Donald Okudu

Creative Director, Mesh Advertising & Design Agency


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Is there a future for a green society in Africa? Is green the future for africa?

Green Cities and lifestyles partly stems from haven exhausted conventional forms of living or an attempt on improving it ,be it technology to infrastructures .Developed societies in America , Asia and Europe can afford this primarily because of technological advancement over the centuries when compared to states in Africa. Green city is not defined by the absence of technology but controlled and renewable technology that is less harmful to humans and the environment.
Almost every rural community around the world leads a green lifestyle partly as a result of its culture or being a case of under development.
Africa as continent is plagued with a great deal of challenges often a sour subject on matters of development, leadership and the economy. Is Green lifestyle worth investing in africa?

  • Feb 13 2014: IMO there is a bit of a rush by large company's currently to ferret out green opportunities. Thinking large scale or mass market, a company has the institutional brain power to organize itself to maximize the green models that fit its profile. What would be ideal for Africans would be micro green businesses that ordinary persons can participate. Similar to cell phone kiosks or internet cafe's. Shops that sell electronics could also sell solar power parts. The local artisan could build solar units, and when enough persons in a town have them installed a larger company might be interested in stringing the home units together to form a co-op that would manage the power. As just an example. What would help is if African's had a financial opportunity by a micro lender who not just loaned money but also provided some of the services available in larger towns with marketing, and advertising by helping to build green micro businesses. So the cell phone kiosk that now sells solar unit parts has a partner that pays for the advertising on the local radio play or pays for cell phone banner ads, or has town hall meetings. Also encouraging women to form a manufacturing co-op which the lender can provide the funds to help get started. The lender could also bring in other business partners interested in recycling rare earth metals etc That's also how I would use TED's million dollar prize money. Good luck to you.
  • Feb 16 2014: Green lifestyle is worth investing in in Africa, however the timing here is what will be crucial to it's success. When we talk about green energy or renewable energy, the best source that we have would be solar energy. The problem with solar energy now is it's efficiency. Even with the latest developments, solar energy is at most only 40% efficient at converting solar light into usable power. When the calculations are done, the cost doesn't quite outweigh the benefit.
    Here is where hope comes in, there are companies combining nano-technology with photo-voltaic cells, and they are on the verge of successfully creating a cell which would produce an efficiency rating of at least 80%. This would change the world. The less developed countries, many of which are in Africa, would stand to benefit the most from this because instead of having to completely change an infrastructure, on could be built from the ground up that would technologically progress and create a perpetual cycle of growth and advancement.
    This figuratively would work all over the world, however, in the meantime, until such a technological advancement is created, it seems as though investing in renewable energy in Africa, may not pay off to the degree required by those who would actually participate in the project.
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    Feb 15 2014: My experience in Africa is limited to the northern coast and my knowledge is very broad... what you learn in the study of world history. The continent is very large and not really densely populated. Although native human history goes back maybe millions of years, the last several millennium has the continent greatly influenced by outside cultures and societies. That has not gone that well for Africa. So, here we are today and Africa is looking at another outside cultural concept with all it's whistles and bells... and promises... the Green Movement.
    Here is my point. Like all movements, there are good and maybe bad. It pays to be discerning. Even in my own neighborhood, where we got green...promises were implied and not really fulfilled. But, I am a pragmatist and I am very sensitive to the balance of expenditure and return.
    The green "lifestyle" should not be a religion but an effective, economical way to improve the quality of life.
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    Feb 13 2014: By far the best green investment Africa needs to do is holistic management, it would become self-founding, provide food, prevent droughts, provide employment, and more.
  • Feb 13 2014: I certainly hope that there is room for a green society in Africa. Consider for example what has happened in China over the last 2 decades. The Chinese have developed their economy dramatically in a short space of time to the betterment of many people's lifestyles. However, it has also dramatically increased pollution levels until Beijing and Shangai now contain so much pollution that its very bad for the health of people living there who complain of breathing problems in much the same way that smokers do. Its a mater of time before lung diseases dominate and people start to die young. The Chinese government recognises these problems and is attempting to do something about it. But massive industrialisation using standard practices without pollution control leads to such a state of affairs which could also easily happen in Africa, especially in countries like Nigeria with its very large population.
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    Feb 13 2014: You do have the opportunity to use modern technology from the start. LED lighting and rooftop solar are being retro-fitted in much of the developed world which is expensive and time consuming. One of the things that makes renewables uncompetative is the cost of replacing existing infrastructure. If you don't have existing infrastructure you don't have that problem.
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    Feb 13 2014: .
    "Green lifestyle is worth investing" everywhere.
    It protects our life from invalid happiness.
    • Feb 13 2014: I'm probably going to regret asking this, but what on earth separates happiness into valid and invalid?

      I've seen you chanting this slogan for a long while now, and have yet to make any sense of it.
  • Feb 12 2014: That depends on your idea of green. Recycling for example, is worth pursuing, as it makes economic sense. Things like renewable energy on the other hand, not so much--its faster and easier to throw money down to the bottom of a lake.

    I'd also recommend avoiding wood as a building material in general due to its problems with things like rotting, termites, flammability, and not actually being all that sustainable (demand for the stuff always outstrips the renewal rate of the supply).

    Like most things in life, the "green" label is an oversimplification that doesn't actually reflect the complicated real world issue very well. You need to be more specific.