Nov 05, 2012
Africa urged to invest in engineering skills to meet energy demandsBack
Engineering|Johannesburg|Africa|Alstom|Education|Resources|Sustainable|Water|Africa|Electricity|Energy|Energy Demands|Energy Needs|Railways Solutions|Solutions|Lawrence Jones|Water
© Reuse this
African countries needed more human capacity in the form of engineers, hydrologists and geologists, as well as mechanical, electrical and material scientists.
“There is a whole range of engineering professions that we would need to cover to meet energy needs on the continent,” he said at a French Energy Forum event in Johannesburg.
Jones pointed out that almost 580-million people, or around 58% of the continent’s population, were still without access to electricity in residential areas. “This implies massive needs for infrastructural development, requiring appropriate standards and skills development.”
With more than 50% of Africa’s population under the age of 25, Jones stressed the importance of investing in proper education.
“This needs vision and leadership, to realise that investing in these young people is investing in the future. It’s a prioritisation issue.
“What is the education budget of every African government today? If education is your future, more than anything else, if that budget makes up only 5% of your total budget, there is a misalignment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jones said that there needed to be a balance between increasing access to energy and managing resources in a sustainable way, while, at the same time, reducing climate change impacts.
“This could be achieved through developing integrated climate change mitigation strategies in energy policies and regulatory frameworks, while also developing an integrated climate change adaptation strategy,” he said.
Jones pointed out that climate change was the most important international developmental challenge of the twenty-first century, and while African countries contributed the least to this phenomenon, they were the most vulnerable.
Another challenge highlighted was the scarcity of water on the continent. “Currently, water constraint is definitely an issue and will become even more of an issue as the population grows. I am most worried about population growth that is developing faster than other sectors.”
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.