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.
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.
It's impossible for me to sum up Africa in only one word. But if I could use two, I'd say hugeness and diversity. One number?
It's about 600 million people who didn't have access to electricity, it's enormous! A dream for Africa?
It's very simple, it would be for all Africans to live from their farming. A story? An anecdote?
I have a memory from when I was 6 years-old and we were watching the Michael Jackson clip. But the television were turned toward the street because there was one TV for about 50 children, it wasn't so bad back then. And I remember it as something very moving and exceptional. A proposal
Well, I don't know, I'm not in politics but I think the most important thing for today's and tomorrow's generations is education. It would be for education to be accessible to all, or even mandatory as it is in France because, in the end, it's what counts. Africa by night...
I can't help but to find kind of pretty the fact that there's a part of Africa with no electricity. What it means is that many people don't have access to electricity and to everything it allows to do. I find this striking. Energies for Africa
It's a very good initiative, it goes in the right direction and I hope it will grow smart with African State leaders, for instance. My commitment:
I'd say this project seems important to me and, as I said before, everything impacting education is what is truly important.
Africa in one word to me is the diversity of colors, the wideness of its land, the beauty of the landscapes.
A population doubling: from 1.4 billion to 2.8 billion inhabitants in the upcoming 30 years. It never happened in the History of Humanity.
A dream for Africa?
For all African to reach a decent education level.
A story? An anecdote?
I have many but there's probably one coming to mind, especially since we are here at Condé Nast. One day, I was in the street in Senegal and I saw probably the most beautiful in the world. Her name was Christine, we called her Kiki, and I was stroke by the beauty of this traditionally dressed woman, with a curved body and a lot of class, elegance and extraordinary chic. It might have been the view of this woman that made me want to work in the fashion industry. And today I am surrounded by beautiful women but I always remember Kiki.
Like I said earlier, education is to me the key to a country's and a generation's future. Today, we have the possibility to provide access to education to the largest number of people via internet through online universities, online classes, to what we call MOOC or SPOC. It's an incredible idea to put in place an educational platform on the internet where all Africans could attend classes depending on their levels and feeding their own needs. To do so, we need internet, and in order to get internet, we need electricity.
Africa by night...
When I see the images of Africa by night, it's striking. Truth being told, it tormented me both because I had absolutely no idea what the situation was, and because it's a deeply unfair. Why would all continent be illuminated by night but one, Africa? So it means we have a personal and collective responsibility to make sure that in 50 years, when we take another picture, all continent will be equally illuminated, in number of lights and in intensity.
Energies for Africa
To me, Jean-Louis Borloo's initiative is the most noble expression of politics, meaning committing to an universal cause. Seeing him, we realize we need men like him with a vision we can't say no to. So I entirely agree with his vision, especially because it's extremely simple, it's a basic idea, it's a feasible idea, it's not utopian, and it's an idea where all commitments - personal and collective - can make a difference. So I think this initiative is remarkable and I totally support it.
Africa is the only continent - South Africa excluded - where none of our magazines are present. IF we did the same map with Condé Nast, the African continent would look like it does on Jean-Louis Borloo's map, meaning it wouldn't be lighted. The next Vogue will be Vogue Africa.