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Some news headlines for Africa in the year 2020

by Ruth Aine - 18 June 2014

Future2Trekkers bounce on top of Mount Kilimanjaro in search of snow.

Two weeks ago, a couple of friends got together to trek to the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain has always had a spectacular view of ice from atop the peaks. They were shocked, however, to get there and find that there was no more snow. The mountain has had a snow cap since the last ice age 11,000 years ago. Farmers during the last decades have been burning down forests to make way for crops to support the growing population in Tanzania.  The highest point at Mount Kilimanjaro is called Uhuru Peak and is 5,895 meters above sea level. After months of training and preparing for the trek to catch some snow on top of the mountain, I can well say that they bounced.

 

More people killed by cancer this year – Lung cancer tops the list

This year the number of cancer cases exceeded 16 million worldwide for the first time. The highest number and worst of all is as a result of smoking. To date, the relative risk for a regular smoker to develop lung cancer compared to a non-smoker is between 20 and 30 times higher. The connection between smoking and lung cancer dates as far back as 1957. More than 10 million people worldwide die of lung cancer every year.

Africa looking to invest in wind energy

African countries are beginning to learn the importance and possibilities of wind power.  The developed world on the other hand is already reaping considerably from having invested in wind energy years ago. While the US took its time to adapt its strategy for wind power, it has since surpassed Germany as the leading producer of wind power in the world.  Denmark is still the country with the highest share of wind energy. The African Union is in talks with the European Union to help advise how the two can collaborate to ensure that support is given to the African countries that are ready to take on the challenge.

Too much steel scrap from cars on the continent

The number of cars worldwide continues to grow, however, for the cars that end up in Africa, there are no steel recycling plants put in place. This has led to increased automotive scrap that is not being handled properly. In the past, most of the African countries have been trying to recycle plastics and rubber, a far more difficult process than recycling scrap iron or steel. In the end, the latter has been neglected. A report, Managing the Future: World Vehicle Forecasts 2010, released 10 years ago, showed that developing countries, especially from Africa, at the time faced a number of challenges in dealing with their automotive scrap.

Research has shown that these stories will actually be proved right come the year 2020, UNLESS something is done to combat the trends. The United Nations Environmental Programme and many environmental agencies have warned that if climate change continues, there will be no snowcap on top of Mount Kilimanjaro.  Wind power continues to have strong growth in Europe and the US, but Africa is investing a lot in solar and hydroelectric power, which are turning out to be very expensive.

For those of us that want to be a part of the future, we know that today is not the time for speculation and thinking about what should be done. It is instead a time of action. We need to act, we need to task the leaders in charge to listen and act as well, otherwise the next generations will suffer the consequences.

 

Ruth Aine Tindyebwa
Blogger/Online Communications

Read her personal blog; IN DEPTH which is at www.ruthaine.com

Read more about the author and her view on being a futurist.

 

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