Africa Energy Access and jobs: “there is  hope for youth”- Lawrence Mashungu
Juil09

Africa Energy Access and jobs: “there is hope for youth”- Lawrence Mashungu

  Africa Energy Access and jobs: “there is  hope for youth”- Lawrence Mashungu   The last G20 meeting in Hamburg, in Germany, emphasized the importance of the Africa Partnership launched recently in Berlin, in recognition of the opportunities and challenges in African countries through the creation of jobs for youth and the access to energy in the continent for instance. 39 years old Lawrence Mashungu  previously worked with Youth Agenda Trust, a youth organization, where he was working as a project coordinator. He has vast experience in youth and community engagement.  He is now in charge of the renewable energy access plan in his country. Interview.     Eraenvironnement.com : In 2015, you were part of the youth who organized the African Youth Conference on Climate Change in Victoria’s fall, in Zimbabwe. What are you doing right now? Lawrence Mashungu: I am a Renewable Energy expert working  in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate as a Climate Change Mitigation Expert. I am responsible for Implementation of mitigation actions related to Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency. How do you see the youth with Climate Change opportunities in your country? The youth in Zimbabwe have a role to play in Climate Change Mitigation and adaptation in the country and there are a lot of opportunities for them to participate. The National Climate Change Response Strategy of 2014 provides for the youth to take part in climate change programmes both in policy formulation and actual project implementation.  I must say also that before COP 21, the Youth  in my country had the opportunities to participate in the National Committee on Nationally Determined Contributions that was established by government to ensure speed implementation of the NDC for the country.   How do you position yourself in these opportunities in energy for instance? I am tasked to work directly on energy and also with youth on these issues. Currently the youth under the banner of an organisation called Action 24 Zimbabwe with support from HIVOS, an netherland organization for development, which is implementing a project focusing on promoting renewable energy and also implementation of the NDC in our country. I am working with them closely to ensure success of the project.   Do you think that it is difficult to take these opportunities to be for instance entrepreneurs in all the priorities sectors, water, water management, agriculture, energy…? Currently the youth face a number of challenges to take up these opportunities mainly because of lack of funding. I am of the view that there is also a urgent need  to invest in capacity building targeting the youth so that they will be able to...

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We Need The Animals
Nov16

We Need The Animals

“We do have one Hippo. That is Sebastien. And he is now part of the staff.” Charles Mdefi, born in Masvingo, one of the 8 provinces of Zimbabwe, is working at the 4 star A’Zambezi River Lodge, for two years as a receptionnist. He is experiencing everyday life with the animals in this hotel, located in the river about 5 kms out of the town and 6 kms from the Victoria Falls entrance gate. In this hotel, you can meet Impalas, Warthogs and Hippos. Sebastien is one of them and he is reachable. “If you do have a cellphone number, so if you are serious, if you want to see them, I can ask, Sebastien can you please come over that side,” said Charles Mdefi. But Hippos are not available during the day. “Normally the Hippos stay in the river for quite a long time, because, during the day, they normally stay in the water. Only during the night, they come out from the water. Because of their skins that are very sensitive to the sun,” explained Mdefi. The town of the Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfall in the world, is facing a long heat and drought period with no rainfall. 36 Degres celcius everyday.  For many years the Falls have seen a significant reduction in the water level. Climate Change is affecting the weather and the people who are living in this town are suffering from it but cannot explain it. It is in this context that the fifth conference on climate change (CCDA-V) was organised recently by the African Climate Policy Centre of  the United Nations Economic Commission For Africa (UNECA), and the government of Zimbabwe in Victoria Falls. In his opening speech, the Vice President of Zimbabwe, Mr Emmerson D. Mnangagwa mentioned the power challenges faced by his country and Zambia related to the lack of water. “Zimbabwe and our Zambia counterparts are grappling with power challenges which have been triggered by reduced rainfall and run off by our major Dam Kariba,” informed the Vice-President of Zimbabwe. For Precious, another receptionnist from A’Zambezi Hotel, and a student in environmental urban safety management, it is important to preserve the falls for the future generation. “For Victoria Falls, we need to not continue building houses in Victoria Falls. We need the animals to stay in Victoria Falls, to not drive them away. So, we have to encourage people to stop poaching and we also have to educate our neighbours to not coming to Zimbabwe for poaching. Because we need the animals. We need them and they need us.” According to a recent report from the World...

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