DGI Brief - July 28, 2016
- AFRICA: This is a significant move by the Rockefeller Foundation – founders of the global oil industry – to move towards renewable energy & divest from fossil fuels. The investment goes to Lekela, a 60/40 pan-African joint venture btw. Actis & Mainstream. The goal is to build a 1.3-GW wind & solar portfolio throughout Africa by 2018. That means developing power grids & energy capture-and-release networks including batteries, thermal energy storage etc. to meet the electricity demands when there’s no wind/sun. Ambitious yet totally doable. Well done!
- SYRIA: although some allies are considering the Syrian/Russian proposal of exit corridors that will allow residents of Aleppo to leave & fighters to surrender, the concern is that those who do not leave will become ‘legitimate military targets’. Because they are not. Understandably, some may not trust the government will care for them after years of bombing & starvation at its hands. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch documented at least 47 cluster munition attacks since May 2016 by Russian/Syrian joint air operations. And another monkey wrench – the Nusra Front leader released a video announcing a split from Al-Qaeda to “remove the excuse used by the int’l community, spearheaded by America & Russia, to bombard & displace Muslims in the Levant.” Al-Aeda’s leader al Zawahri gave his blessing for the split in the interest of Syria. Will the new “Jbahat Fatah al Sham” be allowed to join peace talks now as the simple government opposition group?
- LAKE CHAD BASIN spans parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon & is deeply plagued by the brutality of Boko Haram while facing highest population growth in the world, extreme poverty (Niger is the poorest country in the world) & severe effects of climate change: chronic drought that is massively drying up Lake Chad, fast desertification, and desperate chronic food insecurity & malnutrition, especially for children. Humanitarians are doing truly incredible work saving lives, the question though is how do we tackle insecurity & climate change? Humanitarian aid was never intended to be this massive & protracted. What’s going on, development?
- PERU: The new president holds degrees in economics from Oxford & Princeton & aims to deliver basic services (water & electricity) to the 1/3 or 10 mil people who lack these services. He also promises to fight crime & drug trafficking. He doesn’t have much support in congress, so it will be interesting to see if economic skills can trump politics.
- NORTH KOREA: Aggressive rhetoric & threats of retaliation aren’t new, specially in response to the 40-yrs running US-South Korea joint military exercises, but sanctions against North Korea’s leader are. North Korea says it is the final straw. They’ve cut off all official communication w/ Washington – known as the New York channel - & insist all dealings be done under ‘war law’.
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