When Will Africa See the Light?

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“>Grand Inga Dam, planned for the Congo River, continue to garner so much attention. But the recent “failure to launch” of the Inga III Dam (also planned for the Congo) shows the folly of waiting for corporate-sponsored megaprojects to “lift all boats.” The aluminum company BHP Billiton was to be the main buyer of the Inga III Dam’s electricity; but the slack economy dropped the price of aluminum, and suddenly the dam didn’t seem like such a good deal for the Australia-based company. It pulled out this week, leaving another failed megaproject in a land with thousands of micro-hydro projects ready to be tapped. 

Hope springs eternal that African governments, and the donors that support them, will suddenly see the light, and begin developing electricity networks for the people, by the people … and for the rivers that they depend on. Until that day, we’ll continue to call out the problems with destructive dams, and to promote better alternatives to them.