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From the ashes of war, Sierra Leone rises with Solar-Powered Youth Hubs

What is a pragmatic recipe for a low-cost Youth Entrepreneurship Hub in a country like Sierra Leone? Get a shipping container, fit it with air-conditioning, work desks and chairs. Then add PCs, internet access and solar panels to provide electricity, and you get the picture of Sierra Leone’s Solar-Powered youth hubs

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What is a pragmatic recipe for a low-cost Youth Entrepreneurship Hub in a country like Sierra Leone? Get a shipping container, fit it with air-conditioning, work desks and chairs. Then add PCs, internet access and solar panels to provide electricity, and you get the picture of Sierra Leone’s Solar-Powered youth hubs.

Computer Aid International is a non-profit organization that combines IT asset disposal with global development. Earlier in the year, CAI installed two Youth Entrepreneurship Hubs in Makeni and Pujehun in Sierra Leone. As described above, they are both solar-powered.

The containers do not look so special from the outside, but step inside and the picture changes. They could pass for a mini mission control centre in a blockbuster movie.

The town of Pujehun has no electric power, with diesel generators being the only source of power for many. In addition, it has no public computers nor ICT training centres. The situation is largely the same at Makeni, though there is public power supply.

The solar powered Zuba boxes, as they are called, are self-sustaining. These Youth Entrepreneurship Hubs are part of a project that reportedly provides 1,230 young people with vital digital business skills.

Sierra Leone’s solar-powered youth hubs are giving quite a number of students their first exposure to many much needed skills, including typing, computer usage, web browsing, and more.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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