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Indian Minister Mocks the West's Africa Energy Initiative

India’s energy minister has questioned efforts to bring off-grid power to remote African communities, mocking initiatives from rich nations to deliver millions of solar lightbulbs.

“Some of the western world… they give one solar lamp with a battery and then they gloat about it as if they have done wonderful work,” Piyush Goyal told a meeting at Mumbai University.

“To my mind one bulb is really not any transformational achievement,” he added, arguing for schemes that allow people to watch TV and run fans.

“That should be the level of consciousness, the western world should wake up to reality.”

The UK, US and European Union have projects across the continent to deliver greener forms of lighting to villages without access to grid electricity.

Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ghana, Malawi and Rwanda have signed up to the UK’sEnergy Africa scheme, while over 20 countries are part of the US-led Power Africa.

Both aim to help the estimated 600 million citizens in the continent without electricity by accelerating the deployment of small-scale solar technologies.

Atlantic Council

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