Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Uganda Ties Up Japanese For Geothermal Power Generation

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) and Toshiba Corporation on August 27, 2016concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see the two partners collaborate in geothermal power generation projects, including personnel development.The parties signed the MOU during the Tokyo International Conference on African Development 2016 that was being held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Under the terms of the MOU, Toshiba will collaborate in the development and supply of major equipment for a geothermal power plant, create operation and management guidelines, and cooperate in personnel development. Participation from the development stage positions Toshiba to contribute to the early construction of the plant, and to supply geothermal power generation equipment in the future.

Uganda lies to the west of the Great Rift Valley and has rich geothermal potential, equivalent to 500 megawatts. Currently, about 60% of power generation capacity is from hydroelectric power, and the country has long promoted construction of hydro power plants. Adding geothermal to the mix will contribute to supply stability and the ability to meet rising demand stimulated by high economic growth-currently increasing at about 10% per a year.

“The development of Uganda's geothermal energy resources is in line with our energy policy objectives of increasing power generation capacity and diversifying our energy mix in order to achieve least cost, affordable and stable energy supply”, said Dr. Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. “We are very confident that the Government of Uganda and Toshiba will create a strong Public-Private-Partnership to develop the Geothermal Energy resources.”

Toyoaki Fujita, Business Development Executive of Toshiba's Energy Systems & Solutions Company said, “We hope to build a strong partnership with Uganda and to contribute to the development of sustainable power supply there. Toshiba’s Energy Systems & Solutions Company is a world leader in geothermal power generation, and I believe that our established expertise can contribute to the geothermal power supply in Uganda.”

Toshiba has delivered 53 geothermal turbines, with a total capacity of 3,400 megawatts, to plants in Japan, the USA, the Philippines, Iceland and other countries around the world. This represents approximately 23%*, of the world's installed geothermal capacity, making Toshiba the world's top supplier.
In the African market, Toshiba most recently delivered four geothermal turbines to Kenya that started commercial operation in 2015.

The company has also concluded MOUs with geothermal power development companies in Ethiopia in 2014, Tanzania in 2015 and Djibouti in August this year, all covering comprehensive collaboration in the geothermal power generation business. Toshiba Group will continue to contribute to stable electricity supply and the realization of a low-carbon economy.

CSOs Write To Museveni, Kabila In Attempt To Save Lake Albert, Virunga

Global Rights Alert and 28 of her partners have written to Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo calling on the two leaders to stop any planned oil projects on Lake Edward.

The 2,325 square kilometre lake located in the Albertine Rift Valley is shared by both countries. GRA wants Presidents Museveni and Kabila to take a firm commitment not to permit any mining or oil licenses throughout the entire Lake Edward and Greater Virunga Landscape.

“We encourage your Excellencies to consider and respect the people’s voices to cancel and stop the licensing of oil blocks, Block V and Ngaji, located respectively in DRC’s Virunga National Park landscape and Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park landscape and to focus your efforts to promote a green economy as the only hope to guarantee a better future for both the present and future generations in the region,” the petition reads in part.

The petition states that the planned activities in Ngali oil Block on the Uganda side and Block V on the DR Congo side will affect the entire lake’s eco system and the communities whose livelihoods depend on the lake. The planned oil activities will also affect the wildlife and eco system of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and DRC Virunga National Park, UNESCO World Heritage site.

The petition reminds the two governments of their obligations to the respect laws and international legal instruments signed by Uganda and DR Congo which call for protection and conservation of protected areas.

GRA and her partners want the two governments to look at the long term benefits of preserving the lake as well as the tourism sites which bring in much needed foreign exchange in terms of tourism dollars. In 2014 alone, tourism contributed 9.9% of Uganda’s GDP. The sector also created some 592, 500 jobs in Uganda, increasing disposable income and enabling Ugandans to live a better life.

MTN Celebrates Fifteen Years Of Highway Africa partnership

Global telecom giant MTN Group has committed to helping journalism in Africa because the continent has many good news stories to tell, Xolisa Vapi, General Manager for Corporate Communication and Stakeholder Management at MTN Group said in a statement ahead of the Highway Africa 2016 conference t that took place in South Africa.

The continent’s most prestigious annual journalism conference, marks its 20th anniversary and MTN Group collaborated with Rhodes University on the event, which continues to drive conversation and debate around key issues related to the media and ICT on the continent.

Themed The Internet and Media – Celebrations, Reflections and the Future, Highway Africa 2016 has been happening in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The two-day event explored the impact of the internet on journalism and media, including film, music and books.

“This year’s theme is one that resonates with MTN. As an organisation that is extending connectivity and providing digital services across Africa, we know that ICT is changing how we consume media. In addition, it is enabling greater access to information and to services in our communities, which is part of the positive narrative around this continent.

We believe that Africa has many good news stories to tell and that platforms like Highway Africa go a long way to boost the media sector so that these stories can be shared. We have been part of this conference for the past fifteen years and our continued support is based on our commitment to the development and advancement of journalism on the continent,” says Xolisa Vapi, General Manager for Corporate Communication and Stakeholder Management, MTN Group.

“We are humbled and grateful that MTN is once again partnering with us on this journey of development for African journalism. We have seen many changes and immense growth of the conference over the years. However, itis thanks to the support of our partners, that Highway Africa has been so successful and remains relevant to our media stakeholders across the continent,” says Chris Kabwato, Director, Highway Africa.

Using keynote addresses, plenary sessions, panel discussions, training workshops, book launches and networking dinners, Highway Africa 2016 will be at one level a celebration of twenty years of the existence of Africa’s premier journalistic assembly, and at another level an occasion for reflection on internet and society.

Zikunta Art Exhibition To Examine Multiculturalism In Africa

Wasswa Donald August is back in a solo exhibition for the very first time at Under Ground! He has a new body of artworks he has been crafting since 2015 which include an unusual installation, sculptures and drawings. He is going to transform the exhibition space into one gigantic artwork where the installation, which will involve over 100 models, will be the main attraction.

The exhibition is entitled "Zikunta". Zikunta interrogates the effects of the movement of people. It focuses in particular on the psycho-socio consequences of migration, especially the phenomenon of rural-urban migration.

It also examines the current refugee crises all over the globe and the connect between neo-colonialism in African countries and the search for greener pastures away from Africa. Zikunta finally dissects multiculturalism or the meeting and coexistence of diverse cultures in the areas of religion and thought, and the nature of communication between these two areas.

The exhibition is set to open on 3rd September 2016 at 11:59pm at Nakumatt Oasis Mall Basement with a performance and the installation. The unusual hour, a minute shy of midnight is no accident. It implies how time gets suspended and lose meaning in extreme situations of ecstasy or crisis, such as when people flee their homes and become refugees in a foreign land.

In making his artworks, Wasswa draws from his personal experiences like the return of Asians to Uganda in the late 1980s and 1990s which led to his family having to vacate the Nakivubo Flats in the city center where he had grown up and migrate to rural Kyebando.

The artworks are also informed by the development of Kampala capital city that attracted the rural people to the city in search of better standards of living, and the political insurgencies in neighboring countries that have forced many people to seek asylum in Uganda. The official launch of ZIKUNTA Installation will begin at 11.59pm on Saturday 3rd September and end at 3am 4th September 2016

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