Sensible, sustainable nuclear power for Africa

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Sensible, sustainable nuclear power for Africa

Economic, environmental and practical reasons make nuclear power Africa’s best option

Dr. Kelvin Kemm and Knox Msebenzi

Centuries ago European countries were scrambling to take control of large pieces of Africa, to increase their wealth and colonial prestige. They brought their sophisticated, advanced ideas and methods to Africa. This changed the developmental direction of African countries, and positive influences were absorbed, while a great deal of unhappiness and conflict also resulted when colonisers could not grasp the limitations of converting Africa into a European clone.

Famed British author, Rudyard Kipling came to South Africa many times and wrote beautiful prose about the country but emphasized the deep spiritual differences in terrain and general character between Africa and England. He understood the heart and soul of the country, but very many did not and still do not.

Since then Europe has advanced greatly. But so has Africa, though not in the same way.

People of Africa have developed locally applicable solutions to issues and challenges. First World countries must accept that their technological solutions were developed for their social and geographic conditions, not ours. Yes, we have adopted and adapted many foreign solutions, but in most cases a straight transplant from the First World to Africa does not work optimally.

A major infrastructure development is electrification. High-voltage power lines of over 1000 km (620 mi) in length are unheard of in Europe but are common in South Africa, where they also traverse one of the highest lightning incidence areas on the planet. These realities have led to technologically advanced solutions.

The people of Africa know what is best for the people of Africa. First World countries really must refrain from using a paternalistic attitude by trying to tell Africans to “see sense” and to do it “the right way,” or do it to “prevent climate change” – all of which mean do it “their way.”

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