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Conference: “PARADOXES OF SUSTAINABILITY – How socially equitable are 'green' technologies really?”, 19-20 October 2012, JugendKulturZentrum Pumpe

From 19-20 October 2012 AfricAvenir invites you to its international conference on the topic “PARADOXES OF SUSTAINABILITY – How socially equitable are 'green' technologies really?” Our guest speakers comprise renowned intellectuals, activists and journalists such as Judi W. Wakhungu, Executive Director of the African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi (Kenya), Many Camara, representative of Faléa 21 in France (Mali/France), Nozipho Mabebe Wright, Regional Network Coordinator of ENERGIA Africa (Botswana) and Tidiane Kassé, journalist and chief editor of the French edition of Pambazuka (Senegal). 

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Program

Friday, 19th October 2012
5:00 pm    Registration

5:30 pm    Welcoming and introduction to the program

6:00 pm    World Café
- 6:45 pm

7:00 pm    Keynote Speech “Renewable Energies – Chances and Risks from an African Perspective” Judi W. Wakhungu, Executive Director of the African Center for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi (Kenya)

What does the “Energetic Turn” mean for African countries? What are the challenges faced by African countries in the field of renewable energies? How could Africa really benefit from the change towards “green” technologies instead of being trapped in another neo-colonial setting? What kind of circumstances and conditions do we need on a national & international level to avoid another exploitation of resources and raw materials in Africa by the global North?

Questions from the audience

8:30 pm     Dinner

9:00 pm     Film

Informal discussions

Saturday, 20th October 2012
9:15 am    Welcoming and introduction of the schedule

9:30 am    „'Green Economy' in Africa – really green & really fair?“ Alpha Kaloga, Germanwatch (Germany)

Renewable energies need also raw materials and resources. Which consequences has the „energetic turn“ in Germany for a sustainable development in Africa? Which strategics and arrangements do African countries take to avoid a new „esource course“ due to “green“ technologies? What kind of conditions for a fair trade of raw materials do we need in order to assure a sustainable development on the African continent? Which role does climate change and its consequences play  for Africa?

Questions from the audience

11:00 am   Coffee break

11:30 am    „Nuclear Power – No, thanks! How can the “energetic turn” also work in regions of uranium exploitation?" Many Camara, Faléa 21 (Mali/France)

What are possible alternatives for African countries to the dangerous exploitation of uranium? How could the “energetic turn” succeed in these regions with uranium deposit? If countries like Germany turn away from nuclear power but other European countries like France intensify the exploitation of uranium, what are the consequences for the African countries and their civil society?

Questions from the audience 

1:00 pm     Lunch

2:30 pm  

WORKSHOP I „Raw materials from Africa for a `Green Economy´ in Germany“ input by Silas Siakor, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development (Liberia)

What are the raw materials needed for the "green" technologies? What are the conditions of extraction of these raw materials in Africa? How do African countries, especially those being rich in resources and raw materials, and their populations react to the energetic transition towards `green` energies in Europe? Does the "Energetic Turn" also hold positive potential for Africa's development or will the continent - with regard to new, forward-looking, "green" technologies - experience a new "resource curse"? Siakor will share his experience from Liberia in the field of (illegal) logging especially for German energy companies. Lili Fuhr will present the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation´s new study “International Resource Politics”.

WORKSHOP II “Another Neo-Colonial Project or a Chance to Independent Energy Supply? – Who Has Access to Renewable Energies in Africa?” input by Nozipho Mabebe Wright, Regional Network Coordinator, ENERGIA Africa (Botswana, tbc)

What does the “Energetic Turn” mean for African countries, especially for women? Are these so called “green” technologies even accessible for African populations, especially women? How could Africa really benefit from the change towards “green” technologies instead of being trapped in another neo-colonial setting? What steps do we need to take in order to avoid another exploitation of resources and raw materials by the global North due to "green" technologies? How could we create the conditions that men and women in Africa really benefit from renewable energies?

4:30 pm     Coffee break with poster presentation of the workshop outcome

5:00 pm    Fishbowl-Discussion as evaluation of the workshop outcome with speakers and guests 

6:00 pm    „Energetic Turn in 2050 – What Has to Be Done?“ Tidiane Kassé, journalist and editor of the french version of Pambazuka (Senegal)

7:00 pm     Dinner

Informal discussions

JugendKulturZentrum PUMPE 
Lützowstraße 42
10785 Berlin-Mittebesides 
U 1 Kurfürstenstraße

Registration:
Hannah Heger
h.heger[at]africavenir.org
Participation fee: 20,-€ (concessions 15,-€)

Please transfer your payment to:
AfricAvenir International e.V.
Badische Beamtenbank
BLZ 66 09 08 00
Kto. 00 16 72 13 03
Purpose: Your Name + „Conference October 2012”

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Background

Against the background of the decision made by Germany’s conservative-liberal government in March 2011 to phase out nuclear energy in Germany, which envisages an incremental shift towards ‘green technologies’ for extracting energy until 2022, we wish to challenge critically the development of renewable energies from African perspectives.

Green technologies are considered to be the solution for the steadily growing demand for energy, resource scarcity and climate change. However, even the production of, for example, biofuel or wind and solar energy requires raw materials, many of which derive from Africa. Within the framework of this international conference AfricAvenir will put the conditions and consequences of the extraction of raw materials forward for discussion:

Which consequences does the so-called “Energetic Turn” have for Africa? Are renewable energies promoting Africa’s development? How green is the “Green Economy” really? What are the social, ecological and economic consequences along the production and value added chain, in particular with regard to the promotion and trade of raw materials necessary for the production of renewable energies. Are these alternative forms of energy extraction actually accessible in Africa and if so, under which circumstances – or is the “Energetic Turn” an exclusively European project, a suspected ecological revenant of the industrial revolution conducted at the expense of Africa and its development?

Besides generating discussion the conference aims to network civil society organisations in the field of human rights, environmental protection, climate change, development cooperation, churches and trade unions that already deal with subjects to do with global raw materials policies or intend on doing so prospectively.

We offer you the unique occasion to exchange with researchers and activists from Africa in order to formulate collectively a demand for solidary, development-oriented raw materials policies and to develop strategies, in terms of recommendations for action, to be addressed collectively and in a target-oriented manner to decision-makers in politics, the economy and development cooperation. 

Our aim is to formulate a fundamental redefinition of the terms of trade for raw materials in order to prevent the Green Economy from becoming another neo-colonial project to the detriment of the Global South.

The 2012/13 project of PARADOXES OF SUSTAINABILTY is financially supported by BMZ and the LEZ.

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