Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Future: How the 1 Billion dollar Green Teams Business is P...

The Future: How the 1 Billion dollar Green Teams Business is P...: 1st October 2011 Kenya Airways Flight to Nairobi from Dakar via Bamako How the 1 Billion dollar African Green Teams Business is Possible I h...

How the 1 Billion dollar Green Teams Business is Possible

1st October 2011
Kenya Airways Flight to Nairobi from Dakar via Bamako
How the 1 Billion dollar African Green Teams Business is Possible
I have just finished a mission in Saint Louis Senegal partnership between YES Kenya and UNHabitat's Cities in Climate Change Initiative of the Urban Planning Branch. The mission was to train the Youth Leaders from the city on Climate Mitigation strategies with an entrepreneurship approach. The vision is to create as many Green Teams in Africa that will have the capacity to reduce the effects the globe is facing that threaten the ecological survival of humanity such as climate change.

Ecological challenges that we face today have been approached with an aid based solution that does not work in resolving the problems that we face sustainably. The increasing youth populations in our communities now demand that we create enabling environment for them to to equitably co exist and contribute to the well being of our communities. We need to create massive jobs that will engage the youth.

Having done trainings in four cities of Africa, Mombasa, Kampala, Kigali and now Saint Louis, the enthusiasm that comes with the youth in the cities after having acquired the skills on echopreneurship is amazingly encouraging. It kind of reminds me that a different kind of Africa is possible if we channel our resources towards the right initiative. I believe a business model to resolving our problems is the best shot we got currently. Business is changing the way we do things. It is reinvigorating economies and it is one of the most approaches that every economy depends on for sustainability. So why not do it from bottom up? And that is what the Green Teams is up to in the next many years to come.

With four teams with skills set, partnerships and mentorship networks ready to help them grow, we will be set out to raise resources to make it happen. Four teams, comprising sixteen members each, I am looking for partners out of Africa to be the mentors of the teams. In the next three months we want to raise about US 50,000 to invest in creating sustainable business for the youth in the teams. With an investment of 150,000 in the next one year, by the end of 2012, the Green Teams Story will be at the top of the buzz for enterprise competing with global names. At the end of it, we shall have strong sustainable businesses that will require the right kind of investment and an assured return on investment. At the end of it, I see the teams contributing to the positive well being of their cities, revived green cities, ecological based solutions and employed youth creating jobs for their peers.

Keep watching this space as we get to that stage. But most importantly, we would like to hear and read from you on how best we will make this vision possible. Your help is our most valued resource. It is because of people like you, at we will realize that Green Africa that will contribute positively to reversing the effects of climate change.

The Green Teams is the Future for a developed Africa contributing to the sustainable development agenda of the rest of the world.

Emmanuel Dennis


Sent from my iPad

Friday, September 30, 2011

How do we save our Shilling from dipping and at the same time create jobs for the youth

30th September 2011
Discussion of the Free Fall Kenyan Shilling against the Dollar
It is a fact that the Kenyan Shilling is one of the worst performing currency just before the Uganda Shilling. The recent activities and figures at the stock exchange and the reactionary nature of the Central Bank Governor shows how unprepared we are in dealing with issues that threaten the heart of our economy.

Lines Gitahi has ably put it that to save our shilling we need to produce products we have imperative advantage with, aggressively export in order to bring in the most needed dollars and in the process create lots of jobs for the youth. I couldn't agree any less.

Innovation in Agricultural Technology
We all know Agriculture is and should be the driver of our economy. Very little has been done by the Government to protect and promote innovation in Agricultural development so that we can take advantage of the most rubric resource that we have as a country. Agriculture will create the Green Jobs that the youth so deservedly need to contribute to the well being of Kenya. We shall promote a healthier nation, we shall stop hunger and starvation and we shall feed the food ness of the region that is in danger of importing products from both the west and the east.

Investment in our Local Farmers
Most of the maize farmers in the western Kenya agricultural basket belt have in the past complained that the Government is not interested in buying their produce at competitive rates and instead preferring to import at a more higher rate and only sell at lower rates and compromise on quality. This is where we need to whip our Government to start valuing our local products. The tabling in Gitahis article of producing locally, buying and consuming Kenyan and in the long run building Kenya is a more perfect example of making Kenya become the hub for development in the region.

Skills Education
Kenya's agricultural belt has a good opportunity to produce surplus for export. We need the right kind of skills set to our youth. So far our education system has relinquished the responsibility of making Agriculture look fashionable a sector. Many young people do not prefer studying Agriculture. They see it as a dirty practice that only the uneducated are to venture in. However it is fact that Agriculture requires the highest education standards and in this case the need to make Agricultural technology as one of the basic and compulsory subjects in our school just like the traditional sciences.

If we fix agriculture as a basic requirement to impart highest level of skills in our children in schools, we shall begin to change the attitude amongst our young generation.

Revive local industries and create jobs
The Government needs to invest more and provide incentives to farmers in order to produce the most needed food products. The farmers willing the long run create jobs, feed their families, and supply products for exports. Investment in local food industries and promote export of surplus as a way to improve food security. This is where the Government now needs to seriously rethink of the strategy to revive local industries that have become white elephants rotting away and wasting off years of investment. Any government that watches a local industry die, does not have a mandate to govern.

Lastly we need to fix the issue of land ownership and allow the youth to invent and make good use of spaces for agricultural production. Most of the unused land across the country could be allocated for free to farmers who are ready to invest in them. My next article will deal with the kind of job opportunities that can be created and the kind of areas that have high potential to turn around our economy and save our dipping shilling back to it's track. This is where the green teams begin to use a business model to fix both the climate challenge and create livelihoods at community level.


Sent from my iPad

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lessons from Senegal and Why the Leadership is Comfortably Sleeping on the Job

29th September 2011
Lessons from Senegal and why the Leadership is Comfortably sleeping in Power.

I am seated in Hotel La Resident Restaurant reminiscing my experience of Dakar. The other day I took a walk to the local shopping and what struck me was the amount of imported merchandise that the Country gets as local supplies.
A country surrounded by the sea, yet all it consumes is very foreign products.
I have been sneering at the fact of the local cuisine comprising of fish and rice meals repeated all over the day. That is nasty.

The country does a lot of fishing, however the amount of catastrophic danger that the country is undergoing is so humongous that one wonders how the populace will survive generations to come.

Now, the city of Saint Louis is an old colonial former Senegal's capital before Dakar. The city has been abandoned with no caution. The streets are littered,the river is dirty with garbage from human activity, the cities transport system occasioned by very old junky locomotives (read taxis and one other matatu like moving structure). The amount of filth and stench that is in Saint Louis City is insurmountable and not tolerable at all for a tourist attraction.

One good thing is the people are jovial French Wolof speaking lot. Their mannerisms are good and I haven't experienced any form of violence or muggings or even hooliganism common in many of the world capitals.

The buildings are colonial and 90% very old models and no one is thinking of revamping them. If the city council whose Mayor I have met before could concentrate on sanitation and other urban planning concepts, Saint Louis would be a very lovely place to come and wind away your worries.

So if you are planning to visit Senegal, prepare your French skills early in advance especially if you are English speaking. Also prepare for a strict French Cuisine in most of the eateries. However food is very cheap and pocket friendly, challenge is there is very limited choice.

I am however glad that I am training a group of 16 youth leaders known as the Green Teams, on green enterprise development and climate change mitigation measures. It is my hope that they will be equipped with the necessary skills to distinguish them from the rest of idle youth in the city and that a few years from now their businesses will thrive and be the drivers of the economy in a sustainable Saint Louis City.

The young people of Senegal must wake up now and save their country from foreign invasion by both the East and West. There is no excuse whatsoever for the people of Senegal with such beautiful climatic conditions to be taking tea imported from China. it is unacceptable the amount of comfort derived from deplorable conditions of living. the current Leadership of President Wade has failed and the people need to realize that the future depends on them.

A better Africa is possible.

Emmanuel Dennis

Sent from my iPad

The Future: Lessons from Senegal and Why the Leadership is Com...

The Future: Lessons from Senegal and Why the Leadership is Com...: 29th September 2011 Lessons from Senegal and why the Leadership is Comfortably sleeping in Power. I am seated in Hotel La Resident Restauran...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Re: [NYSA:7422] NYSA Support for Con Omore as a Commissioner in the IEBC

True True Eng. Ntoina,
I wouldn't support one of our own who is not qualified. The fact that he is among our age set, is an added advantage for us to go out there and put our support for him.

The Chcklist on Mr. Omore is clear on everything and most of all blemish free.  He is young, qualified, credible, eligible.

Thanks for your support and so the string goes on.
We will make sure this string of email in support of Con reaches the panel in solidarity of our colleague and compatriot whom we are proud of.

ED

On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 12:44 PM, Ntoina William <ntowil@yahoo.com> wrote:
I respect Emmanuel, s call for the support of one of the appllicants short listed for IEBC but at same time advice him that the error of supporting one of our own is long gone.we need to give every Kenyan whether young or old an opportunity to get Any opportunity as long ad the person is qualified and is clean.I do not support con omore, s candidature due to age but because he is a qualified Kenyan. Mr Emmanuel please forget about supporting one of our own. Eng.Williams ntoina.

On Sun Sep 18th, 2011 12:22 AM PDT Emmanuel Dennis wrote:

>Dear Friends---
>Some of you might be aware that Mr. Con Oseomo Omore has been shortlisted
>for the IEBC interviews to commence soon. The National Youth Sector Alliance
>and her affiliate members would like to take this early opportunity to throw
>our full support for the confirmation of so far the only under 35 and in
>that respect our fellow youth in to a constitutional Commission.
>
>The confirmation of Con Omore will be a big boost to the Youth Movement in
>Kenya since many of you are aware of his steadfast support of our
>initiatives as the in charge of Governance Program at the Royal Danish
>Embassy. His continuous advice and support has seen many initiatives receive
>support and contributed immensely to the success and gains we have so far
>achieved in the youth sector today.
>
>We call upon all the youth organizations and individuals to support his
>candidature and application so that we can catapult one of our own to the
>Commission that will oversee the first post referendum Election which is a
>milestone in realizing the gains of our new constitution.
>
>Let us all lobby for this important appointment in solidarity and start
>opening up this avenues for more young people to present their applications
>in equally important constitutional offices.
>
>This is our country, let us all rise up to the occasion and serve our
>country. Mr. Omore will be our loyal ambassador.
>
>Kind regards,
>
>ED
>
>--
>--
>
>..........
>Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
>Convener - National Youth Sector Alliance NYSA
>3rd Floor, Revlon Professional Plaza
>Biashara Street, City Center
>P.O. Box 8799, 00200
>Nairobi Kenya
>Cell: +254722619005
>http://emmanuel-ed.blogspot.com/
>Twitter: http://twitter.com/Emmanueldennis
>--
>Thanks for Supporting the National Youth Sector Alliance
>To post to this group, send email to nysa1@googlegroups.com
>http://groups.google.com/group/nysa1?hl=en?hl=en

--
Thanks for Supporting the National Youth Sector Alliance
To post to this group, send email to nysa1@googlegroups.com
http://groups.google.com/group/nysa1?hl=en?hl=en



--
--

Join the Green Teams Initiative ...and be a part of the Simple Solutions that resolve the Global Complex Ecological Challenges

..........
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
YES Kenya/Green Teams Initiative
3rd Floor, Revlon Proffessional Plaza
Biashara Street, City Center
P.O. Box 8799, 00200
Nairobi Kenya
Cell: +254722619005
http://emmanuel-ed.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Emmanueldennis
Website: www.thegreenteams.org, www.yeskenya.org

NYSA Support for Con Omore as a Commissioner in the IEBC

Dear Friends---
Some of you might be aware that Mr. Con Oseomo Omore has been shortlisted for the IEBC interviews to commence soon. The National Youth Sector Alliance and her affiliate members would like to take this early opportunity to throw our full support for the confirmation of so far the only under 35 and in that respect our fellow youth in to a constitutional Commission.

The confirmation of Con Omore will be a big boost to the Youth Movement in Kenya since many of you are aware of his steadfast support of our initiatives as the in charge of Governance Program at the Royal Danish Embassy. His continuous advice and support has seen many initiatives receive support and contributed immensely to the success and gains we have so far achieved in the youth sector today.

We call upon all the youth organizations and individuals to support his candidature and application so that we can catapult one of our own to the Commission that will oversee the first post referendum Election which is a milestone in realizing the gains of our new constitution.

Let us all lobby for this important appointment in solidarity and start opening up this avenues for more young people to present their applications in equally important constitutional offices.

This is our country, let us all rise up to the occasion and serve our country. Mr. Omore will be our loyal ambassador.

Kind regards,

ED

--
--

..........
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
Convener - National Youth Sector Alliance NYSA
3rd Floor, Revlon Professional Plaza
Biashara Street, City Center
P.O. Box 8799, 00200
Nairobi Kenya
Cell: +254722619005
http://emmanuel-ed.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Emmanueldennis
Website: www.thegreenteams.org, www.yeskenya.org

kahihuonline: Can you supervise yourself?

kahihuonline: Can you supervise yourself?: Words by Francis Kahihu One of the increasingly common phrases on many job adverts is the requirement for candidates who are able to work ...

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Future: Message from NYSA on the International Youth Day

The Future: Message from NYSA on the International Youth Day: "Message from the National Youth Sector Alliance on the International Youth Day Nairobi: August 12 th 2011 Our Fellow Youth--- This ..."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Message from NYSA on the International Youth Day

Message from the National Youth Sector Alliance on the International Youth Day

Nairobi: August 12th 2011

Our Fellow Youth---

This year on this day, we yet again mark an important milestone in the development agenda of youth across the world. The National Youth Sector Alliance would like to commend the efforts made by the youth in Kenya to push their agenda for the good of the nation. The quest for change has been by and large led by the youth and on this day I on my capacity would like to pay homage to all the youth of Kenya for staying vigilant, steadfast and capable of driving the process that we all aspire to have in order to see a better country for our future generations and for ourselves.

Today the 12th of August 2011 marks the end of the International Year of Youth under the theme 'Dialogue and Mutual Understanding'; Indeed the NYSA has been on the forefront to promote dialogue on policy implementation with government. We would like to urge all young women and men in the country to embrace the rule of law as enshrined in our constitution and continue to hold their leaders accountable but most importantly, to be accountable and responsible for their own communities.

 I urge the government, all youth organizations and the international community to commit to ensuring that as we even move to the next years general elections, let us not forget that we are all Kenyans and that we all want a better, peaceful and cohesive society. While we respect the quest for leadership change, let us do it peacefully knowing that no outsider will come to make our country better than we ourselves espouse.

We do recognize that it is the youth that will drive the required change in the African Continent, let us not forget to be the ambassadors of peace so that the transitions that we all look forward to spearheading are done in a humane manner.

The National Youth Sector Alliance would like to recognize the efforts being undertaken by many youth organizations across the country on this day. Just to mention the contributions that the Youth initiatives Kenya, the Youth Congress, the Digital Opportunity Trust, the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change and many others who are today holding varied events to mark this day.

We shall continue to encourage and support the youth networks across the country and especially those young men and women committed to the course of peace and policy entrenchment to our daily livelihoods in the communities. The journey ahead is long, tedious and sometimes treacherous, but if we work together, we shall overcome. For we are better together. The future generations depend on the actions we take today. Let us be cognizant of the positive steps that we all need to take today, to have a better tomorrow.

Thank You.

Emmanuel Dennis – Convener, The National Youth Sector Alliance.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Join us today and let us Martial Change in Kenya

Young Friends --

The National Youth Sector Alliance is making strides to reach out to young people in the grassroots and identify policy related issues that should be brought to the fore of Government. We are glad that you are continuing to as your friends to join us.

Most campaigns groups are not focused on what the future holds for Kenya. We are making sure that we start being responsible for our country. We're running a different kind of outreach program. It has been encouraging to see many Kenyans support our campaign.

 
If you take the lead and mobilize young people in your community, we will support your work and join you in running empowerment discussions at local level.

 

Our facebook page today stands at 3515. We would like to get the highest number of young Kenyans joining this bandwagon for creating a better Kenya. Join us on the facebook page today.


http://www.facebook.com/groups/92720183137/

You can also follow us on twitter:
@nysa_kenya
We would like you to own a piece of this movement. JIWAKILISHE starting today and let us all walk this journey together. We need your story and your ideas about how we can continue to make Kenya a better country for Kenyans.

Be part of the change that you seek to see and be, We are better together.

 

Emmanuel Dennis

On Behalf of Team NYSA

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance

Dear Good People

We are coordinating as the Green Teams Initiative to join in the efforts that Abdalla is spearheading to have humanitarian assistance for our brothers and sisters in the north who are dying of hunger and starvation.

 

We would like to support the initiative by requesting well wishers from the youth sector and across the board to make their humble donations through at our offices on Revlon Professional Plaza 3rd Floor, Biashara/tub man Road.

 

Let us remember the less fortunate who are facing death because they can't afford a meal at all. 

 

Kind regards,

Emmanuel

 

Dear Member,

Its my hope that this massage finds you in good status. It's been long journey and we are finaly getting to the finish line. On 6th of August 2011, a team of people of good will make a trip to the heart of Samburu West Villages that have for a long time been affected by the annual harsh weather, hunger, famine and deaths on both humans and livestock.

Hunger To Harvest Project will address all these issues and make the people of these villages become independent in terms of food security. The project is to be implemented in stages. The 1st stage is to provide food to make sure the remaining people survive the moment and are able to undertake the tasks ahead on this project.

We are therefore, appeal to the entire public to come together and make this dream come true. You can drop any food item and quantity that you can manage and offer. Rice, Maize Flour, Sugar, Salt, Beans, Cooking Oil, Tea Leaves, Cloths, Books, Shoes, Sanitary Towels, Cash..etc of any quntity will be appriciated.

As you read this, already we have collected 100 bags of maize. We are still looking for more to be able to cover the 120,000 people across the area in this phase. Also you are invited to join the team that will make the trip..Its a group trip and will be one chance you don't wonna miss if you can.

Items can be boxed, sealed and dropped to:

Green Team Initiative

3rd Floor Revlon Professional Plaza Suite 9, Biashara Street

You can call Abdalla On: 0726779035 for more info.

Anybody from all over the world can drop in and take part in this war against Poverty.

Thank you all.



--
--

Join the Green Teams Initiative ...and be a part of the Simple Solutions that resolve the Global Complex Ecological Challenges

..........
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
YES Kenya/Green Teams Initiative
3rd Floor, Revlon Professional Plaza
Biashara Street, City Center
P.O. Box 8799, 00200
Nairobi Kenya
Cell: +254722619005
http://emmanuel-ed.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Emmanueldennis
Website: www.thegreenteams.org, www.yeskenya.org

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When A Law Maker Goes Berserk and Becomes a Law Breaker He Does Not Represent “Youth”

When A Law Maker Goes Berserk and Becomes a Law Breaker He Does Not Represent "Youth"

Of Sonkoism and the Politics of Kamiti Prison

By Emmanuel Dennis

Nairobi 20th July 2011 10:55AM

Kenya is in search of Transformational Leaders who will help navigate the country to a new level of possibilities. Kenyans have the electoral right to elect their leaders through a universal suffrage precipitated by drama, bribery, voter buying and in very few instances, genuine campaign platform.

During the Bi-Elections in Juja and Makadara, a lot of money was used to convince voters. In what was widely believed to be a hotly contested election, the people of Makadara emerged with one Mike Sonko as their MP. The People of Juja decided that Mr. Kabogo becomes their MP. Soon after the credibility debate crept through the floor of the house questioning the two as criminals who should not have been in the first place way been cleared by the political parties to run for office.

Her Excellency to be Ms. Martha Karua vehemently defended the two saying that it was not the responsibility of the Flower Party to clear its candidates. We have been subjected to drama unfolding relating to the two members of parliament. Mike Sonko has topped the league of the absurd by engaging in all manner of absurdities and law breaking. Mr. Kabogo has been suspected in several crimes including drugs and murder.

I will stick to the absurdities of Mike Sonko for a minute and conclude. When he was elected, some of us were left in awe of what had been seen as a sad day for Kenya's Leadership tracking his widely (secretly) known criminal escapism.  Others celebrated his victory. To some extend the country judged the situation as a victory for the Youth based on his age.

But let us reflect on his conduct for some time and think again. From Beating up a DJ on the road, jumping over the fence, Street Protest, double parking, cutting and stealing off City Council Parking Clamps and many, many more other dramatic absurdities that go beyond the comprehension of a normal human being.

The country has taken his conduct to be representative of Youth conduct. Some people's minds have been locked to campaigning against the youth by using Mile Sonko as an example.

For us to achieve a Transformed, Sustainable Country that is Kenya, we need Transformational Leadership. The transformation we need is not about coming off Impunity to Crime as has been exemplified by some of our legislators. Leadership Change is needed but we will not achieve a Prosperous Kenya with the likes of Mike Sonko.

In our age and time the street word "Sonko" meant a lifestyle of decorum and hard work. Mike Sonko has just turned that terminology to mean the opposite. As youth Leaders interested in the common future of our country, we must now start to think about value-based leadership and politics that will make Kenya become a competitive stakeholder on the global arena. Mike Sonko is not a representative of the youth and his conduct befits a person who should be in Kamiti Prison and not in the coveted August House of Kenya's representatives. So is the case with many of our MPs whom we know should be resting in jail for stealing from public coffers. As we go to 2012, let us elect leaders according to ideology and track record of their service, zeal and commitment to making Kenya a better place and not by the amount of money they have stolen and ready to bribe us.

Sonko does not represent "YOUTH" Period.

The other many of the other gang members in Bunge who have overseen public coffers go dry should be shown the door in 2012.

As the new constitution dictates, let us begin by recalling all the law breakers in the law making house to face the electorate a fresh, let us elect visionary and transformational leaders indeed.

The Writer is a Kenyan youth Leader committed to change for a Positive Future of Africa

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Future: The Continuing Series of Inspiration from Tallberg...

The Future: The Continuing Series of Inspiration from Tallberg...: "Friends--- Most of you will remember the inspiring Rework the World Summit in Sweden. This year we had a small gathering of 500 in Sigtuna ..."

The Continuing Series of Inspiration from Tallberg

Friends---
Most of you will remember the inspiring Rework the World Summit in Sweden.
This year we had a small gathering of 500 in Sigtuna discussing how we can agree to agree. I wanted to share with you a short preview of the journey we have traveled since last year and where we are today. However the snapshots will be presented next year with the life changing stories of inspiration that have been touched by the Green Teams Initiative in Africa.

Please take some time and watch this video clip
http://webbtv.compodium.se/tallberg11/

Kind regards,

Emmanuel

--
--

Join the Green Teams Initiative ...and be a part of the Simple Solutions that resolve the Global Complex Ecological Challenges

..........

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obama Pushes for More Cleantech, Green Jobs and Training

Obama Pushes for More Cleantech, Green Jobs and Training

Published June 14, 2011
Obama Pushes for More Cleantech, Green Jobs and Training

Facing heavy criticism for a sluggish economic recovery, U.S. President Barack Obama brought his talk about the importance of growing more green jobs to a thriving LED factory in North Carolina Monday.

"Today, the single most serious economic problem we face is getting people back to work," Obama acknowledged in his address to employees, business leaders and others gathered yesterday afternoon at Cree Inc. in Durham.

But the president also took the opportunity to resound key tenets of his administration -- that clean energy, energy efficiency and the industries and innovations supporting them are key to the country's economic recovery. And he recapped progress that has occurred since he came to office.

Cree manufacturing facility in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park.
Cree manufacturing facility in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park.
"We stabilized the economy," he said. "We prevented a financial meltdown. An economy that was shrinking is now growing.  We've added more than 2 million private sector jobs over the last 15 months alone ... But I'm still not satisfied. I will not be satisfied until everyone who wants a good job that offers some security has a good job that offers security."

Job growth and the economy are vulnerable points for Obama and his administration. The U.S. unemployment rate edged up to 9.1 percent in May from 9 percent in April, having been 8.8 percent in March. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the slight shift in May means that the unemployment picture was "essentially unchanged" compared to the prior month, the figures fueled further partisan acrimony. In fact, jobs were the subject of the first question in the televised debate last night among seven Republicans who are vying for the party's nomination in the 2012 presidential race. As expected, the presidential hopefuls slammed the incumbent on the issues of jobs and the economy.

While visiting Cree and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Obama talked of what his administration has done to back education opportunities, training and other efforts to create jobs. He also convened his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at Cree and pointed out the growth that the host firm has experienced in the past three years.

"This company has made amazing progress," said Obama, who first visited Cree during his primary campaign in May 2008. "The technology at this company is growing in leaps and bounds." In the past two years, the manufacturer of energy efficient lighting has filled almost 750 full-time positions, added a new lighting production line and broken ground for a new facility on its campus. The production line expansion project, which boosted capacity and capabilities, was bolstered by $39 million in cleantech manufacturing-related tax credits.

Cree and other businesses in the innovation hub of Research Triangle Park have a rich academic base to draw from for recruits with the University of North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State University -- the alma mater of Cree's founders -- so nearby, Obama said. As a whole, however, the country is not producing enough talent to fill the high-tech and highly skilled jobs that are available today. "Right now, there are more than four job-seekers for every job opening in America," Obama said. "But when it comes to science and high-tech fields, the opposite is true. The businesses represented here tell me they're having a hard time finding high-skilled workers to fill their job openings."

To that end, Obama said, commitments last week by the private sector, colleges and the National Association of Manufacturers will "make it possible for 500,000 community college students to earn industry-accepted credentials for manufacturing jobs that companies across America are looking to fill."

Also, the president and the jobs council unveiled an "all-hands-on-deck strategy" yesterday that he said will enable 10,000 new American engineers to be trained every year.


"By the way, our Jobs Council, led by Jeff Immelt, they're doing this not counting on a whole bunch of federal funding," Obama said. "Private sector companies are teaming up to help us promote STEM (science technology, engineering and math) education, to offer students incentives to finish those degrees, and then to help universities fund those programs. They're going to double their summer internship hiring."

Immelt, the chairman and CEO of General Electric and chairman of the President's Jobs and Competitiveness Council, and  Ken Chenault, the chairman and CEO of American Express Co., shared a byline on a op-ed piece Monday in the Wall Street Journal that outlines "fast-action steps" to spur job growth. They include:

  • Training workers for today's open jobs.
  • Streamlining permitting so construction and infrastructure projects can go forward.
  • Boosting jobs in travel and tourism.
  • Facilitating small-business loans.
  • Putting construction workers back to work.

The next step will be developing recommendations for a longer-term strategy, according to Immelt and Chenault, "America needs more growth," their op-ed said. "The economic decisions we make now will determine American job creation and competitiveness in the years to come. Government, business and labor need to work together to get this done."

The aim of the council, formed in January, is to help get the country's "job creation engine running faster," said Obama, and his administration's Better Buildings Initiative, announced in February, is intended to help the hard-hit construction industry while increasing the energy efficiency of the country's existing buildings.

A report released yesterday (pdf) by The Real Estate Roundtable, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council said the initiative could create more than 114,000 new jobs. Most would be in the construction industry and more than half -- 77,000 -- would result from a redesigned tax deduction for energy efficiency upgrades of buildings, the groups said. The organizations commissioned the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to conduct the analysis.

"The main thing I want to communicate to all of you here at Cree ... and all across the country is we're going to get there," Obama said, expressing confidence about the future. "I know that because I've seen it here at this company, where you're helping to lead the clean energy revolution. I've seen it across the Midwest ... I've seen it from coast to coast, where men and women are testing new ideas and starting new businesses and bringing new products to market and helping America come back stronger than before."


--
--

Join the Green Teams Initiative ...and be a part of the Simple Solutions that resolve the Global Complex Ecological Challenges

..........
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo
YES Kenya/Green Teams Initiative
3rd Floor, Revlon Proffessional Plaza
Biashara Street, City Center
P.O. Box 8799, 00200
Nairobi Kenya
Cell: +254722619005
http://emmanuel-ed.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Emmanueldennis
Website: www.thegreenteams.org, www.yeskenya.org

Monday, May 30, 2011

National Youth Council Elections and the Politick of deceit

Dear Friends---

I have had a chance to listen to many opinions about the Court Injunction against the NYC Elections. I have come to a conclusion given the pieces of information I have gathered around. The following are my observations believing that there is more than meets the eye in the court injunction;

1.       The NYC elections and the impending process had a challenge in terms legal process.

2.       A good number of youth asked many questions which were in one way or the other answered through various channels.

3.       We asked the Ministry through the relevant office to give the youth a listening ear which we they did.

4.       We challenged the Ministry to give the youth more time to register at the time when the numbers were very low.  The Ministry responded positively.

5.       A couple of politicians have not been happy about the whole process and have vowed to kill the NYC from the word go.

6.       Indeed some Politicians it is reported have paid candidates of their own to vie.

7.       While in other reports Politicians have paid some individuals to make sure the process does not go on.

8.       Up to around 2 million young Kenyans turned out and registered as voters and initiated the elections at the grassroots.

9.       Many candidates have spent a remarkable amount of time and resources to make sure they make good of an opportunity that has evaded the youth sector for the longest time.

10.   Some of the enjoined organizations in the injunction participated in civic education and voter registration drive. This amounts to vomiting on owns shoes and eating the vomit at the end. It is a betrayal of the work and resources they have put in the process.

A couple of realities need to be drawn.

·         In Kenya, a presidential election in 2007 attracted about 4 million votes or there abouts.

·         No single MP can garner that kind of a voter turn out.

·         Half that number has legitimized the NYC elections and turned out in large numbers to vote for their preferred candidates at the grassroots.

·         It is disappointing that the Election Injunction came at such a time that the grassroots elections had neared their end. And now we have a lot of youth having been voted, waiting pensively for the election injunction through the court proceedings.

·         The timing of the hearing has a lot to be desired, that after which, the budget will have been read and there is nothing we can do to have the Exchequer set aside a budget to help set up the council.

·         In other words we all need to forget about NYC until the next financial year being 2012/2013.

·         Someone somewhere is keen not to see this NYC installed to help coordinate the affairs of the Kenyan youth.

REALITY CHECK

The NYC Act precludes that the Council after being set up shall decide the stature and nature of the operations across the country. In my opinion, the first responsibility the council was going to and MUST have is to set up its structures and define its operational mandate, that of the devolved system of government notwithstanding. NOTE that the devolved system of government shall come into effect after the first election following the constitutional referendum as was in August of last year whose election now comes in 2012.

We now have up to 2 million registered voters who had their faith in the process and believed that they could change the system once given the mandate. That is a very dangerous population if left at the mercy of the court injunction.


ACTION POINTS MOVING FORWARD

1.       The 2 million voters in the National Youth Council Deserve a hearing from the individuals who have proceeded to court with the injunction.

2.       The 2 million Kenyan Youths deserve a hearing and have a right to have their voices heard and will be proceeding to court to sue the individuals who have ensued the court injunctions for damages towards the expenses that have gone to this process.

3.       The 2 million Kenyan youth elected their representative at the grassroots will be suing the individuals who have spoilt the party.

4.       On Thursday this week, we would like to have a public forum to hear the story from the injectors of the court injunction. Details will be announced in the course of the day.

Me, the sincere messanger,


Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo

Listening to the voices of the 2 million NYC registered Kenyan  Youth.



On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 8:43 AM, peter shambi <petershambi@yahoo.com> wrote:
Dear all,
I wish to applaud all those who contributed their resources and time to make this possible. It is true that these crucial elections were marred with immeasurable irregularitie and therefore they had lost merit. I personally took time through my organisation to conduct monitoring for this exercise in the entire Coast region and i witnessed these irregularities. Kindly keep us posted.
 
Peter Shambi
Muslims for human rights (MUHURI)
Mombasa.

Sent: Wed, May 25, 2011 5:08:47 PM
Subject: RE: [NYSA:6594] National Youth Council Elections Halted

Here is Youth Agenda's statement on the issue.

Best.

Lydia Mathia
Communications Officer
The Youth Agenda
Adams Arcade, Woodlands Court, Kirichwa Lane
Off Ngong Rd
PO. Box: 10174-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Phone  : 254 020 2022026
Fax        : 254 020 3559212
Cell      : 254717 222 653
Email    : mathia.lydia@youthagenda.org
Website: www.youthagenda.org




-----Original Message-----
From: nysa1@googlegroups.com [mailto:nysa1@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of
Emmanuel Dennis
Sent: 25 May 2011 16:44
To: nysa1@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [NYSA:6591] National Youth Council Elections Halted


Dear Friends---
The news about the court action is not shocking. This was expected.
The Artoney General Misadviced the Ministry of Youth Affairs to go on
with the process the ilegalities notwithstanding. We have done quite
allot and alot of gains had been achieved. I know it is dissapointing
especially to the youth who had registered and participated in the
preliminary stages of the elections.

This is a good opportunity for us to go back on the drawing board,
rework the NYC Act to reflect the wishes of young People and follow
the spirit and word of the New Constitution. The court gives us an
opportunity to engage with the Ministry and make sure the Council as
will be constituted is not an illegality.

The National Youth Sector Alliance in partnership with other key
stakeholders will be co-hosting a meeting (dates to be announced so
that we can explore and examine the illegalities in Act with the view
to engage the youth on the next course of Action. NYSA is also
planning a couple of meetings around the country specifically on the
NYC Act so that young people can be engaged in the process.

Let us use this as a legal space not to stop the process, but to get
it right the first time. History will judge us harshly if we install
yet another NYC that will be at the whims and control of state
machinery that is not interested in the good welfare of the young
people.

A credible, Independent and responsible National Youth Council is a
duty that we must take up and deliver a gift to the generations of
many young people who will be affected by the decisions we make today.

We will communicate from the NYSA Coordination Hub on what we should
start doing as the court process goes on.

Kind regards,

Emmanuel Dennis

On 5/25/11, VICTOR IJAIKA <vijaika@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi Lydia
>
>
> Its so unfortunate although I truly support the petitioners. The exercise
as
> much as I wanted to let it go ahead and be run, the approach here in
Vihiga
> leaves so many gaps ( here in Vihiga the Sub location Elections were done
> last
> week  and we are also asking why this happened, shouldn't we standardize
the
> whole exercise in the whole country?)
>  . How do people who were registering the youth end up running for the
> positions, istn that double standards? The awareness creation on the
> exercise
> leaves a lot to be desired. I really do not understand why the government
is
> in
> such a rush yet it was sleeping on the policy before the YES we can
> initiative
> was launched? I know many of us are not seeing this but we need to try and
> read
> between the lines.
>
>
> We need the Council to be in place, but the strategies should be clear and
> the
> law should be followed. We could have manourvered the political
interference
> but
> the governments high handedness shouldn't also kill this great initiative.
> Let
> the youth and by so saying I mean majority of the youth be mobilised. We
> need to
> know how many had registered so that we can see if that really represents
> the
> young people of this Country
>
> Its is with this that i propose that as you make your statement, be guided
> by
> the fact that the whole exercise has been messed up by the government and
> all
> efforts should be made to ensure that things are put in order
>
> Regards
> Victor Ijaika
> Vihiga County
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Lydia Mathia <mathia.lydia@youthagenda.org>
> To: nysa1@googlegroups.com; nysa.kenya@gmail.com
> Sent: Wed, May 25, 2011 11:51:23 AM
> Subject: [NYSA:6585] National Youth Council Elections Halted
>
>
> Greetings,
>
> The High court has stopped the National Youth Council Elections through an
> injunction order issued on the 24th May 2011, (a copy of which is here
with
> attached) on two grounds;
> 1.      Article 13 of the elections guidelines which states that persons
> involved in the operationalisation exercise should not be candidates and
> 2.      Article 14 of the same guidelines which stipulates that the
> election
> register shall be closed 2 days before the date of the elections.
>
> The hearing is set for the 29th of June 2011. It is an unfortunate
> circumstance.
> Youth Agenda is working on a comprehensive statement which we shall issue
in
> a
> short while.
> In the mean time, you may share your thought on this situation.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Lydia Mathia
> Communications Officer
> The Youth Agenda
> Adams Arcade, Woodlands Court, Kirichwa Lane
> Off Ngong Rd
> PO. Box: 10174-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
> Phone  : 254 020 2022026
> Fax        : 254 020 3559212
> Cell      : 254717 222 653
> Email    : mathia.lydia@youthagenda.org
> Website: www.youthagenda.org

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The hype versus the reality of carbon markets -- Economic Justice

AfricaFiles



Title: The hype versus the reality of carbon markets
Author: Shefali Sharma
Category: Economic Justice
Date: 5/11/2011
Source: Pambazuka News, Issue 529
Source Website: http://www.pambazuka.org/

African Charter Article# 21: All peoples shall freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources for their exclusive interest, eliminating all forms of foreign economic exploitation.

Summary & Comment: This in-depth article examines the recently launched Africa Carbon Exchange. The author warns that carbon credit markets have a checkered past at best and cites examples from the US, Europe and Australia that should temper optimism about African efforts to implement their own markets. Also, the author suggests alternatives that could be more effective. JP



The hype versus the reality of carbon markets

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/73132

The Africa Carbon Exchange (ACX) was launched in Nairobi on March 24; yet only two days before, Bloomberg headlines announced: 'Global Carbon Credits Die as Smart Money Backs Indian RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates).'[1]

While the ACX is positioning itself to be the hub of 'climate change business and sustainable development in the African continent,' existing and attempted carbon emissions exchanges in Europe and the United States have suffered one blow after another - fraud, carbon credit theft, poor legislative design, even profits for some major polluters - all at the expense of ordinary citizens and the environment.

Moreover, these exchanges have not led to a decrease in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rather, they threaten to directly increase emissions by diverting capital to the carbon-market casino that could have otherwise gone toward reducing pollution at its source.

The Bloomberg article contends:

'Today, carbon trading remains a backwater of the global commodities market, and it's not even included in the benchmark Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index. Without demand from institutional investors spurred by global limits on emissions, the price of carbon has languished compared with the fossil fuels that policy makers are aiming to marginalize.'

There has been a 16 per cent decline in the membership of the Geneva-based International Emissions Trading Associations (IETA) since the climate talks reached deadlock in Copenhagen in 2009 and carbon-trading platforms such as Intercontinental Exchange Inc. folded up when the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) itself collapsed at the end of 2010.

What happened and what lessons can be learned from these debacles?

Carbon 'offsets' - the backbone of the Kenyan ACX - are supposed to work like this: a series of projects are implemented to take planet-warming carbon out of the atmosphere, which are then subjected to a complex set of measurement, reporting and verifying (MRV) procedures. These projects would receive 'carbon credits' that would be sold to polluters who could neutralise or 'offset' their own pollution by buying these credits.

The creation of carbon-offset projects can include a large number of players. The project can be 'owned' by an organisation, company or individuals. Local communities will be impacted if the project depends on utilising their time, resources or land. Several other entities will also be involved, such as project design consultants who ensure that the project follows an acceptable MRV methodology, project validators who ensure that the MRV is valid and meets a certain accepted standard, and project verifiers to ensure that the MRV methodology is being followed properly. The project then either receives 'certified emissions reduction' credits (CERs) or 'voluntary emissions reduction' credits (VERs), depending on whether the project is meant to meet mandatory 'compliance' targets of the UN climate treaty or feed into the voluntary carbon market. The cost of setting up such projects can therefore be substantial.

A polluter in an industrialised country can buy these CER credits to offset emissions, and hence continue polluting. In reality, however, these credits can be bought and resold in poorly regulated carbon exchanges as much as a hundred times through complex financial instruments called 'derivatives'. A buyer without any obligations to reduce emissions can buy these offset credits, package them with credits from other projects and trade them as a carbon emissions derivative for purely speculative purposes. The credits are sold even before there is any proof that such projects have actually resulted in reducing greenhouse gases.

Such trade involves numerous middlemen in the form of traders and various forms of investment firms. Similar derivatives in still-unregulated over-the-counter markets (OTC) led to the infamous Wall Street collapse in 2008 and the ensuing global financial crisis, and regulators still have not developed adequate rules to govern these markets.

EUROPEAN AND US EXPERIENCE WITH CARBON EXCHANGES

In order to put the 'promise' of the ACX as an agent for development and environmental good in perspective, let's examine first the largest climate exchange in the world: The European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

The ETS was intended to help Europe meet its binding commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce GHGs. Launched in 2005, the ETS resulted in increased, rather than decreased, greenhouse gas emissions, while the price of carbon itself crashed to as low as one euro per tonne from a high of about 30 euros. Several complex reasons can be cited for this, but a very simple reason was the over-allocation of pollution permits that were given, at no cost, to major polluters, which were then traded and re-traded in financial markets. In other words, there was no demand for permits from polluters who faced no strict requirement to reduce emissions.

The ETS has shown through its six-year history how susceptible it is to fraud, malpractice and Internet hacking. Just this February, the ETS had to shut down its trading because cyber criminals had hacked into the system, stealing 40 million USD worth of pollution permits and reselling them. The European Law Enforcement Agency (Europol) estimates that up to five billion euros of European tax revenue (approximately 7.1 billion USD) has been lost due to fraud in value-added tax evasion through carbon trading.[2]

The two major ventures related to carbon exchanges in the United States have also suffered major blows. Just the week before the ACX was launched, the San Francisco Superior Court ordered the state of California to suspend its proposed cap-and-trade system, which includes offsets, because it was in violation of environmental laws in California. The judge ruled that the California Air Resource Board had not sufficiently considered alternatives to the cap-and-trade system and needed to do so.

Just months prior, the United States' only national climate exchange - the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) - shut down its operations at great cost to farmers who invested in it in anticipation of offset credits. The Chicago Climate Exchange shut down because large investors were not interested in a voluntary market and had counted on US legislation to enact a mandatory market. When the climate bill in the US Congress failed, there was little incentive for companies to continue to buy and sell credits in the market.

Emerging controversies in Australia are also relevant for the ACX. The Australian 'Carbon Farming Initiative' is being proposed as a major offset scheme for Australian polluters and those abroad to meet Kyoto targets. Market analysts doubt whether there would be an adequate supply of credits for sufficient trading in the initial years.

Concerns are also being raised regarding the environmental integrity of such an offset scheme that could lead to pressure on water and land, given that the CFI is supposed to derive reduction in GHGs through activities such as fertiliser management, reduced livestock emissions, soil carbon and reforestation.[3]

LESSONS FOR THE ASX: WITHER DEVELOPMENT AND REDUCED RISKS OF CLIMATE CHANGE?

The ACX would sell pollution 'credits' generated on African soil through individual projects, thereby enabling companies in the industrialised world to continue polluting and yet comply with their governments' commitments to meet international and national targets for emissions reductions. ACX registered projects would also aim to generate a sufficient supply of projects to be made available for carbon trading on voluntary markets.

It is now common knowledge that the CancĂșn climate pledges could lead to the warming of the planet by four degrees Celsius or more. The latest science shows that even a global average warming of two degrees will be devastating for life on Earth. For much of sub-Saharan Africa, a two-degree global average temperature rise would mean even higher temperatures on the ground.

This spells disaster for food security in Africa - with devastated cropping cycles, water scarcity and widespread famine. Carbon offsets are a major exit strategy for polluters to continue polluting while shifting the burden of GHG reductions to African nations that have the lowest carbon footprint on the planet. In the end, the impacts of the failure of this UNFCCC approved 'market mechanism' will be acutely felt by the African people who stand to suffer greatly from a warming planet.

In addition, the types of offset projects envisioned for Africa primarily entail 'land-based carbon' projects, either through avoiding deforestation, reforesting or reducing emissions from agriculture. This means that projects are banking on receiving credit for changing land-use practices in forests and soils to store carbon relative to what would have happened in a business-as-usual (baseline) scenario.

However, trading carbon from land-based offsets is met with major scepticism by real financial investors because of serious scientific challenges in measuring carbon in soils and forests and understanding previous and future land-use changes.

Moreover, because the bulk of forest and agriculture land is used by local communities, significant risks are associated with land tenure issues and social conflicts, with research showing an increase in land grabs of large areas of customary land in Africa by agribusiness and government agencies.[4]

A recent study[5] by experts in derivatives trading platforms also shows that land-based offsets will meet significant barriers to investment. This is because the land-based asset itself is difficult to define and therefore trade because of the high degree of uncertainty in measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) land-based carbon.

The costs and controversies associated with land-based offsets are also likely to make them a risky venture. It will therefore lead to control of the trade by very few companies given the monopolistic nature of commodity markets (carbon is a commodity) and because very few companies will be able to finance the risk associated with this trade.

The experts therefore conclude that the market for land-based offsets will either fail because of the numerous difficulties inherent in land based carbon accounting or lead to 'the creation of a substandard, risky and ultimately destructive forest carbon market.'[6] The same applies to agricultural soil carbon where the underlying 'tradable' asset is even more varied and uncertain.

Finally, given that energy markets have a high degree of price correlation with carbon, excessive speculation in carbon is likely to adversely affect food and commodity prices.[7]

Bundling carbon derivatives into index funds with other commodities would also tend to destabilise prices, as would trading carbon derivatives without position limits (limits on the number of contracts held). Highly volatile oil and food commodity prices not only have a significant impact on the economic stability of net oil and food-importing countries but also on the agriculture sector as a whole, given the high dependence on fossil fuels for synthetic fertilisers, transport, distribution and storage. Expanding carbon markets that are structurally highly susceptible to fraud and speculation and part of commodity markets, particularly through index funds, thus has serious implications for food production and food security in Africa.

SHOW ME THE MONEY

The most often quoted World Bank figure for the global carbon market is 144 billion USD. However this figure largely includes derivatives trading. Out of this, only around 3,370 million USD goes to offset project developers as total revenue (not profit) with a much more uncertain fraction of that going to local communities who may host the project.[8] The FAO estimates that close to 17 billion euros (approximately 24.3 billion USD) could be required in transaction costs alone to set up soil carbon sequestration projects from 2010 - 2030, diverting scarce resources away from critical adaptation needs.

According to the World Bank's own estimates adaptation costs to developing countries will range between 2.5 and 2.6 billion USD per year from 2010 -2050.[9] Experts monitoring Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) schemes also find that important institutional and public resources are being diverted to create the technical capacity and infrastructure required to create offset credits to trade on potential forest carbon markets. Rather than diverting scarce resources, this money could be invested directly into institutions and communities to build resilience against climate change and directly address deforestation.

CALCULATING THE COSTS

The Africa Carbon Exchange is being publicised as the next big ticket that will help solve the development gap in Africa, with plans to replicate the exchange in other regional blocs such as the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS).

However, before that happens, governments and their parliaments should examine:

- ongoing challenges and investment trends in climate exchanges in industrialised countries,
- investor aversion to land-based offsets,
- environmental and food security risks to Africans by allowing industrialised countries to continue polluting, and
- resources needed for African countries to adapt to climate change.

There is a real danger that carbon offsets will become a major policy distraction and capital diversion from the real climate change challenges that Africa faces: the urgent task of climate change adaptation and ensuring resilience of communities.

ALTERNATIVES EXIST

A financial transaction tax[11] on financial trading, feed-in tariff policies through which clean solar and wind energies are incentivised, and the use of International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights[12] by developing countries are just some of many alternatives being proposed to both finance the reversal of climate change and to help developing countries adapt to it. Industrialised countries have a legal, historical and moral responsibility to curb their domestic emissions at home and help finance adaptation in Africa and elsewhere. Let's not let carbon trading and the promises of a speculative derivatives market distract us from these critical goals.

{Sharma's work focuses on international trade and financial institutions, and international food and agriculture policies, with a particular interest and focus on India and South Asia. This article is sourced from The Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy.}

REFERENCES:

[1]. B. Sills, Global Carbon Credits Die as Smart Money Backs Indian RECs, Bloomberg Markets Magazine, March 22, 2011. Available at [url=http://bloom.bg/igjsR9[/url]
[2]. World Watch Institute, A Brief History of Fraudulent Activity on the EU ETS, 2011.
[3]. Point Carbon, Australian Greens Challenge Offset Mechanism, March 24, 2011.
[4]. L. Cotula, Land deals in Africa: What is in the contracts?, IIED, London. Available at http://pubs.iied.org/12568IIED.html
[5]. Munden Project, REDD and Forest Carbon: Market-based Critique and Recommendations, 2011. Available at [url=http://bit.ly/kibEbS[/url]
[6]. Ibid.
[7]. In an orderly market, carbon prices should rise with energy prices but haven't due to the aforementioned crimes, poor legislative design and MRV controversies, and costs.
[8]. FERN, Designed to fail? The Concepts, Practices and Controversies Behind Carbon Trading, 2010.
[9]. FAO, Climate Smart Agriculture: Policies, Practices and Financing for Food Security, Adaptation and Mitigation, 2010, 22.
[10]. FERN and Forest Peoples Programme, Smoke and Mirrors: A Critical Assessment of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, February 2011.
[11]. See European Parliament, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, DRAFT REPORT on Innovative Financing at Global and European Level, also known as the 'Podimata Report,' October 2010. Accessed at:http://bit.ly/joj3cs.
[12]. See ActionAid, Using Special Drawing Rights for Climate Finance, Discussion Paper, February 2010.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"YOUTH" The Ticking Time Bomb ... or is it a Gold Mine?

"YOUTH" The Ticking Time Bomb...or is it a Gold Mine?

An Address to the Commonwealth Conference on 'Investing in Youth Employment'

9th-10th May 2011, Marlborough House, London

By Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo, CEO - Green Teams Initiative - Africa

Mr. Kamalesh Sharma - Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Dr. Paul Otuoma Hon. Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports of Kenya, Ms. Poonam Ahluwalia, President YES Inc., Mr. Sridhar, Central bank of India, Your Excellencies the Heads of Missions to the Commonwealth, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.


I am humbled and honoured to address this distinguished gathering.  The title of the conference resonates well with what drives me as an individual and other people that have inspired me in the last decade. Having started off in the children's rights advocacy in villages in Kenya, I have grown to join the youth development world at YES, and now moving towards bigger responsibility of national and international leadership addressing entrepreneurship among other global development issues. It is to me a lifelong learning journey.


Youth Unemployment is huge a challenge that poses serious threats to the co-existence of humanity today. We are witnessing best practices which started off in the Middle East and North Africa, to Central Africa, they have their tentacles to the East side of Africa. This continuing series of revolutions will dominate the world's agenda for as long as we continue to ignore the youth who are the common denominator for our present and future.


Research and statistics show increase in Youth population. In Africa, persons under the age of 35 form a paltry 75% of the populations. They are well educated and majority unemployed. A recipe for Social conflict.


The current financial and ecological challenges will continue to hit hard. These pressures mean that we need to device new business unusual models. We must come up with short term imperative frameworks to address youth unemployment. This must be supported by long term imperative to create sustainable value chains that resolve the problems of tomorrow driven by innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Living in poverty, one meal per day, kicked out of school due to lack of $80 school fees, a young man from Masitala village in Malawi; the country having gone through the worst drought ever; with no help coming, William Kimkwamba devised an innovative way of creating opportunity... the Wind. He started off scavenging in waste materials, he became the laughing stock of the village as he collected rusted iron, car batteries, tractor fans, bicycle parts among other scrap materials. From 2002 courtesy, his village now has 5 windmills that generate electricity and pump water for use by hundreds of villagers.


Many youth like William come up with innovations that are life changing but due to the lack of capital, technical knowhow and support structures, their dreams have been swept off without caution.


The Green Teams initiative started to organize young people into positive community building forces, that are creating revenues and at the same time resolving the ecological challenges that the world faces today using a bottom up approach.


When we began the Green Teams conversation at the Rework the World Summit hosted by YES and Tallberg Foundation in June of 2010, many sceptics shot down the idea as half baked. However the GTI Revolution is taking Africa slowly becoming a positive storm because it speaks to the needs of the youth who desperately require the kind of skills training we offer to get them into economic independence. We now have Green Teams in Mombasa, Kampala, Nairobi and soon Kigali, St. Louis courtesy of UNHABITAT CCCI Program. A GTI is coming to Washington DC as well.


With support structures in place to incubate emerging ideas and value chains, not only will we be planting the seeds of hope, but also investing in a promising future. It is to the uncharted waters that the Green Teams seek to explore. To create the path where others will come and walk through.


My appeal to the Commonwealth Secretariat and other Global initiatives. Listen to the voices of the youth, they call from remote villages of the world, they reckon with virgin ideas, they seek a helping hand. They need support to realise their dreams. They seek investment for sustainable social impact. Otherwise, every skewed development agenda that we pursue will be shuttered by the looming revolution. We can no longer continue to ignore the youth; as such ignorance will be to our own peril.


The Youth Enterprise Development Fund in Kenya has shown and proved that Youth are bankable and investable. The loan repayment portfolio surpasses that of established businesses. However, the fund needs to be reworked to a Guarantee Fund. This way to support the emerging enterprises, incubate and nurture promising ideas and invest in the young people who lack collateral. The fund would build the capacity of the youth to become entrepreneurs able to compete established businesses and at the same time protect their ideas from the plagiarists with patents and intellectual property protection.


We support the credit Facility by the Commonwealth, such an idea will far more support youth employment and should be replicated in more countries. Creating Youth Enterprise Generators as originated by YES to support in scale change ideas of organized young people will achieve immeasurable results into enterprise movements. The Commonwealth Secretariat should support ideas to scaling up and replicating promising practices in all its member states.


Kenya will be holding the National Youth Council Election by June. I am sure the Hon Minister Paul Otuoma who is here with us will take a lead in working with young leaders to make it a model that the rest of the world can learn from. We should allow young people to lead such state offices to set international standards and become models for learning and replication. Supporting member states to come up with youth friendly policies, the commonwealth should insist that such policies should be devoid of skewed political agendas.


A good idea grows by itself. We have an option to make the right decisions from their onsets. As in Entrepreneurship, Fortune favours the Bold. Indeed the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all as was articulated by Sir Richard Branson, one of the most successful business moguls of our time who started off at age 16 to build a global diverse brand that is Virgin. He has proved that you can chew and cross the road at the same time.


Barack Obama is my role model that speaks my kind of Language; An astute believer in the power of the youth to change the world. He is promoting Green Issues such as developing a green economy. He wants to create 5 million jobs in the green energy sector. A green grid where homes will take power from small, local solar and wind powered generators, and home generators will push surplus energy back into the grid. This must happen as the price of fuel skyrockets, changing our energy and business models as the recession bites. Barack is a more than talk guy.


By the year 2015, the youth bulge will be at its high with the current economic pressures escalating. Initiatives like the Grameen, YES Bank in Bangladesh should be emulated and scaled to offer sustainable loans to consumers. Young people with green businesses should be supported. Africa was not hard hit by the economic downturn, because, our conservative banking practices have saved our economies. African Companies and ideas will thrive in the next decade. Investing in ideas as Green Teams, will propel a country like Kenya to start giving aid money to the USA and the UK in hard times, such as when the Economic Recession is on. My prediction is that if given a chance, this will be a reality in the next two decades.


Creating the Green Teams Business model is to do something positive for the deserving livelihoods; to connect to the rest of the world; to partner with institutions as the Commonwealth. With your support, I am sure we will thrive and reach our desired goals so that future generations can enjoy. That is the legacy that all of us should be working towards.


I hope that this Workshop will help us have honest talk and concrete action based deal breakers to gain value to why we are gathered here today. Let us not allow this to be another talk shop. In conclusion, I would like to thank the Commonwealth Secretariat for setting up this conference; it has been an onerous task to be at the place where we are today. Thanks to Rajkumar Bidla for creating stories of hope. Let us change the ticking social time bomb that is youth into a gold mine. The future depends on them.


Thank you.