What is Agroforestry in Africa? 2

 AGROFORESTRY & OUR  MISSION IN AFRICA  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture in the form of Agroforestry.

Africa Agroforestry Problems

African agriculture is so heterogeneous that no leap forward in the farming of a single crop could transform it. The continent needs a dozen green revolutions. 

The vast continent has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, most of it un-farmed. The land already under cultivation, mostly by small farmers, could produce far more. Crop yields in Africa are between one-third and one-half of the global average. The quality of soil is often poor, because of over-farming, but that could be fixed by fertilizers. Africa-rate-of-growth-agric

Sadly the global climate has worsened for farmers globally over the past few years and this has drastically affected the growth of crops.

It is no secret that the current El Niño phenomenon has caused drought in the global coffee-lands, particularly Central America, the Caribbean, and East Africa. Satellite-derived rainfall estimates indicate that the first half of the rainy season (June-August) was the driest in 35 years. The result is that many plants either die or on life support by the time the rains arrive the following season. Climatic conditions are now forcing farmers to break with tradition and search for alternatives to their crops.

Africa has suffered the biggest droughts in modern history. In 2011, the worst drought in 60 years triggered a hunger crisis in East Africa that impacted 13 million people and left an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 dead. The United Nations estimated the cost of the humanitarian response at $1.5 billion. That crisis happened not in the agricultural regions of sub-Saharan Africa but in the dry land regions of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. 

Prior to the ‘Green Revolution’, the majority of subsistence farming anywhere in the world involved mixed species, usually including tree products.  Pressures towards higher efficiency drove modern agriculture into mono cultures.

Africa’s population grew more steeply than India’s, and as a result production per person fell in much of the continent during the late 20th century.  In the past decades, the African population has rocketed from 220 million in 1950 to appalling 1 billion in 2010.

Africa is also a continent full of chaos. This alone will definitely deter the growth of agriculture to a large extent. Corruption and instability means that Africa can’t build institutions to a decent standard compared to their potential competitors.

One-third to one-half of its harvests routinely going to waste. Establishing better storage systems that reduce crop mold and losses caused by weevil depredation, thus enabling farmers to keep their crops off the market until prices are high, is another primary goal.

Africans need the ability to store crops somewhere other than in their houses, where the weevils get them. Processing foods near farms would help reduce such waste and provide decent paying jobs.

Worldwide, about 124 kg of artificial fertilizer is used per hectare of farmland per year. Many would argue that this is too high. But the 15 kg per hectare in sub-Saharan Africa is definitely too low.

Africa still has a thin road network to bring fertilizer in and produce out of the rural agricultural area; in rural areas the roads are often primitive and impassable after a heavy shower. There are difficulties of moving fresh produce over long distances that makes intensification near the big markets particularly attractive.  Sub-Saharan Africa’s farms remain far less productive than Latin American and Asian ones. The continent as a whole exports less farm produce than Thailand.

Most farms are forced to rely on humanitarian food aid, a short-term solution that saves lives but reinforces the cycle of poverty and dependency in the African dry lands.

Exported goods to other African countries faced average tariffs of 8.7%, compared with 2.5% for those that exported goods beyond Africa. 

African cows are increasingly crossbred with European breeds to create tough animals that produce lots of milk. But animal vaccines remain expensive and are often unavailable, since they need to be kept cold.

What is Agroforestry in Africa?

Agroforestry can help to achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation while at the same time providing livelihoods for poor smallholder farmers in Africa. Continue reading What is Agroforestry in Africa? 2

TREE NURSERY WITH THE MESQUITE TREE 2

THE TREE NURSERY AND OUR MISSION:  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nursery to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture

The Tree Nursery


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Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora ) is an N-fixing legume tree, typical of arid and semi-arid regions, growing up to 10-15 m high. The crown is large and the canopy is open. Mesquite is a phreatophyte and has a deep taproot, growing downwards in search of water tables (down to 35 m depth). The value of the tree lies in its exceptional tolerance of heat, drought (8 months and possibly longer) and marginal soils. They may subsequently be inter-cropped with maize.  

Prosopis juliflora and its close relative Prosopis pallida are two of the most economically and ecologically important tree species in arid and semi-arid zones of the world. 

It is also extremely invasive. Mesquite is considered as a noxious weed in many parts of the world. Grazing of mesquite stands is a way to control its growth: fresh leaves contain about 17-20% protein and their hay contains about 14% protein.  

 Mesquite wood is a good firewood (it is also called “wooden anthracite”) and produces high-quality charcoal.  It is also used for windows, doors and light carpentry.

Pods production begins 3 years after planting. Pods yields may be as high as 10 t/ha/year, average pods yields are 8.7 t/ha/year in the USA and 6 t/ha/year, after 4 years, in Brazil (under good fertilizer levels) where maize only yields 400 kg/ha.

 The pods can also be collected and fed to stalled livestock, whole or processed, alone or as part of a ration and fresh or after storage. Processed pods are more digestible and ground pods have a better nutritional value. Processing involves the pounding.

For goats, a diet containing 20% pods improved feed intake, feed conversion and body weight gain without compromising carcass yield or quality. Foliage of Prosopis juliflora is generally unpalatable, however, animals will browse the foliage during dry seasons. The palatability is most palatable for goats. It is possible to use mesquite pods up to 25% without problems in the diets of growing rabbits. Mesquite pod meal is a valuable feed for tilapia. 

Mesquite provides shade and shelter and is used in windbreaks and shelter belts along the border of a farm. 

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 The best time to plant NUT TREES was 20 years ago

THE SECOND BEST TIME IS NOW

  1. A tree maintained over 25 years has a Net Present Value of $0.49/tree based on its capture of carbon dioxide over this lifetime.
  2. The cost to grow and plant trees in Africa over the long run is another $1.00/tree: additional cost of maintenance: weeding, pruning, mulching, slashing, care against disease and infestations:
  3.  With the support from the Carbon Tax Fund, the Tree Farm is scaleable to produce over 1,000,000 trees in a short time.

Carbon Emission to be Solved

Continue reading TREE NURSERY WITH THE MESQUITE TREE 2

GLOBAL CARBON EMISSIONS 2

 CARBON EMISSIONS AND OUR MISSION:  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture. We do all this to absorb Carbon Emissions.

A NEW PARADIGMParadigm Shift Mechanization Concept Africa

It is the time for a new look at the Carbon Tax Dilemma. A paradigm shift is required:  from one of collecting carbon sin tax, which is recycled into investment for economic growth to a focus on sustainable global warming solutions. 

The rate of change in the world around us is increasing. The human mental system is failing to comprehend the modern world.  Our brain seems to understand only a small portion of the world: the portion that most affects our capacity to survive and reproduce. Our nervous system seems only to be impressed with small dramatic changes.

 Politicians being elected and rewarded on the basis of short-term decisions that are by many measures intellectually, morally, and financially corrupt, and the so-called knowledge workers–the scientists, engineers, and others who should be “blowing the whistle,” are so specialized that there is a real lack of integrative knowledge to see the Big Picture.

“We face a true planetary emergency.
The climate crisis is not a political issue; it is a moral and 
spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest 
opportunity to lift Global Consciousness to a higher level.” 
                                                                                                     – Al Gore

The ‘climate crisis’ has already morphed from an environmental problem into a ‘moral and spiritual’ issue. The whole doctrine of sustainability and global warming has been designed to engender a sense of collective guilt, and the only solution to the perceived crisis is for humanity to develop a collective conscience.

 “Climate change makes us all global citizens; we are truly all in this together.” A crisis often has the advantage of uniting people. Climate change is the first problem on a global scale that we have faced as a species. We must hope that it has the positive side effect of stimulating our global consciousness. No country, no region, no people will escape the negative effects of the impending worldwide increase in temperature. We must all cooperate in mitigating it if we are to succeed.

CARBON DIOXIDE STORAGE

Back in Norway, Statoil also operates two projects to store carbon dioxide under water, in some of the most advanced examples of a technology seen as key to removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere: carbon capture and storage (CCS). This is costly and still in its infancy, and governments have supported it only erratically. In 2015 a mere 28 million tonnes of CO2 was stored that way. To help meet the 2ºC limit, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says the world needs to store a whopping 4 billion tonnes a year by 2040.

CARBON EMISSIONS 

The much vaunted Stern Report called for a 25% reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Given the fact that the world population is expected to increase by a third which means the 9 billion people would have to generate 25% less than 6 billion, or a per capita reduction of 50%. This would devastate the global economy and make the Great Depression look like a picnic. Continue reading GLOBAL CARBON EMISSIONS 2

Insecure Property Rights in Africa 2

 PROPERTY RIGHTS AND OUR MISSION:  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture. We insist on Property Rights in Africa.

According to a recent article in the Economist, property rights are still miserably insecure in Africa. Legally recognizing land ownership has boosted farmers’ income and productivity in Latin America and Asia. But this is not the case yet in Africa. More than two-thirds of Africa’s land is still under customary tenure, with rights to land rooted in communities and typically neither written down nor legally recognized. In 31 of Africa’s 54 countries, less than 5% of rural land is privately owned. So giving peasants title to their land seems like an obvious first step towards easing African rural poverty.

In Rwanda, 81% of plots had been issued with titles since 2013, at relatively low cost; investment and women’s access to land have both improved. But even a relatively well-organised place like Rwanda has had problems keeping records up to date when land is sold or inherited.

Your Property Rights? Prove it!

In some African countries, less than 10% of households have any documents proving their land ownership. Being able to prove you own your land may be a necessary condition for using it as collateral.

In Kenya a large-scale titling programme was carried out in colonial times and carried over to independence. Most Kenyans cannot afford to update titles, and the government has not maintained the registry.

In Ethiopia, all land is still officially state-owned. The government has successfully registered customary rights in some regions: about 30% of Ethiopian households now have such documents. But it has also leased large tracts of land to foreign investors.

Legal property rights offer less protection in countries where big men can flout the law with impunity—a particular problem in Africa. Traditional chiefs have also sold communal land to private firms, leaving many peasants destitute. In Ghana chiefs have used their right to administer communal land to sell large tracts without their community’s permission. Property rights are even less respected in Zimbabwe. In recent years land grabs have sometimes made a mockery of customary ownership. Over the past decade and a half, Robert Mugabe’s government has seized most of the country’s commercial farms with little or no compensation.

In several places custom dictates that only men can inherit land. In Uganda stories abound of widows being ejected their marital land by in-laws. One woman was thrown out of her home a week after her husband died in an accident; she had refused to marry any of his five brothers, and her children were taken away to a sister-in-law.

A land survey in Africa among farmers revealed that it was the chief who owned all the lands. When the surveyors told the chief that he owned a lot of land, he explained them: This is not my land; we got it from our ancestors and have to duty to maintain it in a good state and hand it over to our children and grandchildren.

The ideal should be on clear transparent contracts on land use that cover a life span sufficiently long enough to harvest the benefits of investments done and in which the rights of use can be inherited.

Land today is more valuable than ever: how do you make the land equally available to all citizens?

Continue reading Insecure Property Rights in Africa 2

AFRICA: Future World Food Basket 2

AFRICA FUTURE & OUR  MISSION:  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture for a Brighter Future in Africa.

ABYSMAL AFRICA

In contrast with Asia, which has seen huge increases in agricultural yields in the last 40 years, sub-Saharan Africa’s track record has been abysmal. Food production is actually 10% lower today than in 1960, yet over this time period the aggregate world food production has increased by 145%.

Climate change could push prices up by 130%. Rice tripled in price over a period of four months, wheat doubled and corn rose 46 per cent. This world food crisis of high grain import prices, on top of high fuel prices, has placed an acute economic squeeze on consumers in developing countries.

People move in search of better opportunities elsewhere and jobs!! The high rate of urban migration in Africa, particularly among young people, is largely because the rural economy – which is predominantly agrarian – has been stagnant. These young people are not fleeing from farming as an occupation. They are fleeing from poverty!!

AGRICULTURAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING

Agriculture can deliver 2-3 times the return on investment, in terms of improved economic well-being, as other sectors: it represents 32% of Africa’s GDP; and employs 65% of the working population. Most importantly, it is the sector where the poorest on the continent are most likely to be engaged in their struggle to survive. Some African countries’ improved economic performance over the last 10 to 15 years indicates that they do have the potential to become net exporters of food. If we transform the agriculture sector, we will transform the African continent!

The best part of two decades there has been a consensus on aid in Africa – namely that the state should not subsidize smallholder agriculture. Nearly 30 percent of World Bank lending once went to agricultural modernization, but now it is just 8 percent. China’s dramatic reduction of poverty has been achieved by growth primarily in the agricultural sector, not the industrial. Since the late 1970s, improvements in technology and infrastructure helped boost production in smallholder agriculture, with farmers’ incomes rising at more than 7% a year. The result is that 200 million small-scale farmers working an average of 0.6 hectare of land are now feeding a population of 1.3 billion.

The Maputo declaration of 2003 pledged African countries to 10% of government spending for agriculture. This took place at a conference of African Ministers for Agriculture, chaired a meeting at FAO headquarters. Thirteen years later, many African countries have not even reached 4%.

Malawi’s defied these teachings and put in place a series of policy measures that increased agricultural development and overall economic development at the cost of 16% of government spending.

LAND TENURE

During one of the biggest challenges is the issue of land tenure. It is difficult to negotiate adequate secure tenure and get permission from all of the relevant authorities. Living Water Microfinance Inc. has been focusing its efforts, especially for women, who generally are not allowed to own land.

The Gene Revolution: Africa Future

The Green Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s is now being overtaken by “the Gene Revolution” — the development and spread of GM crops across the world. The uptake of genetically modified (GM) crops is the fastest adoption rate of any crop technology, increasing from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 148 million hectares in 2010. The USDA says 94% of soy and 75% of all corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified.

African countries such as South Africa, Burkina Faso and Egypt have adopted GM crops. Other countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are preparing to start field trials. Farming giants like China, Brazil and India have embraced biotech crops. And even the European Commission (EC) is acknowledging that existing GM crops do not carry any unique risks. In a recent study, the EC has found that GM crops are at least as safe for consumers and the environment as conventionally bred plant varieties, and sometimes safer. It also concluded that GM crops could help developing countries meet their food needs while addressing the challenges of climate change in a sustainable way.

Africa is steadily joining the biotechnology revolution. South Africa’s GM crop production stood at 2.0 million hectares (4.94 million acres) in 2010.

GMO DISADVANTAGE

Anti-GMO activists are still engaged in stopping this GM effort. The European Parliament voted that calls on the G7 countries not to support the use of genetically modified (GMO) seeds in Africa, despite the dangers of food security and poverty levels on the continent. 

As reported in a New York Times article, the ridiculously high prices of seeds and pesticides are causing farmers to make less money than ever. Additionally, as pests and weeds become increasingly immune to insecticides, farmers have to spend more and more money on chemicals. And let’s not forget, they are also legally required to buy new seeds every season unless they want to be sued or forced to burn all their plants.

Currently, just three mega companies control over half of the global seed market, which has caused prices to skyrocket. For example, the average price of planting an acre of soybeans has gone up 325 percent since 1995.

So, If GMOs Aren’t the Answer…

Continue reading AFRICA: Future World Food Basket 2

Conscious Capitalism 2

CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM & OUR MISSION:  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture. We do all this under the umbrella of Conscious Capitalism.

Conscious Capitalism

Africa is most affected by businesses than any other social organizations, bringing people together to help other people and bringing value and food for Africans – not entirely for profit but a by-product of a higher purpose.

Conscious businesses are a better way to do business. It will start slowly like a small path in the forest with a local cluster, but it will expand to a broad highway, because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. Partners of conscious businesses are dedicated to the company’s purposes. Our children and grandchildren will flourish in ways that we cannot imagine.Untitled-1c2

“Business as usual” will not succeed: we need a new paradigm for business: a conscious business, which have four tenets:

  1. A higher purpose of caring: why our business exists and why you were born
  2. Harmonious Integration of all stakeholders: including landlords, suppliers, the community and the environment. We wish to build partnerships that share our common purpose.
  3. Conscious Leadership: motivated by the firm’s higher purpose.
  4. Conscious Culture: to innovate continually

Living Water MicroFinance Inc. is a heroic conscious business because it creates value and lifts Africans out of their poverty, creates stability for the family and helps build communities with technical schooling. Not by crony capitalism where the select few use the coercive power of government for their advantage.

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Living Water MicroFinance’s Purpose

  • to evolve a more sustainable and efficient agricultural system using micro finance
  • to raise awareness of healthy eating
  • to help end poverty using irrigation and electricity
  • to make Conscious Business a dominant economic system

It is socially irresponsible to run a business that does not consistently generate profits, yet these are not the primary goals.

Africans feel more fulfilled when their work is more aligned with their passion: to help fellow Africans. Positions become available and careers are created through the collective intelligence of teamwork, where creative ideas of individuals are bounced around the team and get improved.

Plato discovered his ideals: the Good (service to others); the True (furthering human knowledge) and the Beautiful (excellence and the creation of beauty). We add a fourth: the Heroic (the courage to do the right thing to change and improve the world greater than most would think possible.

 Living Water Microfinance Conscious Capitalism

Continue reading Conscious Capitalism 2

The African Famine Revisited 2

AFRICAN FAMINE AND OUR MISSION:  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export  African Mechanization  for more productive agriculture and to fight famine.

African Famine

When the rains failed in 1984 it was 16 straight years of meagre rainfall, which was all too much. Most of the sub-Saharan Africa was affected including Ethiopia. The survival of 30 million Africans was in imminent risk. There was yet another crop failure in Northern and Western Sudan.

The lessons learned from these famines are tough ones: droughts are inevitable, while famine is not. It is far better to undertake development programs in advance of climate failure and the most economical use of scarce resources. This means a long term support to avert future tragedies.Untitled-1f

Part of the reason for this tragedy was the need for sustainable development as opposed to the practices of overgrazing and cutting down scarce trees for firewood, which turned fragile lands into near deserts. This evolved into a loss of productive land because of a loss of topsoil through erosion, which is very hard to reverse.

The solution to this problem of imminent climate change means a fundamental change to African economic life and behavior in order to arrest this vicious cycle of poverty. 

A Fundamental Change to African Economic Life

The foreseeable future in Africa is disorder either politically or environmentally. There is a great need for change. Although this destruction is morally repugnant to Africans, the destruction of our environment must be also addressed as an investment in our planet’s future including the stabilizing of carbon emissions.

 In economic terms the destruction of our great forests was historically only valued for their timber and the clearing of land for agriculture. Hence, there was no economic incentive to save the forests.

The Common Good Counts for Very Little.

The national interest used to be a shared value, but wherever you look today in most of Africa the rule of thumb in public life is personal gain – not public good. The common thread in all this is the complete lack of consideration for other people.

It starts with politicians, whether in government or opposition. People go into politics not to serve or make a difference, but line up their pockets. People who are in power or in a position of authority act in their own personal interests, regardless of the impact on others. This same attitude drives the politician who steals money that could be used for a hospital, school or to provide potable water, and stashes it abroad. There is little evidence that this attitude will change anytime soon.

The utter disregard for the larger interests of the country and the people is so embedded in the ruling class, it may take a mass revolt to redress. Africans are not known for staging popular revolts but that may their only salvation. In the meantime, there is a peaceful approach.

An Alternative More Peaceful Approach

Continue reading The African Famine Revisited 2

A WORLD WITHOUT AFRICAN POVERTY 2

 AFRICA POVERTY AND OUR MISSION:  

Our mission is to be the best in the world in micro hydro electric and water resource management: by evolving innovative damless hydroelectric and water transfer technology. We create Today’s Tall Tree Nurseries to support Micro Finance for women farmers and their families using the Carbon Tax Fund, a new form of foreign aid. We export Mechanization into Africa for more productive agriculture. We do all this to address the problem of African Poverty.

African Poverty: the Most Serious Threat 

Do you know why poverty is the most serious threat to world peace? Poverty leads to hopelessness, which in turn provoke people to desperate acts. One thinks one has nothing to lose by turning to violence. Poverty also leads to clashes between populations over scare resources of water and arable land.  Over one billion people live on less than $1/day: this is not a formula for world peace.

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Should MicroFinance be the First Investment in Africa?

International Aid is a $5 billion business, but ironically microfinance support only receives 1% of this amount. In an underdeveloped world of scarce resources, which should be our priority? Housing? Sanitation? Health Care? Infrastructure? Education?  All of these are important. We believe that giving the poor access to credit lets them immediately apply their farming skills. They create capital to begin the long road to recovery. Right now the poor have no control over capital.

This is opposite to the view that people are poor because they lack the skills. This view takes the initiative and responsibility from poor people.

A Conscious Corporation: Not Charity – Not Governments

Without proper guidelines, globalization has the potential of being highly destructive.The “strongest take all” must be replaced by rules that allow the poor to take a place on the highway: the divide between the haves and the have-nots is widening.

Some corporate social companies try to do good for people and the planet as long as they can do it with profit. Some of their CEOs are sincerely interested in social change, yet ultimately they are responsible to the owners or shareholders of the company that strive to increase growth in their investment. This is capitalism – half developed without a real social conscience.

Showering grants and low interest loans into the hands of the underdeveloped countries is not the answer: otherwise the problem would have been solved a long time ago. Why? These governments tend to be inefficient, slow, prone to corruption, bureaucratic and self-perpetuating, while amassing power and wealth for themselves.

Many people who are concerned with the problem of world poverty have started non-profit corporations. Yet, these companies have significant built-in weaknesses. They rely on a steady flow of donations, but when these donations stop, so does the company. In hard times, this flow slows down. Eventually, “compassion fatigue” sets in and donors stop giving. Directors of these companies know that there is never enough money to accomplish their aims.

What about the multi-lateral corporations, such as the World Bank? Like governments, they too are slow, bureaucratic, and self-serving and worst—very conservative. They look at the problem in their wide angle lens of large-scale economic growth, while the poor people are forgotten in their spin. They are looked at as objects. Unfortunately, these corporations choose to work through underdeveloped governments. Instead, they need to tap into the creative innovations outside of governments: the Social Business.

The Conscious Corporation can play a crucial role. They are above all a business, with resources, incentives and they are market savy. A Conscious Business looks at things differently: they are a non-loss business, but also a non-dividend business. Ultimately they pay back their original investors, but the business wishes to continue its long term social goals: it is self-sustaining and in this way it continues to gain more social benefits every year.

People who invest in this Conscious Business receive the same personal satisfaction as philanthropists. The difference is that there is no need to pump in donations every year as is done with charities.

The Grameen Bank in Bangledesh is a good model for micro finance: it gives loans to 7 million poor women farmers with a promise of a 97% repayment rate in 78,000 villages. This bank claims that 64% of the borrowers have crossed over from poverty over a period of five years.

Could not these poor women farmers pull themselves up by their own plow? They borrow in groups of five women – no two can be closely related. When one of the group wishes to take out a loan, one must receive approval from the other members of the group. Payment is done over a phone application, which encourages savings. There is greater flexibility in repayment, because of other financial commitments like school tax. The group acts as a social network of encouragement and psychological support. Ten or twelve such groups come together to meet weekly. This center leadership is selected democratically.

We appeal to the multinational companies with an innovative strategy: a company needs to gain a foothold in a new market. The social business can begin this process and provide a great deal of goodwill to the new company. Damone was one of those companies that partnered with the Grameen Foundation to market a nutritious yogart for the children of the poor. Their success story is explained in Creating a World without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus, the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

We are appealing on behalf of 50% of the world that own only 1% of the world assets. We are appealing to the top 1% of the world that own 40% of the world’s assets. We are also appealing to the top10% of the world that own 85%.

We appeal to the world’s greatest billionaires: will their grandchildren be able to enjoy their wealth with this eventual threat of global warming and pollution? Without an ethic of change, we will lose what is most priceless, which has no price tag. If basic needs are not met, poor people could easily be attracted to violence, civil unrest and terrorism.

African Energy Poverty

We are in an era of scarce energy supplies at a time of global warming and soaring global populations. Generating innovative forms of electric power is not only to light up our houses – it is lighting up our future. The operative word is “innovative”. It is pay now or there will be no future!

To make things worst, coal, oil and natural gas is quickly causing global warming and pollution from their green house gases, primarily through carbon dioxide emissions, which form an invisible blanket over the earth, thereby making the globe warmer. 

By mid-century, we will be looking at a world of 9 billion people — a 40% to 50% increase. During that same period it is expected that the increase in populaton will double the demand for all forms of energy. The “golden” one billion people living the “American style” of living will evolve into 2- 3 billion – all over-consuming and polluting at a phenomenal rate. This will all cause a doubling of carbon dioxide by mid-century. Roughly 40% of the CO2 created in United States come from the production of electricity and 30% comes from transportation. We aren’t even mentioning the pollution created in China and many South Eastern Asia cities – including 20 of their most polluted cities in the world.

The next big boom in technology will be clean energy. This opportunity will help stabilize our planet and it will provide an opportunity for some countries who embrace this innovation to renew and regenerate itself. Those countries that are prosperous and innovative will have an edge.

We are in an “energy climate” era. Unfortunately, the total investment in research and development for electric utilities in the United States is 0.15 % compared to 8 -10% for most competitive industries. The last big breakthrough in this industry was in 1957 with tha advent of the nuclear reactor. Contrast this with 8 – 9 generations in medical technology from x-Ray to the CAT Scan.

In the meantime, we are all living on the Titanic and we all have hit the iceburg. Others are still dancing in the ballroom. Nature will take its course unless we all come to grips with the problem. We need to act!
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Continue reading A WORLD WITHOUT AFRICAN POVERTY 2