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Yale University

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies, Organizations and Social Justice


The world is currently facing an energy crisis. Our dependency on oil and natural gas has led to many global problems, such as OPEC’s oil hikes which have disrupted economies everywhere and caused oil dependent countries to suffer. Our huge consumption of oil has also led to the global warming catastrophe that we currently must combat. The world must find a new energy source soon, or more environmental, political, social, and economic problems will occur. Solar energy’s potential has been recognized for many decades, and its abundant and limitless supply makes it the perfect new form of energy. Solar energy is especially plentiful in Africa where the sun shines all year round. Ironically, this seemingly cure-all solution has not yet been widely exploited in Africa. This situation seems illogical, and this paper strives to investigate the reasons why solar energy has not yet proliferated in Africa. If Africa can adopted solar energy, it will alleviate many economic, social, and political problems for its people and the environment. This paper argues that solar energy proliferation has been challenged by the lack of supply and demand in solar energy caused by extreme poverty and the composition of the African society, hindrances which political instability has only exacerbated. By pointing out the causes of why solar energy usage cannot grow in Africa, the world can change its methods and target the real reasons that are obstructing solar energy expansion. Hopefully shedding light on this riddle will make solar energy become a common source of energy in Africa and the world.


African Studies | Oil, Gas, and Energy


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