Africa in one word is 1 billion inhabitants today for 2 billion in 2050. So a continent with an incredible potential, especially because a majority of the 2 billion are young, so Africa means youth.
I cant' help but say it's 25% of Total Enterprise, I could say Total is Africa. So, there's another number I could give: Africa is only 1% of the world's electricity consumption and so something disappears between my 1 billion inhabitants and my 1% of the world's electricity consumption.
A dream for Africa?
That this billion inhabitants access our level of development. It is far from it, the potential is enormous, the continent aspires to this development and it holds all the natural and human resources to do so. We need to find the catalysts for Africa to emerge.
A story? An anecdote?
To me, Africa is a face, the face of the children's first nanny because I was in Angola during my first stay abroad for Total. I discovered Africa through Angola, a country facing civil war at the time. And there was this young woman who took care of my one-month old child; we are still in contact with her. It's this woman's smile in Angola is remember most about Africa.
For Africans to take their own destiny in their hands. For centuries, Africa's history has evolved through the Western world, explaining to them how to properly govern Africa. Africa is a land with a huge culture, people, tribes, and capable of taking care of itself. And that's what I would hope for Africa and Africans: to take care of themselves.
Africa by night...
When I see this picture of Africa by night, with no distasteful play on words, I'd say that Africa is evidently in the dark. We can see it two different ways: Africa lives by the rhythm of nature, of the sun but it's also the translation of the fact that Africa has no light, no electricity. And that's the whole challenge our friend Borloo is trying to put forward: to bring light to Africa, a vital component of its development.
Energies for Africa
Jean-Louis Borloo's initiative to bring light to Africans naturally resonates to the boss of Total Entreprise. He approaches it from the angle of electricity but Africa needs all energies and especially renewable energies. One of the ways to bring electricity to Africans would be to develop solar energies in Africa. There're both an important potential and a paradox because while Africa is overflowing with energy, it is not consumed there. Jean-Louis Borloo's idea is a good one in the sense that electricity brings all kinds of development: hospitals, schools. It's the basis of economic development and energy is the keystone of development.
The commitment I want to take for Africa is in fact to contribute to develop the access to energy. How can I do this with Total? Among others, we've developed solar energy. Africa should be able to benefit from some sort of sustainable development since we are facing this climate challenge. We bet on bringing solar lamps to 25 million Africans because we own 20% of the fuel distribution networks. Our bet is to being electricity through the Total solar lamps to 25% of Africans. It's my commitment today.
We support this generous initiative. We should have been able to carry and nurture this project. But since we weren't able to do so, Jean-Louis Borloo stood out. As State leaders we now should continue to promote this project to other State leaders, to the ECOWAS, and to the African Parliament.
What surprised me in a positive way were the 67 female Rwandan deputies. Probably one of the consequences of the drama the country witnessed not so long ago.
One dream for Africa
To continue on the dynamic of women, my dream probably is to widen education, the potential absolute weapon we need to develop very very soon. We are realizing that when education fails somewhere, a gap opens.
A story? An anecdote?
Some friends put me in charge of filming a private but very wealthy wedding of a rich industrial's daughter in Benin. It still was a time of marxism-leninism in Benin, so the spirit was stupefying. I remember it was an unbelievable wedding.
It probably already exists, but for European countries to ally and to create very strong partnerships with African countries. I think it will be mandatory in the future.
Africa by night
When I see this picture, what strikes me is this never-ending black whole in the shape of the African continent, a continent so beautiful by day and absolutely dark right there. The illuminated world around it, the cities, the urban flourishing and the Sahara in absolute darkness.
Energies for Africa
Borloo's initiative primarily is an absolute glow of cleverness because it's obvious and everything starts with this. The problem has one aspect: electricity; and then the rest will come: education and everything else we mentioned. I think it's essential.
On a personal level, my commitment would be dedicated to culture and art. Anyway, I think that on every continent, Humanity needs art. Africa has a lot to teach us on this.
To me, Africa in one word is the largest population in the world. One number?
Africa in one number is 1 billion inhabitants and 2 billion in 35 years. The world's largest wealth, because a country's most important wealth is its population, a very young population. A dream for Africa?
To eradicate killing deseases: aids, malaria, and we probably aren't far from achieving it. And my other dream, this time as a Schneider Electric leader, is to bring energy to 600 million people who have no access to electricity throughout the continent. It's half of the population in the world with no access to electricity. A story? An anecdote?
Africa is one year of my life, it's the place where my first child was born, and so it's a beautiful family story and the discovery of a continent with them. Africa by night... A proposal?
When I see the picture of Africa by night, this continent - which could hold India, China, Northern America, and Europe - has so little light at night. I think a company like mine and Schneider's associates have a mission to accomplish for this continent. Because lighting up so many lights in Africa means giving the chance to the young population to develop and to build new companies, to create new projects, and to create new things. Energies for Africa
Jean-Louis Borloo's initiative - which consists in bringing energy to Africa - is absolutely essential. We believe, I believe that a human being's first basic right on Earth is to have a certain and reliable access to energy. Because energy is the basis of development, the basis of education, and so doing this means giving Africa the tools to develop. My commitment:
Schneider's commitment is to bring electricity to 15 million families in the next 3 years and therefore training 1 million inhabitants, youngsters, and people with the ambition to become an electrician.