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.
A story? An anecdote?
I remember being in Ouagadougou not so long ago. I was impressed to see a wall with both Che Guevara and Obama on it, both were heroes for the artists of this wall. I thought it was great!
For every African to have access to internet.
Africa by night... A proposal
This beautiful picture - where we see all the continent lit up except for Africa - it followed us throughout the years Jean-Louis Borloo was Minister of Ecology. He was obsessed with it, he was showing it everywhere he went, so it always inspired us for all this time.
Energies for Africa
I think it's fascinating, exciting, and inspiring. I think it's exactly what needs to be done, everyone is enthusiastic and I'm the first one of them. So, I think that the key to everything is the energy, with a little water, I'm not forgetting water I'm including it.
To be useful, if I can be useful, I'm thrilled. I like beautiful causes and the more difficult the more beautiful.
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.