The world needs to go green. Leaders around the globe know this, and African leaders are no different. Already, a vast number of eco-friendly projects have been initiated by the continent’s governments and its people, facilitating everyday activities and protecting the environment.
In Africa, it’s hot to go green, so let’s look at some popular projects and also what the continent can consider next.
Agriculture can effectively contribute to the continent’s GDP, but major growth relies on government support in the form of finance for farmers, as well as stable markets and improved infrastructure. In turn, this will improve the continent’s food security and contribute to ecologically friendly farming practices.
ALTERNATIVE POWER SOURCES
Africa is home to more than one billion people and all need reliable power. Projects such as Morocco’s Noor Complex solar-power plant; Kenya’s M-KOPA, a pay-as-you-go solar-power provider; and Rwanda’s KivuWatt gas-water extraction project show that the continent is ready to capitalise on its natural resources at the lowest cost to consumers.
GREEN MALLS AND PUBLIC SPACES
Africa has seen a significant increase in shopping mall development due to the rising middle class, urbanisation, and an overall young population that subscribes to aspirational “mall” culture. Building eco-friendly malls won’t only have a positive impact on the environment; it will have a social ‘cool’ factor, as shoppers will be keen to associate with new social spaces.
Eco-friendly construction techniques include easily recyclable mud bricks; low E-windows to regulate temperature; and lumber created from recycled wood and plastic, which is more durable and less toxic than conventional lumber. Insulation for homes includes natural products such as flax, hemp or wood fibre, which are better for the environment.
Ugandan-based Kiira Motors created Africa’s first hybrid vehicle, the Kiira Smack, a petrol-electric car that can hit speeds of more than 60 mph while running for four-to-five hours on a full battery. The same company also created the Kayoola, a solar-powered electric bus, the first of its kind in East Africa.
Africa boasts numerous designers who contribute to empowerment and protect the environment. For example, Woolworths offers a range of jeans made from recycled materials; ASOS Africa abides by fair trade regulations; and SoleRebels, a footwear company, is the world’s first Fairtrade Certified footwear.
Eco-friendly gadgets are essential for conserving power and curbing environmental waste. As such, they are seeing a surge in popularity: The Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate is partly created from recycled materials and the Philips Econova TV auto adjusts to zero wattage mode when turned off.
Africa’s landfills are filling up fast. Fortunately, waste can be reduced with recycling, decreasing land, water and air pollution, and creating jobs in a sustainable industry.