What can solve our Energy and Technology Problem?

approved geneva;”>While at the University, drug my Professor once told me that every country’s development is merely a product of its level of technology and its usable energy with the two complementing each other.

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Sub-Saharan Africa is one region that is pathetically marred with underdevelopment simply due to the low level of technology and the poor use of the available little energy at all levels of society be it at a personal, household, community, national, or even international levels.

This has resulted into the much rebuked poverty at all the above mentioned levels.


Taking the case of Uganda for an example, the transport and communication sector is so wasteful that commuters averagely spend about one eighth of the 24 hours daily (3 Hours) travelling to and from work, burning expensive fuel.


Distance students in universities travel from upcountry every weekend to come and attend three or four lectures in Kampala conducted by lecturers who simply dictate notes.

One might take the impact of the above as negligible towards national development but analyzing it basing on scale, you will realize that it is really dangerous for any country of 35 million people to waste three hours in a day or use expensive road transport for all commuters year through.

If I was to value the three hours in terms of production, I estimate that it would be enough to free all Ugandans at least from hunger.

So, why are we still trapped in this unsolicited luxury that is so costly and also deadly to our future when the rest of the world is progressing? That is the question that our leaders and policy makers should be pondering.

So, won’t people get to work?

First of all, in this age when the global community is advancing in communication technology at the speed of light, it should be regarded an abomination to travel unnecessarily.

The available technology should be utilized to ensure that more people can work and study from home.

This might sound as unpractical but it is already being implemented successfully in other countries especially in North America and Europe.

Cheaper means like railway transport and cycling should also be encouraged through building supporting infrastructure and making them more acceptable to a wide range of the population.


The month of July is usually characterized by the harvest of annual cereal crops such as sorghum; however it is really disheartening the way in which tones of cereal residue are just burnt in the open leaving all that energy to waste and at times even giving rise to wild fires.

This crop residue can be a big source of energy through gasification technologies; which energy can be used for many things including cooking for the households that burn it.

In urban areas, domestic and municipal waste that would be an energy opportunity actually turns out to be a nuisance leading to contamination of water bodies and leading to the spread of diseases.

If only the municipal authorities could set up policies and structures to ensure that the biodegradable waste is dumped separately from the non degradable, this problem would be solved as the biodegradable matter would be used for energy production through biogas and gasification technologies while the non biodegradable would be taken for recycling.

This would boost the energy grid of the urban centers and at the same time save the environment.

The technology problem

In my opinion, I think that the greatest hindrance facing technology advancement in our part of the world is lack of research, innovation and knowledge transfer.

However there is a big opportunity in information technologies which have become so affordable through things like mobile phones, cheaper internet, and social media among others.

It is just a question of ensuring accessibility, acceptability and affordability of IT amongst the population.

Many people think that research is only for academic purposes but it should be part of everybody’s everyday life; it helps one to learn from others’ experience.

I do not think that there will be any shortcut for development; we shall have to step up our game or, God forbid, concede defeat.

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