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  • 01 Mar 2016
    If you are one to pay attention to job and scholarship adverts you have probably come across the phrase “women are encouraged to apply”. Some go as far as raising the age requirement for women or lowering their required years of experience for a job. Where I come from (Kenya) the constitution allows for the election of women representatives under a category that no man is allowed to compete under. The exodus of all these began in September 1995 during the Fourth World Conference on Women where participating governments came together and passed what is  now famously know as the Beijing declaration. Their aim was to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity. Women and girls were to have equal opportunities in accessing resources, education, health care, leadership positions and participating in the decision making process. But just how did the participating governments hope to achieve this? If you go through the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action document I can bet you my stipend (the whole 750$) that you will come across the word equity. I believe this was done in good faith but its implementation has lost sight of what it really means to achieve gender equity. It does not mean that women have to be given special preference to match up to the skill level of men nor do they want to hold jobs simply because they are female. Creating special parliamentary seats for women does not equal to better service delivery or representation of their needs. I think our systems have failed in implementing the goals that were envisioned in the Beijing declaration. Our women and girls do not need special favors just because of their gender nor does it mean we forget the boy child. Forgetting the boy child simply means years from now we will have to launch a new declaration on the empowerment of men. What they all need is mentorship and skill building from a young age. If we provide all the necessary tools and skills for the development of our young girls and boys there will be no need whatsoever to favor one sex over the other when opportunities arise. I will own up to using the gender card to get my way sometimes, like getting to do a class presentation first over the guys in my class or getting a seat in the bus when I am well capable of standing through a trip(hopefully I will still get a seat after this). I will even play the vulnerable card because what man does not want to act as the prince charming to a damsel in distress. Yet I never want my gender to play a role in earning a position or favors that put my skills and abilities into question. Maybe I am being a tad bit hypocritical but I want to believe that I have earned enough skills to compete on the same level with the opposite sex. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a lady accused of using her wiles to get good grades or earn a promotion. Some of these accusations maybe true but who are we to think that they are incapable of earning their way up. It is true that women worldwide face indomitable challenges more so in Africa in areas of education, health care and resources allocation. Gender mainstreaming and equity may offer solutions to these challenges but it does not mean compromising on quality so that we can all pat our backs on how well our society is doing. It is not giving special preference to women over men. I believe it is the nurturing of the skills and capabilities of both men and women from a young age and harnessing what each of them can do best. 
    1594 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • If you are one to pay attention to job and scholarship adverts you have probably come across the phrase “women are encouraged to apply”. Some go as far as raising the age requirement for women or lowering their required years of experience for a job. Where I come from (Kenya) the constitution allows for the election of women representatives under a category that no man is allowed to compete under. The exodus of all these began in September 1995 during the Fourth World Conference on Women where participating governments came together and passed what is  now famously know as the Beijing declaration. Their aim was to advance the goals of equality, development and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity. Women and girls were to have equal opportunities in accessing resources, education, health care, leadership positions and participating in the decision making process. But just how did the participating governments hope to achieve this? If you go through the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action document I can bet you my stipend (the whole 750$) that you will come across the word equity. I believe this was done in good faith but its implementation has lost sight of what it really means to achieve gender equity. It does not mean that women have to be given special preference to match up to the skill level of men nor do they want to hold jobs simply because they are female. Creating special parliamentary seats for women does not equal to better service delivery or representation of their needs. I think our systems have failed in implementing the goals that were envisioned in the Beijing declaration. Our women and girls do not need special favors just because of their gender nor does it mean we forget the boy child. Forgetting the boy child simply means years from now we will have to launch a new declaration on the empowerment of men. What they all need is mentorship and skill building from a young age. If we provide all the necessary tools and skills for the development of our young girls and boys there will be no need whatsoever to favor one sex over the other when opportunities arise. I will own up to using the gender card to get my way sometimes, like getting to do a class presentation first over the guys in my class or getting a seat in the bus when I am well capable of standing through a trip(hopefully I will still get a seat after this). I will even play the vulnerable card because what man does not want to act as the prince charming to a damsel in distress. Yet I never want my gender to play a role in earning a position or favors that put my skills and abilities into question. Maybe I am being a tad bit hypocritical but I want to believe that I have earned enough skills to compete on the same level with the opposite sex. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a lady accused of using her wiles to get good grades or earn a promotion. Some of these accusations maybe true but who are we to think that they are incapable of earning their way up. It is true that women worldwide face indomitable challenges more so in Africa in areas of education, health care and resources allocation. Gender mainstreaming and equity may offer solutions to these challenges but it does not mean compromising on quality so that we can all pat our backs on how well our society is doing. It is not giving special preference to women over men. I believe it is the nurturing of the skills and capabilities of both men and women from a young age and harnessing what each of them can do best. 
    Mar 01, 2016 1594
  • 08 Jun 2016
    Who said environment is all things around us? Well, dating back to primary school days, teachers used to stress it like that; but does it include “us”- I mean if it’s all things around us, are we part of it or it’s part of us? What happens if people choose to focus on improving their economic status without considering anything around them, does it matter? At least we all know what has ensued in most of those countries that have done their “thing” without the chains of environmental sustainability- examples include European countries, China and the rest. One common feature on these countries is development which is a long distance away from Africa. Is Africa special, like one of those last-borns who have to be treated in some exceptional way regardless of whether it impedes their ability to learn by themselves? This and more was discussed in the second PAUWES debate held at the institute as we take the lead in building future African leaders.How it happenedAfter opening remarks by the head of subject matter team Mr. Andrew Mugumya, the debate was presided over by Ms. Eva Kimonye. The first speaker from proposers Mr. George Kimboowa took the stage. He started by defining sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without hindering the future. He pointed out that sustainability can be viewed in 2 different angles, i.e. ecological point of view and raw material supply. “No one is against economic growth but rather we have to handle it with care”. He acknowledged the fact that economic development is important but it feeds on the environment like a baby and mother. So, to ensure unlimited resource use, environmental sustainability should be put in the light first. He edified the audience about the advantages that come along with proper handling of the environment and how its negligence will drive this beautiful world to doom. He critiqued the research writings of Kenneth Arrow- 1998 that seemingly enforce the sense of “pollute first, clean up later”. “There is no clear evidence that emission levels will fall after countries become richer, generally it’s not clear how the reverse of the effects can be achieved”, he asserted. In a declining voice he called for a first place consideration of environmental sustainability before economic growth - submitted and left the floor. The second speaker, Mr. Martin Lyambai took the stage, he started by defining the environment as the air we breathe. He criticized the world order of consuming more in the name of becoming rich as this leads to depletion of resources and the repercussions are rather intolerable. He gave a case of deforestation happening in the world today, “Over 2 million acres every year are cleared! Look people, the carbon sink is going” he attested. Lake Chad is no more because the people prioritized economic development over the environment. He pointed out how it’s harder than the most expensive diamond today to find people fetching water from wells and rivers, yet it used to be the case some years back. He blamed all this to the copious pollution that has rendered well waters unclean for consumption. He went ahead to point out how the future is important and for that matter it’s imperative that environment sustainability should be at the fore front. A case for Canada selling breathing air to China was pointed out as one of the aftermaths of neglecting the environment to the expense of economic growth. Criticizing the scientific argument of recreating the environment, he added his voice to the believers that such is not possible. He pointed out the Kenya case of nuclear power development, alleging that this is not a sustainable solution to solve energy problems in this beautiful country because the risks are high! Giving an example of Chernobyl and other parts of the world where the effects of nuclear live on still up to date. “Environment has a long term economic growth but it’s worth it, if we don’t realize this, we’re going to cause more challenges for this beautiful planet” he stated. Flooding due to hydropower dams are some of the problems of fronting economic growth. He pointed out how the world is running out of very many precious plant species that would provide healing for the ever developing diseases. Opposers The first speaker from the opposers, Mr. Rolex Muceka- in his opening remarks, “For Africa economic growth should be paramount more than environmental sustainability”. “Look at the people in Africa! Dying of curable diseases because of lack of good hospitals to handle such cases.” Underscoring Tanzania as one of the countries where environment is considered first, he highlighted that people lack land for farming because the fertile soils are preserved. He asserted that a focus on the African scenarios makes it clear that there is a paradox; people are dying because of poverty, poor standards of living, insufficient food supply and many other related issues because the arable land that could be utilized for agriculture is being preserved in the name of environmental sustainability. He posed questions to the audience whose answers no one was ready to give. Is human life less important than the environment? What happened to the coined statements of “environment is everything around us”? If humans are part of the environment why are they left to perish in the name of environmental sustainability? He went ahead to point out economic statistics about Africa, “Three quarters of the people in Africa are poor, they live under 9$ earnings per month yet the continent is among the richest - endowed with significant quantities of resources”. Africa has the lowest GDP with a GDP that is less than that of china as a country! - humbling facts!In his concluding statements, he made it crystal clear that before one starts talking about environmental sustainability, there is a need to recognize that empowerment of economic growth is very crucial for Africa’s case. With 83% unemployment rates, you can’t start singing a boring song about how sweet the environment is. There is a need to focus on what we have and exploit our resources to the fullest. He submitted and left the floor for next speaker Mr. Cuthbert Taguta.He started by decrying the economies of African countries that are mainly characterized by accumulating debts, problems of trade balance and overdependence. He stressed that African countries are being used as ponies in a big game because borrowed money comes with leverages and costs. In his view, Africa should shift her focus to resource exploitation. “Taking a case of developed countries, none of them made it through borrowing, why should Africa take another route we’re not certain of? “, he said. The abundance of resources in Africa, water, minerals and the rest, should we live it to perish because the environment is more important than dying and starving people! Truth is we’re losing much by not exploiting our resources- we really need that money. If people are part of the environment as it’s claimed then you should take care of them first through economic growth.Who should determine the level of environmental sustainability for Africa? We should come up with our own set of rules. According to UN, some of the things that have kept Africa in abject poverty is not utilizing the resources they have. No one is against economic development but there ought to be an approach that caters for environment as well as economic growth. Proper planning is the issue here. He submitted and left the floor. Reaction from AudienceAmong the speakers from the audience, there was one who doesn’t mince words! He rejected the whole idea of environmental sustainability referring to it as a fallacy that was started by a famous Canadian Maurice Strong. He stressed that Maurice strong started spreading the gospel of environmental sustainability after he realized his retirement time had come yet he didn’t have enough in his pocket. He went ahead to clarify that no country has developed among the path everyone is talking about (environment first). Who would want to take a path that has never been taken by anyone? I am sure not many but there is. What is the cost of the environment? What is the cost of human life? Tough questions to answer!From the audience still, one speaker gave a case of a poor man dying because of lack of medication; you want to tell me that it’s ok for that man to die yet he has trees he could probably cut and sell for firewood. Africa is hungry! Should we stop exploiting the rivers we have? Ofcourse not!!In conclusion,The fact is, economic growth and environmental sustainability are both important and for proper performance of countries, it’s important that a holistic approach that handles both is devised for the point that none of them can exist in isolation without problems. For this we should not put a price tag on the environment instead we need policy makers and proper leaders to incorporate economic growth and environmental sustainability. As the editorial team, we take this opportunity to thank the entire students’ body and the different COP teams for making this debate happen. @Editorial_team
    1563 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • Who said environment is all things around us? Well, dating back to primary school days, teachers used to stress it like that; but does it include “us”- I mean if it’s all things around us, are we part of it or it’s part of us? What happens if people choose to focus on improving their economic status without considering anything around them, does it matter? At least we all know what has ensued in most of those countries that have done their “thing” without the chains of environmental sustainability- examples include European countries, China and the rest. One common feature on these countries is development which is a long distance away from Africa. Is Africa special, like one of those last-borns who have to be treated in some exceptional way regardless of whether it impedes their ability to learn by themselves? This and more was discussed in the second PAUWES debate held at the institute as we take the lead in building future African leaders.How it happenedAfter opening remarks by the head of subject matter team Mr. Andrew Mugumya, the debate was presided over by Ms. Eva Kimonye. The first speaker from proposers Mr. George Kimboowa took the stage. He started by defining sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without hindering the future. He pointed out that sustainability can be viewed in 2 different angles, i.e. ecological point of view and raw material supply. “No one is against economic growth but rather we have to handle it with care”. He acknowledged the fact that economic development is important but it feeds on the environment like a baby and mother. So, to ensure unlimited resource use, environmental sustainability should be put in the light first. He edified the audience about the advantages that come along with proper handling of the environment and how its negligence will drive this beautiful world to doom. He critiqued the research writings of Kenneth Arrow- 1998 that seemingly enforce the sense of “pollute first, clean up later”. “There is no clear evidence that emission levels will fall after countries become richer, generally it’s not clear how the reverse of the effects can be achieved”, he asserted. In a declining voice he called for a first place consideration of environmental sustainability before economic growth - submitted and left the floor. The second speaker, Mr. Martin Lyambai took the stage, he started by defining the environment as the air we breathe. He criticized the world order of consuming more in the name of becoming rich as this leads to depletion of resources and the repercussions are rather intolerable. He gave a case of deforestation happening in the world today, “Over 2 million acres every year are cleared! Look people, the carbon sink is going” he attested. Lake Chad is no more because the people prioritized economic development over the environment. He pointed out how it’s harder than the most expensive diamond today to find people fetching water from wells and rivers, yet it used to be the case some years back. He blamed all this to the copious pollution that has rendered well waters unclean for consumption. He went ahead to point out how the future is important and for that matter it’s imperative that environment sustainability should be at the fore front. A case for Canada selling breathing air to China was pointed out as one of the aftermaths of neglecting the environment to the expense of economic growth. Criticizing the scientific argument of recreating the environment, he added his voice to the believers that such is not possible. He pointed out the Kenya case of nuclear power development, alleging that this is not a sustainable solution to solve energy problems in this beautiful country because the risks are high! Giving an example of Chernobyl and other parts of the world where the effects of nuclear live on still up to date. “Environment has a long term economic growth but it’s worth it, if we don’t realize this, we’re going to cause more challenges for this beautiful planet” he stated. Flooding due to hydropower dams are some of the problems of fronting economic growth. He pointed out how the world is running out of very many precious plant species that would provide healing for the ever developing diseases. Opposers The first speaker from the opposers, Mr. Rolex Muceka- in his opening remarks, “For Africa economic growth should be paramount more than environmental sustainability”. “Look at the people in Africa! Dying of curable diseases because of lack of good hospitals to handle such cases.” Underscoring Tanzania as one of the countries where environment is considered first, he highlighted that people lack land for farming because the fertile soils are preserved. He asserted that a focus on the African scenarios makes it clear that there is a paradox; people are dying because of poverty, poor standards of living, insufficient food supply and many other related issues because the arable land that could be utilized for agriculture is being preserved in the name of environmental sustainability. He posed questions to the audience whose answers no one was ready to give. Is human life less important than the environment? What happened to the coined statements of “environment is everything around us”? If humans are part of the environment why are they left to perish in the name of environmental sustainability? He went ahead to point out economic statistics about Africa, “Three quarters of the people in Africa are poor, they live under 9$ earnings per month yet the continent is among the richest - endowed with significant quantities of resources”. Africa has the lowest GDP with a GDP that is less than that of china as a country! - humbling facts!In his concluding statements, he made it crystal clear that before one starts talking about environmental sustainability, there is a need to recognize that empowerment of economic growth is very crucial for Africa’s case. With 83% unemployment rates, you can’t start singing a boring song about how sweet the environment is. There is a need to focus on what we have and exploit our resources to the fullest. He submitted and left the floor for next speaker Mr. Cuthbert Taguta.He started by decrying the economies of African countries that are mainly characterized by accumulating debts, problems of trade balance and overdependence. He stressed that African countries are being used as ponies in a big game because borrowed money comes with leverages and costs. In his view, Africa should shift her focus to resource exploitation. “Taking a case of developed countries, none of them made it through borrowing, why should Africa take another route we’re not certain of? “, he said. The abundance of resources in Africa, water, minerals and the rest, should we live it to perish because the environment is more important than dying and starving people! Truth is we’re losing much by not exploiting our resources- we really need that money. If people are part of the environment as it’s claimed then you should take care of them first through economic growth.Who should determine the level of environmental sustainability for Africa? We should come up with our own set of rules. According to UN, some of the things that have kept Africa in abject poverty is not utilizing the resources they have. No one is against economic development but there ought to be an approach that caters for environment as well as economic growth. Proper planning is the issue here. He submitted and left the floor. Reaction from AudienceAmong the speakers from the audience, there was one who doesn’t mince words! He rejected the whole idea of environmental sustainability referring to it as a fallacy that was started by a famous Canadian Maurice Strong. He stressed that Maurice strong started spreading the gospel of environmental sustainability after he realized his retirement time had come yet he didn’t have enough in his pocket. He went ahead to clarify that no country has developed among the path everyone is talking about (environment first). Who would want to take a path that has never been taken by anyone? I am sure not many but there is. What is the cost of the environment? What is the cost of human life? Tough questions to answer!From the audience still, one speaker gave a case of a poor man dying because of lack of medication; you want to tell me that it’s ok for that man to die yet he has trees he could probably cut and sell for firewood. Africa is hungry! Should we stop exploiting the rivers we have? Ofcourse not!!In conclusion,The fact is, economic growth and environmental sustainability are both important and for proper performance of countries, it’s important that a holistic approach that handles both is devised for the point that none of them can exist in isolation without problems. For this we should not put a price tag on the environment instead we need policy makers and proper leaders to incorporate economic growth and environmental sustainability. As the editorial team, we take this opportunity to thank the entire students’ body and the different COP teams for making this debate happen. @Editorial_team
    Jun 08, 2016 1563
  • 09 May 2016
    I will be honest with you, most times I have no clue what my next blog will be about. It is hard to explain the writing process but unless inspiration strikes most times I just stare on a blank page with a blinking cursor. So as you can imagine it is always a pleasure and relief to come across a subject I can explore and hopefully stimulate a discussion on. I am not a movie lover; in fact you do not want to watch a movie with me because I have to know the ending before I watch one and most times than not I will be talking your ears off about the different characters. I will admit though there are times my nose is pulled out of a book long enough to watch one. This week it was John Q, a movie about a desperate father played by Denzel Washington trying to get his dying son on top of a heart transplant list. A really sad story with a happy dramatic ending, but it raised my interest on organ and tissue donation in Africa.   A quick search on Google gave me very little to go on. In fact, I mainly got statistics from South Africa whose donation ratio is estimated to be 2 to every 1 million. Shocking, I know! Kenya’s situation is worse with for example people suffering from corneal blindness getting their cornea transplants from the USA at a cost of 2000 USD which roughly translates to 200,000 KES. This is an exorbitant fee for most of those seeking a new lease in life so most are condemned to a life of blindness. All the organ banks in Kenya are mostly empty and those who donate are usually living relative trying to save the life of a loved one. The law in most African countries I came to find out is not clear on the guidelines for organ donation so those who can afford it opt to seek medical care outside the continent. So dire is the situation that the black market in organ harvesting is thriving in places like Egypt and South Africa where the poor and refugees are targeted. Their organs are either harvested through coercion, consent or downright theft.   It is clear that there is a big gap between the number of those waiting to receive organ and tissue transplants and those willing to be donors. So why are the majority of us not registered as organ donors when we die? I believe it is for a number of reasons mostly cultural, legal and religious. African cultures believe in the continuity of life and there is really no distinction between the soul, spirit and the body. Giving a part of your body is considered giving up a part of your whole being. On the other hand most religions believe in the continuity of the human spirit yet no one is talking about the benefits our mortal bodies could bring to this world. Over all there is very little information within our belief system for people to begin questioning about the possibilities that exist and what they can do to help. Sadly in this case belief marks the end of reasoning.   I admit signing up as an organ donor after death makes us confront our mortality and it is a hard truth to face. I have flirted with the idea of visiting an organ donation center in Kenya but I have never really committed to it. If I died tomorrow, donating my organs could help give up to seven people a chance to live longer; donating my soft tissue could improve the quality of life of up to 50 more people. I think that is an empowering and selfish thought at the same time. I acknowledge that our cultures and religious beliefs are deeply ingrained in us and sometimes our loved ones may prove to be the biggest obstacles to overcome. What I wish to do is to start a conversation on how we can make lives better even when we are gone or how we can ease our family into the idea that it is alright to share us with the world. I hope that you will visit your physician and have a candid discussion on the alternatives available in your country. Let us be part of the change and the better Africa we want to see even in death!    
    1493 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I will be honest with you, most times I have no clue what my next blog will be about. It is hard to explain the writing process but unless inspiration strikes most times I just stare on a blank page with a blinking cursor. So as you can imagine it is always a pleasure and relief to come across a subject I can explore and hopefully stimulate a discussion on. I am not a movie lover; in fact you do not want to watch a movie with me because I have to know the ending before I watch one and most times than not I will be talking your ears off about the different characters. I will admit though there are times my nose is pulled out of a book long enough to watch one. This week it was John Q, a movie about a desperate father played by Denzel Washington trying to get his dying son on top of a heart transplant list. A really sad story with a happy dramatic ending, but it raised my interest on organ and tissue donation in Africa.   A quick search on Google gave me very little to go on. In fact, I mainly got statistics from South Africa whose donation ratio is estimated to be 2 to every 1 million. Shocking, I know! Kenya’s situation is worse with for example people suffering from corneal blindness getting their cornea transplants from the USA at a cost of 2000 USD which roughly translates to 200,000 KES. This is an exorbitant fee for most of those seeking a new lease in life so most are condemned to a life of blindness. All the organ banks in Kenya are mostly empty and those who donate are usually living relative trying to save the life of a loved one. The law in most African countries I came to find out is not clear on the guidelines for organ donation so those who can afford it opt to seek medical care outside the continent. So dire is the situation that the black market in organ harvesting is thriving in places like Egypt and South Africa where the poor and refugees are targeted. Their organs are either harvested through coercion, consent or downright theft.   It is clear that there is a big gap between the number of those waiting to receive organ and tissue transplants and those willing to be donors. So why are the majority of us not registered as organ donors when we die? I believe it is for a number of reasons mostly cultural, legal and religious. African cultures believe in the continuity of life and there is really no distinction between the soul, spirit and the body. Giving a part of your body is considered giving up a part of your whole being. On the other hand most religions believe in the continuity of the human spirit yet no one is talking about the benefits our mortal bodies could bring to this world. Over all there is very little information within our belief system for people to begin questioning about the possibilities that exist and what they can do to help. Sadly in this case belief marks the end of reasoning.   I admit signing up as an organ donor after death makes us confront our mortality and it is a hard truth to face. I have flirted with the idea of visiting an organ donation center in Kenya but I have never really committed to it. If I died tomorrow, donating my organs could help give up to seven people a chance to live longer; donating my soft tissue could improve the quality of life of up to 50 more people. I think that is an empowering and selfish thought at the same time. I acknowledge that our cultures and religious beliefs are deeply ingrained in us and sometimes our loved ones may prove to be the biggest obstacles to overcome. What I wish to do is to start a conversation on how we can make lives better even when we are gone or how we can ease our family into the idea that it is alright to share us with the world. I hope that you will visit your physician and have a candid discussion on the alternatives available in your country. Let us be part of the change and the better Africa we want to see even in death!    
    May 09, 2016 1493
  • 14 Mar 2016
    I have had a bit of trouble deciding on the topic for this week’s entry, not because I have run out of topics (far from it) but because with the symposium my mind has been overly stimulated to really settle down on one thing. I am thankful however, that this was accidentally decided for me when we went out for dinner with some colleagues and friends and our main discussion for the night became climate change and most specifically the need for behavior change if mitigation and adaptation measures are to be successful.   What I want to concentrate on is my dilemma on how efforts for mitigation and adaptation are going to be successful when decisions are being made at the top with no participation from those at the bottom especially in the African setting. Scientists and researchers have been able to come up with so much information and data on climate change in the last decades but unfortunately no one is decoding this scientific data into a language that the common man and most elite understand. Farmers, fishermen and pastoralists have all noticed a decline in either their yields or stock but most of them cannot directly attribute this to climate change.   The biggest challenge in the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures is lack of ownership which is supposed to drive behavioral change. Every individual who inhabits planet earth needs to realize that we are all contributing to the emissions that continue to lead to climate variability and change. Simply put we are not living sustainably! I will admit that the concept of climate change is overwhelming even for me but If we can all do the best we can in living sustainably like cycle instead of driving, use public transport instead of private cars, recycle waste or water, turn off the lights or use natural products instead of those that are processed it will have a ripple benefit effect to the environment.   On the other hand we have to consider the societal and cultural norms that we are faced with especially here in Africa. Owning a car is considered as a sign of success while many think cycling is for the poor or the athletic. So how do you convince such societies to try public transport? Like a friend said public transport needs to be made attractive and you can only do that by making it reliable, secure and efficient. The public leaders and servants need to step out of their tinted, air conditioned fuel guzzling cars and live by example. This will only not help in the reduction of emissions but it will see a reduction in the amount of time and money lost in traffic jams.   I will admit the concept of sustainable development especially when coming from the west sounds hypocritical. What is to make Africa and other developing countries buy into this idea if the western economies unsustainably exploited resources to get their economies where they are. Even today most of the raw materials used in western factories come from the developing countries and the means of exploitation leave a lot to be desired. Africa provides a large market for products manufactured in the west like cars and processed goods and do not get me started on the dumping of e waste in the guise of donations. But we cannot afford to make this a blame game on who is doing this or that. When the sky falls like one of our colleagues stated it will fall on everyone.     I could go on and on about what I think is double talk and walk by the different stakeholders in regards to climate change but that is neither here nor there. What we need is to bring everyone on board and have a candid talk on the eventual consequences of our unsustainable living maybe not on us but the future generations. Farmers and pastoralists need to know that the long drought spells and unpredictable rainfall patterns are not a punishment form God but a result of emissions which they have contributed to even in the smallest of percentages. We need to provide alternatives like access to affordable renewable energy if the call to sustainable living is to be embraced. We cannot continue to heavily subsidize fossil fuels and expect the world to embrace renewable technologies. Companies that heavily emit green house gases need to be heavily taxed or closed down(drastic I know) and held accountable for their role in green house gases emissions. Banning of some products from our markets or closing down some markets only creates room for innovation and new discoveries.    If we all take it as our duty to act as stewards of this lovely planet and hold each other accountable we may not reverse the damage that has already been done but we will halt the acceleration of climate change. Until then we can continue attending conferences and conventions and even talk ourselves hoarse but nothing meaningful will come out of any of these if we do not believe we have a personal role to play.     The story of the humming bird by Prof Wangari Mathai, 2oo4 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate  The story of the hummingbird is about this huge forest being consumed by a fire. All the animals in the forest come out and they are transfixed as they watch the forest burning and they feel very overwhelmed, very powerless, except this little hummingbird. It says, ‘I’m going to do something about the fire!’ So it flies to the nearest stream and takes a drop of water. It puts it on the fire, and goes up and down, up and down, up and down, as fast as it can. In the meantime all the other animals, much bigger animals like the elephant with a big trunk that could bring much more water, are standing there helpless. And they are saying to the hummingbird, ‘What do you think you can do? You are too little. This fire is too big. Your wings are too little and your beak is so small that you can only bring a small drop of water at a time.’ But as they continue to discourage it, it turns to them without wasting any time and it tells them, ‘I am doing the best I can.’ And that to me is what all of us should do. We should always be like a hummingbird. I may be insignificant, but I certainly don’t want to be like the animals watching the planet go down the drain. I will be a hummingbird; I will do the best I can.  
    1491 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I have had a bit of trouble deciding on the topic for this week’s entry, not because I have run out of topics (far from it) but because with the symposium my mind has been overly stimulated to really settle down on one thing. I am thankful however, that this was accidentally decided for me when we went out for dinner with some colleagues and friends and our main discussion for the night became climate change and most specifically the need for behavior change if mitigation and adaptation measures are to be successful.   What I want to concentrate on is my dilemma on how efforts for mitigation and adaptation are going to be successful when decisions are being made at the top with no participation from those at the bottom especially in the African setting. Scientists and researchers have been able to come up with so much information and data on climate change in the last decades but unfortunately no one is decoding this scientific data into a language that the common man and most elite understand. Farmers, fishermen and pastoralists have all noticed a decline in either their yields or stock but most of them cannot directly attribute this to climate change.   The biggest challenge in the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures is lack of ownership which is supposed to drive behavioral change. Every individual who inhabits planet earth needs to realize that we are all contributing to the emissions that continue to lead to climate variability and change. Simply put we are not living sustainably! I will admit that the concept of climate change is overwhelming even for me but If we can all do the best we can in living sustainably like cycle instead of driving, use public transport instead of private cars, recycle waste or water, turn off the lights or use natural products instead of those that are processed it will have a ripple benefit effect to the environment.   On the other hand we have to consider the societal and cultural norms that we are faced with especially here in Africa. Owning a car is considered as a sign of success while many think cycling is for the poor or the athletic. So how do you convince such societies to try public transport? Like a friend said public transport needs to be made attractive and you can only do that by making it reliable, secure and efficient. The public leaders and servants need to step out of their tinted, air conditioned fuel guzzling cars and live by example. This will only not help in the reduction of emissions but it will see a reduction in the amount of time and money lost in traffic jams.   I will admit the concept of sustainable development especially when coming from the west sounds hypocritical. What is to make Africa and other developing countries buy into this idea if the western economies unsustainably exploited resources to get their economies where they are. Even today most of the raw materials used in western factories come from the developing countries and the means of exploitation leave a lot to be desired. Africa provides a large market for products manufactured in the west like cars and processed goods and do not get me started on the dumping of e waste in the guise of donations. But we cannot afford to make this a blame game on who is doing this or that. When the sky falls like one of our colleagues stated it will fall on everyone.     I could go on and on about what I think is double talk and walk by the different stakeholders in regards to climate change but that is neither here nor there. What we need is to bring everyone on board and have a candid talk on the eventual consequences of our unsustainable living maybe not on us but the future generations. Farmers and pastoralists need to know that the long drought spells and unpredictable rainfall patterns are not a punishment form God but a result of emissions which they have contributed to even in the smallest of percentages. We need to provide alternatives like access to affordable renewable energy if the call to sustainable living is to be embraced. We cannot continue to heavily subsidize fossil fuels and expect the world to embrace renewable technologies. Companies that heavily emit green house gases need to be heavily taxed or closed down(drastic I know) and held accountable for their role in green house gases emissions. Banning of some products from our markets or closing down some markets only creates room for innovation and new discoveries.    If we all take it as our duty to act as stewards of this lovely planet and hold each other accountable we may not reverse the damage that has already been done but we will halt the acceleration of climate change. Until then we can continue attending conferences and conventions and even talk ourselves hoarse but nothing meaningful will come out of any of these if we do not believe we have a personal role to play.     The story of the humming bird by Prof Wangari Mathai, 2oo4 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate  The story of the hummingbird is about this huge forest being consumed by a fire. All the animals in the forest come out and they are transfixed as they watch the forest burning and they feel very overwhelmed, very powerless, except this little hummingbird. It says, ‘I’m going to do something about the fire!’ So it flies to the nearest stream and takes a drop of water. It puts it on the fire, and goes up and down, up and down, up and down, as fast as it can. In the meantime all the other animals, much bigger animals like the elephant with a big trunk that could bring much more water, are standing there helpless. And they are saying to the hummingbird, ‘What do you think you can do? You are too little. This fire is too big. Your wings are too little and your beak is so small that you can only bring a small drop of water at a time.’ But as they continue to discourage it, it turns to them without wasting any time and it tells them, ‘I am doing the best I can.’ And that to me is what all of us should do. We should always be like a hummingbird. I may be insignificant, but I certainly don’t want to be like the animals watching the planet go down the drain. I will be a hummingbird; I will do the best I can.  
    Mar 14, 2016 1491
  • 30 Apr 2020
    As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc throughout the world, badly hitting both our health systems and economies, it also offers hope. It is lighting a tunnel that could boost the achievement of the African Union's Agenda 2063. The agenda, which is rooted in the ideals of Pan Africanism and is geared towards "an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens," has the African youth at its core. Young entrepreneurs in many African countries are challenged with inadequate support for their startups and are left vulnerable to stiff competition from international brands. In many cases, their businesses fail. Available statistics show that five out of ten enterprises close down in the first five years of operation [1]. Many reasons are behind this crash like poor planning, insufficient marketing, lack of management skills which leads to funding mismanagement, high-interest rate, and poor aftersales services. Consequently, the idea of incubating small enterprises and early-stage business is very crucial. And nowadays across the continent, we have many incubators that offer technical consultancy and some seed funding. These actions will help small startups to stand on their own if supportive legal and regulatory frameworks are put in place. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sprout up of the African industry. It was the stone that waves the water again and unleashes nationalism idea. In Egypt, for example, a private company designed and manufactured sterilization tunnels locally, and the government bought them [2]. The tunnels will be placed on the hospitals' entrance and exit to disinfect supplies and humans. Figure 1: EGIC Sterilization tunnels The same thing happened in Tunisia, where the government creates a partnership with a local company that manufactures security robotics. The robots were deployed to enforce lockdown restrictions and ensure that the citizens obey the rules. Where people are found to flout the rules, the robot relays their identification to the police for follow-ups and where necessary arrests [3]. Figure 2: Tunisian security robot Also, students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana have innovated a low-price ventilator [4]. Why can the Ghanaian government not support them to produce it in larger quantities and supply it to hospitals? Promoting them will also tackle the problem of unemployment, and in so doing, the government gets to kill two birds with the same stone. Even for the portable smart hand wash prototype in Benin [5]. Such a thing is crucial to be put in our crowded vegetable markets, so why not encourage mass production and supply it to the public? These and many others, such as the development of fast and cheaper testing kits as seen in Senegal and Ghana, are but few examples that demonstrate the innovative potentials in Africa. Figure 3: Low price ventilator made in Ghana For a long time now, we here in Africa have overly depended on foreign products, and producing our goods hasn't been a topmost priority for our leaders. But with this pandemic, we have become obliged to manufacture our products, and it will be useful to make it a trend to produce the things that we need. This approach will not just empower the youth but will also help us to reach the Africa We Want. One of Agenda 2063 pillars is the high quality of life for Africans, so how can we achieve it with a high unemployment rate? The agenda aims to transform African economies by building industries and value addition. Perhaps, this is our opportunity to take charge of our development and catch up with developed countries. References [1]https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2018/10/25/what-percentage-of-small-businesses-fail-and-how-can-you-avoid-being-one-of-them/ [2]https://www.linkedIn/EGIC [3] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-52148639 [4]https://newsghana.com.gh/knust-coe-designs-and-construct-ghanas-first-homemade-ventilator/ [5]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjL3FplLl-c Author Profiles 1. Rana is a MSc. Energy Engineering graduate from PAUWES. 2. Ihemnadia is a MSc. Energy Engineering graduate from PAUWES.
    1431 Posted by Rana Mamdouh
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc throughout the world, badly hitting both our health systems and economies, it also offers hope. It is lighting a tunnel that could boost the achievement of the African Union's Agenda 2063. The agenda, which is rooted in the ideals of Pan Africanism and is geared towards "an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens," has the African youth at its core. Young entrepreneurs in many African countries are challenged with inadequate support for their startups and are left vulnerable to stiff competition from international brands. In many cases, their businesses fail. Available statistics show that five out of ten enterprises close down in the first five years of operation [1]. Many reasons are behind this crash like poor planning, insufficient marketing, lack of management skills which leads to funding mismanagement, high-interest rate, and poor aftersales services. Consequently, the idea of incubating small enterprises and early-stage business is very crucial. And nowadays across the continent, we have many incubators that offer technical consultancy and some seed funding. These actions will help small startups to stand on their own if supportive legal and regulatory frameworks are put in place. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sprout up of the African industry. It was the stone that waves the water again and unleashes nationalism idea. In Egypt, for example, a private company designed and manufactured sterilization tunnels locally, and the government bought them [2]. The tunnels will be placed on the hospitals' entrance and exit to disinfect supplies and humans. Figure 1: EGIC Sterilization tunnels The same thing happened in Tunisia, where the government creates a partnership with a local company that manufactures security robotics. The robots were deployed to enforce lockdown restrictions and ensure that the citizens obey the rules. Where people are found to flout the rules, the robot relays their identification to the police for follow-ups and where necessary arrests [3]. Figure 2: Tunisian security robot Also, students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana have innovated a low-price ventilator [4]. Why can the Ghanaian government not support them to produce it in larger quantities and supply it to hospitals? Promoting them will also tackle the problem of unemployment, and in so doing, the government gets to kill two birds with the same stone. Even for the portable smart hand wash prototype in Benin [5]. Such a thing is crucial to be put in our crowded vegetable markets, so why not encourage mass production and supply it to the public? These and many others, such as the development of fast and cheaper testing kits as seen in Senegal and Ghana, are but few examples that demonstrate the innovative potentials in Africa. Figure 3: Low price ventilator made in Ghana For a long time now, we here in Africa have overly depended on foreign products, and producing our goods hasn't been a topmost priority for our leaders. But with this pandemic, we have become obliged to manufacture our products, and it will be useful to make it a trend to produce the things that we need. This approach will not just empower the youth but will also help us to reach the Africa We Want. One of Agenda 2063 pillars is the high quality of life for Africans, so how can we achieve it with a high unemployment rate? The agenda aims to transform African economies by building industries and value addition. Perhaps, this is our opportunity to take charge of our development and catch up with developed countries. References [1]https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2018/10/25/what-percentage-of-small-businesses-fail-and-how-can-you-avoid-being-one-of-them/ [2]https://www.linkedIn/EGIC [3] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-52148639 [4]https://newsghana.com.gh/knust-coe-designs-and-construct-ghanas-first-homemade-ventilator/ [5]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjL3FplLl-c Author Profiles 1. Rana is a MSc. Energy Engineering graduate from PAUWES. 2. Ihemnadia is a MSc. Energy Engineering graduate from PAUWES.
    Apr 30, 2020 1431
  • 03 Aug 2018
    As part of the activity of the summer school on renewable energy systems organized by the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) a delegation of students and professors from Mali’s University of Bamako recently visited UNU-EHS. You can read the news on the UNU-EHS website, ITT website, and check the pictures of the event here.      
    1405 Posted by Fausto Saltetti
  • As part of the activity of the summer school on renewable energy systems organized by the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) a delegation of students and professors from Mali’s University of Bamako recently visited UNU-EHS. You can read the news on the UNU-EHS website, ITT website, and check the pictures of the event here.      
    Aug 03, 2018 1405
  • 04 Jun 2016
    After my first blog, I went and did more research based on the feedback I got from readers. One thing that came out is that most were skeptical on the possibility of EVs – electric cars – taking over the mobility industry. I do not want to convince you; I just want you to reason with me. I have a lot to share with regards to electromobility; this is because I view EVs as part of disruptive technologies that will change our current ‘normal’ in the near future. Recently I followed through videos of the Swedbank Nordic Energy Summit in Oslo, Norway, that was held on March this year. I was particularly captivated by one Tony Seba’s Keynote presentation on Clean Disruption. He expounded clearly on disruptive technologies and how they will affect energy and transportation in the near future. He also pointed out that the experts often get it wrong as they give predictions that are later made obsolete by disruptive technologies. I believe you have come across some of infamous quotes made by renowned people that were later disapproved. Check out some of the ‘Expert’ Disruption Forecasts: “The internet will catastrophically collapse in 1996.” Robert Metcalfe, 1995  “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company, 1903. "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." -- Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876. You notice that it’s usually the ‘experts’ and ‘insiders’ who dismiss Disruptive Opportunities. Take this elaborate example. In the mid-1980s, AT&T hired McKinsey & Co to forecast cell phone adoption by the year 2000. Their prediction was 900,000. The low number made AT&T believe their landline business would prosper, therefore, ignored entering the mobile phone business. However, it was off by a whopping 120 times. The actual number in the year 2000 was 109 million. This means that AT&T missed out on multi-trillion-dollar opportunity by ignoring cell phone business.   I wonder why smart people are the ones that consistently fail to anticipate or lead market disruption. Disruption has occurred in the past, and it is in the course of happening now. Recently, the entry of smartphone not only affected the mobile phone industry such as kicking Nokia and the like out of the market, but is currently affecting the banking, marketing, and several other sectors. Although smartphones were expensive compared to the mainstream, its superior nature made it attractive to the market. The technology cost curve then decreased making it the preferred gadget over other phones. Let’s look at Uber; a technology that is currently leading a market disruption that is likely to affect the concept of car ownership globally. Its taking a bottom-up approach and the smartphone is essential in assisting in the disruption. Compared to taxis, Uber is cheaper, better, faster, and customizable. That is the reason it has been able to spread faster globally even though it is based on a rather simple business model. It hit the industry so hard to an extent that taxi business owners in some parts of the world protested bitterly. The main contention when it comes to EVs is the energy storage and the mileage after charge. There are several battery mega factories that are coming up such as Tesla and BYD. Besides reduced costs, the energy storage density will also improve. It is very similar to the evolution of the smartphones; within a short-time, several other companies came on board driving the prices down while at the same time, improving the technology. One may argue that it is not right to compare disruption in the car industry to that of the mobile phones. But we have never experienced the dominance of electric cars on our roads. One thing I admire is the exponential growth of technologies that support the EV industry.  Besides energy storage, there are advancement towards autonomous driving that many are still skeptical about. There are ongoing trials in most parts of the developed world with Germany, Spain and the Netherlands allowing testing robotic cars in traffic. In addition, cities in France, Belgium, Italy and the UK planning to operate transport systems for driverless cars. I was surprised to find out that the cost of producing the sensor needed to facilitate autonomous driving dropped from $70,000 in 2012 to $250 in 2016. It’s difficult to explain such drastic drop in prices. I look at it as a result of amalgamation of different improving technologies that make the final product better but cheap. The same case applies to EVs, by 2019, several companies hope to produce cars selling for $20,000 with shorter time for charging and longer mileage. I guess I have written much about EVs already. Although predicting the future is not easy, I hope looking at disruptive technologies in general has given you a picture of what is bound to happen.  Please note that Stone Age did not end due to lack of rocks, but because disruptive technology led to Bronze Age. Currently, the world is used to a centralized, extraction-resource-based energy sources such as oil, gas, coal, and nuclear. However, such will be disrupted by superior technologies that have better business models. With regards to EVs, TESLA Model S was chosen as the best car ever by the American consumers in 2013. It is currently the best-selling high-end large luxury car beating leaders such as Rolls-Royce, BMW, Audi and Chevy Equinox. Looking into the future, if the business model adopted by Uber and the autonomous driving of EVs become part of our future, there will be no need to own a car, and therefore need for parking spaces as vehicles will be in constant motion unless charging.
    1384 Posted by Eric Akumu
  • After my first blog, I went and did more research based on the feedback I got from readers. One thing that came out is that most were skeptical on the possibility of EVs – electric cars – taking over the mobility industry. I do not want to convince you; I just want you to reason with me. I have a lot to share with regards to electromobility; this is because I view EVs as part of disruptive technologies that will change our current ‘normal’ in the near future. Recently I followed through videos of the Swedbank Nordic Energy Summit in Oslo, Norway, that was held on March this year. I was particularly captivated by one Tony Seba’s Keynote presentation on Clean Disruption. He expounded clearly on disruptive technologies and how they will affect energy and transportation in the near future. He also pointed out that the experts often get it wrong as they give predictions that are later made obsolete by disruptive technologies. I believe you have come across some of infamous quotes made by renowned people that were later disapproved. Check out some of the ‘Expert’ Disruption Forecasts: “The internet will catastrophically collapse in 1996.” Robert Metcalfe, 1995  “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943. “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company, 1903. "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." -- Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876. You notice that it’s usually the ‘experts’ and ‘insiders’ who dismiss Disruptive Opportunities. Take this elaborate example. In the mid-1980s, AT&T hired McKinsey & Co to forecast cell phone adoption by the year 2000. Their prediction was 900,000. The low number made AT&T believe their landline business would prosper, therefore, ignored entering the mobile phone business. However, it was off by a whopping 120 times. The actual number in the year 2000 was 109 million. This means that AT&T missed out on multi-trillion-dollar opportunity by ignoring cell phone business.   I wonder why smart people are the ones that consistently fail to anticipate or lead market disruption. Disruption has occurred in the past, and it is in the course of happening now. Recently, the entry of smartphone not only affected the mobile phone industry such as kicking Nokia and the like out of the market, but is currently affecting the banking, marketing, and several other sectors. Although smartphones were expensive compared to the mainstream, its superior nature made it attractive to the market. The technology cost curve then decreased making it the preferred gadget over other phones. Let’s look at Uber; a technology that is currently leading a market disruption that is likely to affect the concept of car ownership globally. Its taking a bottom-up approach and the smartphone is essential in assisting in the disruption. Compared to taxis, Uber is cheaper, better, faster, and customizable. That is the reason it has been able to spread faster globally even though it is based on a rather simple business model. It hit the industry so hard to an extent that taxi business owners in some parts of the world protested bitterly. The main contention when it comes to EVs is the energy storage and the mileage after charge. There are several battery mega factories that are coming up such as Tesla and BYD. Besides reduced costs, the energy storage density will also improve. It is very similar to the evolution of the smartphones; within a short-time, several other companies came on board driving the prices down while at the same time, improving the technology. One may argue that it is not right to compare disruption in the car industry to that of the mobile phones. But we have never experienced the dominance of electric cars on our roads. One thing I admire is the exponential growth of technologies that support the EV industry.  Besides energy storage, there are advancement towards autonomous driving that many are still skeptical about. There are ongoing trials in most parts of the developed world with Germany, Spain and the Netherlands allowing testing robotic cars in traffic. In addition, cities in France, Belgium, Italy and the UK planning to operate transport systems for driverless cars. I was surprised to find out that the cost of producing the sensor needed to facilitate autonomous driving dropped from $70,000 in 2012 to $250 in 2016. It’s difficult to explain such drastic drop in prices. I look at it as a result of amalgamation of different improving technologies that make the final product better but cheap. The same case applies to EVs, by 2019, several companies hope to produce cars selling for $20,000 with shorter time for charging and longer mileage. I guess I have written much about EVs already. Although predicting the future is not easy, I hope looking at disruptive technologies in general has given you a picture of what is bound to happen.  Please note that Stone Age did not end due to lack of rocks, but because disruptive technology led to Bronze Age. Currently, the world is used to a centralized, extraction-resource-based energy sources such as oil, gas, coal, and nuclear. However, such will be disrupted by superior technologies that have better business models. With regards to EVs, TESLA Model S was chosen as the best car ever by the American consumers in 2013. It is currently the best-selling high-end large luxury car beating leaders such as Rolls-Royce, BMW, Audi and Chevy Equinox. Looking into the future, if the business model adopted by Uber and the autonomous driving of EVs become part of our future, there will be no need to own a car, and therefore need for parking spaces as vehicles will be in constant motion unless charging.
    Jun 04, 2016 1384
  • 18 Apr 2020
    In a world where COVID-19 statistics update, from official sites and unfortunately other hoax/fake news via social platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp spreads it’s generally confusing and at most times overwhelming for most people. COVID-19 has become a daily conversation and a reality impacting all society's aspects and for PAUWES students it’s the University life's experience. The focus being far from their homes, anxiety and worry can easily become the norm. So how are the Pan African Students coping with the official imposed lockdown for the past month, one would wonder? The longing for their homes and a return to the academic routines they had grown accustomed to, has been a shared concern among the students. Strategies to cope with social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine are not readily available in any student manual so creativity and ingenuity has become a necessity for survival. The sixth cohort that comprises a combination of academic giants from the Cape to Cairo hailing from the vast regions of our motherland namely the gold coast of Ghana, the Congo carpeted rain forest, the beautiful Zanzibar island of Tanzania, the Kalahari game reserve of Botswana and the great elegant Minarets of Mansourah, devastation, eagerness with hope for an end to this long isolation and immobility that has incapacitated their lifestyles and put a hold on their academic programs, they have had to rise up with creativity, empathy and sympathy for one another as their twin information and concern for their home countries where their families are and their current temporary home in Algeria, so spreading hope and love for each other has become a necessity for survival .This is an uncertain time for everyone, and with different home countries' news updates combined with Algeria's one may be impacted by fear and anxiety. However the 6th Cohort strives to stand the test of time in this lockdown through pure ingenuity and a shared feeling of being each other's keeper as African brothers and sisters in arms has become a source of unifier and spirit of hope for the Cohort. Students have found means to learn new languages, others have taken up passion to learn the different cultures of their friends, and others have found time to bond with each other while mostly the best friend of each student being either his smartphone or laptop., the lockdown has made students to diversify knowledge through online learning, conversations, among others and from a negative perspective it has made students to cling to their beds as a solace. Creativity with interaction and staying connected during social distancing has led to open engagements and comic satire to pass time and give mental relief from anxiety. In attempts to help regain structure at such a time to academic life, the different clubs have become a source of activity with weekly challenges. These have helped the students find mindful practices and creative pursuits as they work on their weekly assigned tasks. The students come up with initiatives and mind-provoking debates held weekly via their respective club WhatsApp platforms. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation club (PEIC) together with Gender and Climate change club (PGCCC) have embraced technology as the rest of the world has had to under current circumstances as a potential learning and enlightening instrument to keep students engaged and progressive in their pursuits on their various virtual platforms For food provision and supply, besides the residence administration which tries to make the stay for students normal, the host students have also taken up the initiative to lend a hand in providing the other necessities for their colleagues under lockdown thereby minimizing movement in line with residence administration orders. The Cohort WhatsApp platforms have become a place of shared humor and creative puns to pass time as comic relief in times where anxiety and panic attacks among other mental health issues may arise. This has helped most students to build a feeling of community at a time where widespread panic and doom may become overwhelming, for the 6th Cohort they have taken this as a time to find “the needle in the haystack” for tough times call for tough people who can stand in the storm with creativity and focus, and above all spiritual wisdom in arms , the 6th Cohort stands as a family connected through academic purpose and now with shared concerns as an example of the value of 'Ubuntuism' , connected hearts and minds working together with technology on its side and creativity in trying times of COVID-19. Compiled by THE EDITORIAL TEAM 2020
    1360 Posted by Roset Namwanje
  • In a world where COVID-19 statistics update, from official sites and unfortunately other hoax/fake news via social platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp spreads it’s generally confusing and at most times overwhelming for most people. COVID-19 has become a daily conversation and a reality impacting all society's aspects and for PAUWES students it’s the University life's experience. The focus being far from their homes, anxiety and worry can easily become the norm. So how are the Pan African Students coping with the official imposed lockdown for the past month, one would wonder? The longing for their homes and a return to the academic routines they had grown accustomed to, has been a shared concern among the students. Strategies to cope with social distancing, self-isolation or quarantine are not readily available in any student manual so creativity and ingenuity has become a necessity for survival. The sixth cohort that comprises a combination of academic giants from the Cape to Cairo hailing from the vast regions of our motherland namely the gold coast of Ghana, the Congo carpeted rain forest, the beautiful Zanzibar island of Tanzania, the Kalahari game reserve of Botswana and the great elegant Minarets of Mansourah, devastation, eagerness with hope for an end to this long isolation and immobility that has incapacitated their lifestyles and put a hold on their academic programs, they have had to rise up with creativity, empathy and sympathy for one another as their twin information and concern for their home countries where their families are and their current temporary home in Algeria, so spreading hope and love for each other has become a necessity for survival .This is an uncertain time for everyone, and with different home countries' news updates combined with Algeria's one may be impacted by fear and anxiety. However the 6th Cohort strives to stand the test of time in this lockdown through pure ingenuity and a shared feeling of being each other's keeper as African brothers and sisters in arms has become a source of unifier and spirit of hope for the Cohort. Students have found means to learn new languages, others have taken up passion to learn the different cultures of their friends, and others have found time to bond with each other while mostly the best friend of each student being either his smartphone or laptop., the lockdown has made students to diversify knowledge through online learning, conversations, among others and from a negative perspective it has made students to cling to their beds as a solace. Creativity with interaction and staying connected during social distancing has led to open engagements and comic satire to pass time and give mental relief from anxiety. In attempts to help regain structure at such a time to academic life, the different clubs have become a source of activity with weekly challenges. These have helped the students find mindful practices and creative pursuits as they work on their weekly assigned tasks. The students come up with initiatives and mind-provoking debates held weekly via their respective club WhatsApp platforms. The Entrepreneurship and Innovation club (PEIC) together with Gender and Climate change club (PGCCC) have embraced technology as the rest of the world has had to under current circumstances as a potential learning and enlightening instrument to keep students engaged and progressive in their pursuits on their various virtual platforms For food provision and supply, besides the residence administration which tries to make the stay for students normal, the host students have also taken up the initiative to lend a hand in providing the other necessities for their colleagues under lockdown thereby minimizing movement in line with residence administration orders. The Cohort WhatsApp platforms have become a place of shared humor and creative puns to pass time as comic relief in times where anxiety and panic attacks among other mental health issues may arise. This has helped most students to build a feeling of community at a time where widespread panic and doom may become overwhelming, for the 6th Cohort they have taken this as a time to find “the needle in the haystack” for tough times call for tough people who can stand in the storm with creativity and focus, and above all spiritual wisdom in arms , the 6th Cohort stands as a family connected through academic purpose and now with shared concerns as an example of the value of 'Ubuntuism' , connected hearts and minds working together with technology on its side and creativity in trying times of COVID-19. Compiled by THE EDITORIAL TEAM 2020
    Apr 18, 2020 1360
  • 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  
    1359 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 1359
  • 18 Apr 2016
    This is for the generation born before the millennium. Those who know what it means to sit down and write a letter to a loved one or friend. Those of who like me had pen pals growing up and waited for days on end for their letters or postcards to get to you. For those who made long queues to make a minute call on the telephone booths and those who may know that a telegram is charged per word. This is for those of us who sat around the fire and listened to our grandparents talk the night away as they relived their lives. The millennium came with its blessings and curses. For one communication has been made easier and we no longer have to look for smoke signs or wait for a life time before we get a reply to a letter, with a press of a button you can communicate to anyone in the world in real time. Take for example the social media facebook, twitter (I still cannot come up with a sensible 140 character message), pintrest, snapchat, instagram, whatsApp, viber………and the list goes on and on. All these platforms have brought the world to us, created an easier way to keep up with family and friends, opened up new opportunities that we could have only dreamt of. We have shared our milestones and failures on these platforms, our joy and pain, our dreams and aspirations and even our fears; they have simply become our public diaries. These are milestones that the human race should be proud of but they have also marked the death of face to face conversation and time we take in nurturing relationships. We are more content in having a multitude of followers and friends who know nothing about us other than what we let them see. Have a look around you at the airports, restaurants, banks, buses, classes, everywhere you go people have their heads bent on their phones. We have the world at the tip of our fingers but the world is passing us by. We are so busy hash tagging our lives that we do not even realize that the most important relationships we have are crumbling because we are not putting as much effort into them as we should. I find it sad that you can be seated in a room and instead of engaging in a conversation everybody is busy on their phones or laptops typing their worries away. If you visit most homes today, everyone is glued to their phones instead of looking up and connecting with the people who really mater, family. Nobody speaks anymore and few really listen.  In my opinion phones have made most of us ill mannered and rude. Some of us compulsively check our phones for notifications you would think we are in charge of some secret mission. In fact we are so far gone in this addiction that they have gone ahead and found a name for it “nomophobia”; the fear of being without a phone. My close friends and I have a rule. If any of us touches their phone when we go out to eat you pay the bill for everyone on the table. Some may consider this an extreme measure that is unnecessary but we realized we have to nurture the relationships we share and listen to what the other person is saying without any distraction. It is time we drew the line and took back our lives and valuable time. We must make a conscious decision to unchain ourselves from the slavery that has become our phones. It is alright to let a call or a chat message go unanswered unless it is an emergency just because you want to share that moment with a loved one. It is time we took our lives and reclaimed the relationships we have lost or neglected. I believe it is time for us to stop measuring our worth on how many friends we have or the number of likes we get!
    1271 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • This is for the generation born before the millennium. Those who know what it means to sit down and write a letter to a loved one or friend. Those of who like me had pen pals growing up and waited for days on end for their letters or postcards to get to you. For those who made long queues to make a minute call on the telephone booths and those who may know that a telegram is charged per word. This is for those of us who sat around the fire and listened to our grandparents talk the night away as they relived their lives. The millennium came with its blessings and curses. For one communication has been made easier and we no longer have to look for smoke signs or wait for a life time before we get a reply to a letter, with a press of a button you can communicate to anyone in the world in real time. Take for example the social media facebook, twitter (I still cannot come up with a sensible 140 character message), pintrest, snapchat, instagram, whatsApp, viber………and the list goes on and on. All these platforms have brought the world to us, created an easier way to keep up with family and friends, opened up new opportunities that we could have only dreamt of. We have shared our milestones and failures on these platforms, our joy and pain, our dreams and aspirations and even our fears; they have simply become our public diaries. These are milestones that the human race should be proud of but they have also marked the death of face to face conversation and time we take in nurturing relationships. We are more content in having a multitude of followers and friends who know nothing about us other than what we let them see. Have a look around you at the airports, restaurants, banks, buses, classes, everywhere you go people have their heads bent on their phones. We have the world at the tip of our fingers but the world is passing us by. We are so busy hash tagging our lives that we do not even realize that the most important relationships we have are crumbling because we are not putting as much effort into them as we should. I find it sad that you can be seated in a room and instead of engaging in a conversation everybody is busy on their phones or laptops typing their worries away. If you visit most homes today, everyone is glued to their phones instead of looking up and connecting with the people who really mater, family. Nobody speaks anymore and few really listen.  In my opinion phones have made most of us ill mannered and rude. Some of us compulsively check our phones for notifications you would think we are in charge of some secret mission. In fact we are so far gone in this addiction that they have gone ahead and found a name for it “nomophobia”; the fear of being without a phone. My close friends and I have a rule. If any of us touches their phone when we go out to eat you pay the bill for everyone on the table. Some may consider this an extreme measure that is unnecessary but we realized we have to nurture the relationships we share and listen to what the other person is saying without any distraction. It is time we drew the line and took back our lives and valuable time. We must make a conscious decision to unchain ourselves from the slavery that has become our phones. It is alright to let a call or a chat message go unanswered unless it is an emergency just because you want to share that moment with a loved one. It is time we took our lives and reclaimed the relationships we have lost or neglected. I believe it is time for us to stop measuring our worth on how many friends we have or the number of likes we get!
    Apr 18, 2016 1271