I am glad to report I finished my reading on a few books that have been pending and I also had time to watch the CIS Cyber Crime series. I have always known that danger lurks in the web and online privacy is more of an illusion than it is real, but watching this series drove the point home. I am sure they add some theatrics and drama to make the plot more interesting but the message cannot be ignored. We have built our lives around wireless and wired connections and very few of us give second thought to the dangers we are exposing ourselves to or our loved ones.    Cybercrimes are offences committed over the web. There are many types of cyber crimes ranging from theft, terrorism, stalking, bullying, identity theft, malicious software, child grooming and abuse and hacking among many others. One may argue that these crimes are only common in the west but it is happening in Africa as well. Cyber criminals consider Africa as an opportune place to commit their criminal activities majorly because of the high number of domains coupled with weak network and information security. The legislation to tackle cyber crime is also non-existent in most African countries which provide a safe haven for criminals within and beyond our borders.   In Africa Nigeria is the largest target and source of malicious internet activities and the trend is quickly spreading to other countries in West Africa. The rest of Africa has not been spared especially in the large economic hubs like Nairobi, Cairo, and Johannesburg where criminal activities on the web such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnapping are on the rise. There is proof that terrorist activities organized by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Alshabaab in Somalia and Kenya have been coordinated and planned over the web. Take for example the West gate attack in Kenya where 67 people lost their lives and cost the economy an estimated $200 million in tourism revenue. A study carried out by the International Data Group Connect estimates that annually, cybercrimes cost the South African economy $573 million, the Nigeria economy $200 million and $36 million to the Kenyan economy.   If you go through the web you will come across numerous stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were victims of cyber crimes. There are heartbreaking stories of women and men who have lost their entire fortune to cons on the internet. Homes have been broken into and assault or murder committed because someone thought it was a good idea to post their where about or home address online. Parents have been victims of their children’s photographs being stolen from social sites and posted on adult sites. Children have been bullied relentlessly on the web and some have ended their lives as a result. People have reported being watched by stalkers for months without their knowledge on their webcams. Heinous acts such as child grooming by pedophiles and human traffickers are a daily occurrence and yet most of us continue to share every moment of our lives with careless abandon.   I am not here to scare you (maybe a little) or preach against the internet and the various platforms it offers, heaven knows we continue to reap numerous benefits from the easy connectivity it gives. What I want is for all of us to be conscious of what we post and share and with whom and on what platform. We are guilty of agreeing to terms and conditions on websites so that we can start using their services without carefully reading their privacy regulations. Every time we post something online or disclose our location we are leaving a trail or footprint that can be used to harm us. I will give you an easy example; go to your Facebook or Instagram account or any other social account you may have and look at the number of “friends” you have. How many of these people do you really know and yet you give a chronicle of your life to them every single day.     Some of the most practical and easy ways suggested by INTERPOL on how you can ensure online safety are keeping your computer safe from viruses, opening attachments from only contacts you trust, being cautious about public wireless connections, keeping your spam filter switched on among many others at your disposal on their website. The internet is here to stay and our need for it will only grow but what we can do is taking it upon ourselves to ensure that our privacy and that of our loved ones is not defiled and realizing with time not every moment needs to be shared with the world.
    Jun 13, 2016 665
  • 20 Jun 2016
    In the past week we have had indepth discussion on human rights and the situtation in our respective countries. In the end we were supposed to write a paper on a topic related to human rights and I choose human trafficking and specifically in my home country, Kenya. The situation is dire and it is sad to see that very little is being done to stop this henious crime. Please read on... Introduction Human trafficking is a violation of human rights and according to the Palermo Protocol it involves recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring of persons through coercion, fraud or abduction for the purpose of exploitation such as prostitution, organ harvesting, slavery or forced labor. In Africa human trafficking in form of slave trade to meet the high demand for labor dates back to the 16th Century and was based on the victims physical strength and abilities (Bales, 2004). However, in the 21st Century human trafficking has taken a complex, multi-faceted approach that involves many stakeholders at institutional and commercial level and it is driven by the demand for cheap labor and commercial sex (UNESCO, 2007). In sub-Sahara Africa women and children are the most vulnerable and common victims to human trafficking. Trafficking occurs both domestically and across borders and the illegal nature of the trade and the secrecy surrounding its activities makes it difficult to accurately quantify the number of victims at a local and global level. Human Trafficking in Kenya According to the International Organization for Migration, Kenya has been identified as a source, transit, and destination for human trafficking and smuggling. Kenya plays host to a big number of refugees from Somalia and South Sudan who are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers. The porous borders also mean that victims of human trafficking can easily be transported from and into Kenya. This means that human trafficking in Kenya occurs internally and internationally. Internal trafficking most commonly involves the transportation of persons from the rural to urban areas in search of better opportunities (National Crime Research Centre, 2014) where else the most common international destinations for trafficking victims are Europe, North America and in most recent times the Middle East.   It is in light of this that Kenya has put in place the necessary legal framework and regulations to counter human trafficking. To this effect the Counter Trafficking in Persons Act was adopted in 2010 and an a National Plan of Action (NPA) for Combating Human Trafficking 2013-2017 was put in place. In 2014 the government through parliament passed the Victim Protection Act which is supposed to offer protection and monitory support to those who have fallen prey to human trafficking (U.S. Department of State, 2015). The legislation is to help Kenya fulfill its mandate under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and notably, fulfill its obligation to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. The action plan is supposed to promote cooperation between Kenya and other countries and different stakeholders involved in the fight against human trafficking (Government of Kenya, 2012).  The government has also domesticated the United Nations Convention on Rights of the child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in its Children Act which obligates it to put in place bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction, sale and trafficking of children. The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child requires the party states like Kenya to prevent abduction, sale, economic exploitation or trafficking of children.   The government in its fight against human trafficking is guided by the three approaches highlighted in the National Plan of Action as prevention, protection and prosecution (Government of Kenya, 2012). The preventive measures put in place include capacity building of the criminal justice experts and raising public awareness through campaigns that give information on human trafficking. The protection of victims is through rescuing efforts and offering support services for the rehabilitation of the trafficked persons.   Despite putting in place the above measures and legislations, Kenya has no long term prevention strategy in addressing the root causes of trafficking and neither do they have a clear understanding of what such a strategy should include (IOM, 2003).  Furthermore, it was not until 2010 when the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act was passed, that human trafficking was specifically addresses as an offence in Kenya’s national legislation (National Crime Research Centre, 2014). However, the government was not quick to implement the action plan or enhance its efforts in combating human trafficking activities in the country and therefore Kenya is ranked at Tier 2 out of 3 Tiers by the Traffic in Persons Report 2010.   Their efforts to implement the National Plan of Action approaches of prevention, protection and prosecution are undermined by corruption in the government and judicial system. Corruption among law enforcement authorities and all levels of government hinder efforts in prosecuting those involved in trafficking and protecting the victims against re-victimization based on their testimonies (U.S. Department of State, 2015). Corruption among immigration officials turn a blind eye to human trafficking networks operating beyond the Kenyan borders. The government’s unwillingness to hold its officials accountable in their involvement or facilitation of trafficking has also hindered the implementation of the legislations meant to address human trafficking.   The major root cause for trafficking in Kenya is poverty especially in the rural areas. Families in rural areas give up their children to traffickers in the guise of providing them with better living opportunities and conditions (Dottridge, 2002). According to a survey done by the National Crime Research Center in 2014, 70.5% of victims in domestic trafficking are sourced from rural areas and 21.6% from urban areas. Unemployment, low wages and poor living standards and corruption in urban centers have contributed to people adapting lifestyles that make them vulnerable to exploitation and they are easily drawn to prostitution, drugs and crime. Unemployment has also contributed to the young people risking their freedom and well being in pursuit of greener pastures outside the country with the help of unlicensed job agencies and traffickers.   Conclusion Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that goes beyond borders and requires cooperation between states, international organizations, civil societies and communities. Nonetheless, the biggest responsibility to protect persons from trafficking lies with the Government of Kenya even though the international community is required to offer expertise or monitory support especially when addressing the trafficking threat faced by the refugees found in Daadab and Kakuma camps in Kenya. Kenya has already put in place the necessary legislations to facilitate the fight against human trafficking and what remains is full government commitment towards their implementation and constant evaluation on what needs to be improved or changed to make sure they are one step ahead in the ever changing world of human trafficking. Human trafficking is almost an invisible crime that calls for commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders in order to spot and tame it.         Works Cited Bales, K. (2004). New Slavery. California: ABC-CLIO. Dottridge, M. (2002). Trafficking in children in West and Central Africa. Gender and Development, , 38-49. Governemnt of Kenya. (2012). The NAtional Plan of Action for Combating Human Trafficking, Strategic Framework 2013-2017. Nairobi: UNON. Integrity Research and Consultancy . (2014). Child Trafficking in Urban Kenya. London. IOM. (2003). Is Trafficking in Human Beings Demand Driven? Geneva: International Organization for Migration. National Crime Research Centre. (2014). Human Trafficking in Kenya. Nairobi. U.S. Department of State. (2015). Trafficking in Persons Report. UNESCO. (2007). Human Trafficking in South Africa: Root Causes and Recommendations. Paris.  
    554 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • In the past week we have had indepth discussion on human rights and the situtation in our respective countries. In the end we were supposed to write a paper on a topic related to human rights and I choose human trafficking and specifically in my home country, Kenya. The situation is dire and it is sad to see that very little is being done to stop this henious crime. Please read on... Introduction Human trafficking is a violation of human rights and according to the Palermo Protocol it involves recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring of persons through coercion, fraud or abduction for the purpose of exploitation such as prostitution, organ harvesting, slavery or forced labor. In Africa human trafficking in form of slave trade to meet the high demand for labor dates back to the 16th Century and was based on the victims physical strength and abilities (Bales, 2004). However, in the 21st Century human trafficking has taken a complex, multi-faceted approach that involves many stakeholders at institutional and commercial level and it is driven by the demand for cheap labor and commercial sex (UNESCO, 2007). In sub-Sahara Africa women and children are the most vulnerable and common victims to human trafficking. Trafficking occurs both domestically and across borders and the illegal nature of the trade and the secrecy surrounding its activities makes it difficult to accurately quantify the number of victims at a local and global level. Human Trafficking in Kenya According to the International Organization for Migration, Kenya has been identified as a source, transit, and destination for human trafficking and smuggling. Kenya plays host to a big number of refugees from Somalia and South Sudan who are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers. The porous borders also mean that victims of human trafficking can easily be transported from and into Kenya. This means that human trafficking in Kenya occurs internally and internationally. Internal trafficking most commonly involves the transportation of persons from the rural to urban areas in search of better opportunities (National Crime Research Centre, 2014) where else the most common international destinations for trafficking victims are Europe, North America and in most recent times the Middle East.   It is in light of this that Kenya has put in place the necessary legal framework and regulations to counter human trafficking. To this effect the Counter Trafficking in Persons Act was adopted in 2010 and an a National Plan of Action (NPA) for Combating Human Trafficking 2013-2017 was put in place. In 2014 the government through parliament passed the Victim Protection Act which is supposed to offer protection and monitory support to those who have fallen prey to human trafficking (U.S. Department of State, 2015). The legislation is to help Kenya fulfill its mandate under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and notably, fulfill its obligation to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. The action plan is supposed to promote cooperation between Kenya and other countries and different stakeholders involved in the fight against human trafficking (Government of Kenya, 2012).  The government has also domesticated the United Nations Convention on Rights of the child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in its Children Act which obligates it to put in place bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction, sale and trafficking of children. The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child requires the party states like Kenya to prevent abduction, sale, economic exploitation or trafficking of children.   The government in its fight against human trafficking is guided by the three approaches highlighted in the National Plan of Action as prevention, protection and prosecution (Government of Kenya, 2012). The preventive measures put in place include capacity building of the criminal justice experts and raising public awareness through campaigns that give information on human trafficking. The protection of victims is through rescuing efforts and offering support services for the rehabilitation of the trafficked persons.   Despite putting in place the above measures and legislations, Kenya has no long term prevention strategy in addressing the root causes of trafficking and neither do they have a clear understanding of what such a strategy should include (IOM, 2003).  Furthermore, it was not until 2010 when the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act was passed, that human trafficking was specifically addresses as an offence in Kenya’s national legislation (National Crime Research Centre, 2014). However, the government was not quick to implement the action plan or enhance its efforts in combating human trafficking activities in the country and therefore Kenya is ranked at Tier 2 out of 3 Tiers by the Traffic in Persons Report 2010.   Their efforts to implement the National Plan of Action approaches of prevention, protection and prosecution are undermined by corruption in the government and judicial system. Corruption among law enforcement authorities and all levels of government hinder efforts in prosecuting those involved in trafficking and protecting the victims against re-victimization based on their testimonies (U.S. Department of State, 2015). Corruption among immigration officials turn a blind eye to human trafficking networks operating beyond the Kenyan borders. The government’s unwillingness to hold its officials accountable in their involvement or facilitation of trafficking has also hindered the implementation of the legislations meant to address human trafficking.   The major root cause for trafficking in Kenya is poverty especially in the rural areas. Families in rural areas give up their children to traffickers in the guise of providing them with better living opportunities and conditions (Dottridge, 2002). According to a survey done by the National Crime Research Center in 2014, 70.5% of victims in domestic trafficking are sourced from rural areas and 21.6% from urban areas. Unemployment, low wages and poor living standards and corruption in urban centers have contributed to people adapting lifestyles that make them vulnerable to exploitation and they are easily drawn to prostitution, drugs and crime. Unemployment has also contributed to the young people risking their freedom and well being in pursuit of greener pastures outside the country with the help of unlicensed job agencies and traffickers.   Conclusion Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that goes beyond borders and requires cooperation between states, international organizations, civil societies and communities. Nonetheless, the biggest responsibility to protect persons from trafficking lies with the Government of Kenya even though the international community is required to offer expertise or monitory support especially when addressing the trafficking threat faced by the refugees found in Daadab and Kakuma camps in Kenya. Kenya has already put in place the necessary legislations to facilitate the fight against human trafficking and what remains is full government commitment towards their implementation and constant evaluation on what needs to be improved or changed to make sure they are one step ahead in the ever changing world of human trafficking. Human trafficking is almost an invisible crime that calls for commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders in order to spot and tame it.         Works Cited Bales, K. (2004). New Slavery. California: ABC-CLIO. Dottridge, M. (2002). Trafficking in children in West and Central Africa. Gender and Development, , 38-49. Governemnt of Kenya. (2012). The NAtional Plan of Action for Combating Human Trafficking, Strategic Framework 2013-2017. Nairobi: UNON. Integrity Research and Consultancy . (2014). Child Trafficking in Urban Kenya. London. IOM. (2003). Is Trafficking in Human Beings Demand Driven? Geneva: International Organization for Migration. National Crime Research Centre. (2014). Human Trafficking in Kenya. Nairobi. U.S. Department of State. (2015). Trafficking in Persons Report. UNESCO. (2007). Human Trafficking in South Africa: Root Causes and Recommendations. Paris.  
    Jun 20, 2016 554