OPINION: Rwanda: How Energy Can Contribute Towards Poverty Alleviation
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
WE LIVE in interesting times when so much is happening in terms of development. However, there are curious contradictions that undermine our journey to the Promised Land; development.
The importance played by energy to our development process requires no explanation and energy consumption is widely accepted as a good indicator of economic development.
In general, this means the higher the energy consumption, the higher the per capita income and, consequently, the lower the poverty index.
There is a correlation between energy availability and poverty. Sustained economic development will be attained only when it is possible to offer decent living conditions to one-third of the world’s population with an estimated 1.6 billion people living in the developing countries with no access to any type of commercial energy.
These people still depend on energy generated inefficiently by burning fuel wood, dung and plant wastes in devices using crude or primitive technologies.
Energy obtained under such harrowing conditions is expensive and insufficient to meet even basic human needs for nutrition, heat and lighting, with little or nothing left for productive uses that would offer a way out, helping breach the seemingly never ending cycle of poverty.