2012 Tutu Fellow Julie Gichuru discusses the development of African resources in her TEDx talk. She makes the case that Africa is blessed with rich natural resources and by harnessing them - rather than wasting them - Africa could be transformed. The Sahara could be developed into a solar power generator for the continent. Careful use of agricultural resources has transformed Malawi. She unpacks these ideas by pointing out a few areas in which potential exists for positive change.
New technologies and innovation are critical to the development of Africa. Finding solutions to problems is where the youth of Africa can transform this continent. Embracing technology is one area that can alleviate poverty. Instead of teaching our youth the art of war, teach the young to grow crops. By planning and being aware of the resources that Africa offers, we can feed the continent and even the world.
Harnessing of resources should not occur in a vacuum. For example, Ethiopia is damming the Omo River for a hydroelectric project. This will cause Lake Turkana to disappear, displacing over half a million people who will lose homes around the lake. Short-term thinking benefits city dwellers at the expense of the environment and the citizens who live around the lake. It is a failure to think the plan through. Harness Africa’s abundant solar energy and there is no need for the dam. Africa has many natural resources that can be saved or destroyed by us.
Julie wonders if Africa is scared of success and achieving. She argues that everybody at the grassroots needs to be empowered to believe they can do anything. By trying, it is possible to make a difference as opposed to not trying because it appears pointless. She says that Africans must decide to put pressure on its leaders and asks: "Are we going to succeed or we going to continue down the pathway to failure?"
See her talk: