World Future Council opens Africa office in Addis Ababa
Improving political frameworks for renewable energy
Hamburg/Addis Ababa, 3.3.2010. On the occasion of the 8. Africa Environment Day the World Future Council is opening its Africa office in Addis Ababa today. Ansgar Kiene, WFC-Campaign Manager for Climate and Renewable Energies in Africa, will head the office in the Ethiopian capital. Kiene perceives the move from the WFC Head Office in Hamburg to Ethiopia as a great opportunity to take on the big challenges that the African Environment Day is highlighting: climate change and environmental degradation. Due to poor supply of electricity, 80% of Africans are dependent on wood and coal for light, cooking and heat. Four million hectares of forest are cleared every year - double the global average. At the same time 400.000 people in Africa die every year because of toxic fumes in the air in enclosed spaces – primarily caused by cooking fires.
The World Future Council wants to improve the political frameworks in Africa to enable sustainable use of renewable energies such as solar, hydro, wind and biomass. Not only are they long-lasting and environmentally friendly, but they have the decisive advantage that people in rural areas, far removed from the current electricity grids, can be supplied with electricity. They offer the only realistic solution for a long-term and comprehensive supply of electricity for the African population. In addition to a huge improvement in quality of life, Africa’s forests and climate will be better protected.
Dr. Tewolde Berhan Egziabher, WFC Councillor and Director General of the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority: „I appreciate it very much that the World Future Council as an internationally renowned Council of experts opens an office in Addis Ababa in order to work more closely with the Ethiopian Environmental
Protection Authority and the African Union. Thus, we can learn from each other on how to best tackle environmental issues and especially fight climate change”.
From the new office in Addis Ababa, Ansgar Kiene will organise workshops with politicians from all over Africa, to inform them about the benefits of renewable energies and on how to facilitate their implementation.