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Light in darkness, Petroleum prices in Ghana, Famine and Education in Cameroon

We start this week's blog round-up with Under the acacias. The blog throws light on Markoye in Burkina Faso where solar energy is being used to power lamps in villages and town with no connection to the national power grid.

Burkina Faso

Light in the darkness

This photo shows one of the solar-powered lamp-posts that are springing up around Burkina Faso, especially in small towns which otherwise have no electricity. This one is at the colourful market in Markoye, about 40km north-east of Gorom-Gorom.

Solar power of course has considerable potential in places like Burkina, where there is more than enough sun. But the purchase and replacement costs for the equipment are still prohibitive for people's personal use.

The Trials & Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen…of Ghana asks important questions about “Petroleum Prices and the Ghana Government

Now that the rate of petrol is at exactly $US5.00/gallon, how are Ghanaians supposed to manage? Where are the safety nets in place that the government should be thinking about to cushion its citizens from the effects of the world market? SO, just because there is a serious inter-necine conflict going on in the Middle East, where Hezbollah is being targetted for wiping out by the Israelis, so we, in the developing world, have to suffer the consequences?

Niger Watch blogs famine in Africa and quotes Oxfam as saying response to the famine was “too little, too late

Food emergencies in Africa are occurring three times more often now than in the mid-1980s, but the global response to famine continues to be “too little, too late”, the international aid agency Oxfam said on Monday.

Conflict, HIV/Aids and climate change are all exacerbating food shortages for sub-Saharan Africa's 750-million people, with innovative solutions and massive long-term support needed to break the cycle, the British-based group added in a new report.

Scribbles from the Den scribbles about Higher Education in Cameroon: When Chickens Come to Roost

It was an apparently innocuous article tucked deep inside a recent issue of Cameroon Tribune, but its content was yet another message of despair from Cameroon. According to the article,

“Out of some 10,000 candidates who sat for the competitive entrance examination into the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance, recently launched for holders of First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC), over 4,000 were university graduates.”

Yes, you read correctly – 4000 university graduates sat for a public service exam meant for Primary/Elementary School pupils. This is undoubtedly the fallout from an outdated and irrelevant educational system – from primary school to the university – originally designed to train future civil servants, and not to develop an entrepreneurial class with ability to create jobs.

Home of the mandinmories‘ beef is with people who choose to use the pulpit to bully others. The blog entry is titled: “Bully Pulpit

Using a funeral at a church or a mosque to score a political or debating point is something that has been battle tested and used time and time again. The only problem is; it doesn't work. Grandstanding at funerals is very tasteless and unsavory. People who act on the impulse to do it never understand how bad they look when crashing a funeral or stomping from the pulpit. Most funeral attendees see them as nothing more then pompous opportunists taking a cheap shot at people who can't respond to them out of respect for the deceased. The real meaning of a funeral eludes them.

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