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How to Power Africa

June 19th, 2015

Episode 288 of 643 episodes

South Africa's power crisis is costing billions. We hear from some angry local business people in Cape Town, battling with the challenge of keeping commerce afloat. We also hear from two local business people who've switched entirely to solar energy out of frustration with the power cuts. We hear from Baldwin Ngubane, the chairman of the national power company, Eskom, and we speak to other experts: Mamadou Toure, managing director of GE Africa and founder of the organisation, Africa 2.0; also Rachel Howell, a consultant for the US energy company Emersom which is aiming to provide local power solutions to a range of countries across sub-Saharan Africa; and we hear from Caroline Kende Robb, executive director of the Africa Progress Panel, who's just co-written a report on so-called "leap-frogging" - the idea that Africans as a whole can now by-pass the development of a conventional power grid, connecting homes to a central, national supplier, and instead use renewable energy to provide a reliable local power source, for homes or communities. (Photo: Solar panels; Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)