28 December 2021

Namibia: Near Lüderitz, in the Tsau//Khaeb National Park, energy produced from sun and wind is to be used to separate hydrogen molecules from desalinated water. Once the project reaches capacity, this is to produce 300,000 tonnes of “green hydrogen” every year. But hydrogen plants cost a lot – 9.4bn USD are needed for the project, about the country’s GDP. But there are doubts whether the desalination and the electrolysis processes are viable and whether Lüderitz will be able to develop its infrastructure fast enough. Other countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya) also have their green hydrogen plans – but these plans are less advanced than Namibia’s.

Ghana: Aid versus market-driven approaches – which works better for renewable energy projects in remote rural communities? Aid-driven projects do not build the necessary collective capacity as they “usually involve only one actor: renewable energy companies. (...) They only train local companies or technicians.” In that respect, market-driven projects are better, furthering interactions among different actors and favouring transfer of knowledge and building of capacity, with local technicians doing repairs and rural banks involved in disbursing loans. But such projects also have their problems, most of them being rather short-term, they do not allow for enough time to adapt to local contexts: “user priorities, changing energy demand, energy-use behaviour, and income patterns. For example, some rural dwellers can make payments only after harvest seasons.”

27 December 2021

South Africa: Shiraaz Mohamed has tracked down some foreigners – "kwerekwere", derogatory for African migrants – in Alexandra township and inner-city neighbourhood Hillbrow in Johannesburg and tells their stories, their fear of violence and xenophobia, by means of words and his photographs.

Somalia: Prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, suspended by the President, says he’ll continue in office. He accuses the President of an “indirect coup”.