Why Energy Access Is The Most Powerful Solution To Poverty

There is no panacea for alleviating poverty, but providing access to energy appears to be the next best thing.

As a Fundraising Officer much of what I say to potential donors is in the future tense. We will secure X, this will enable Y, which will benefit Z. Though my words are based on previous findings and accurate projections, donors are, understandably, often sceptical.

The bold claims that we make in our applications and during our presentations seem too good to be true. How can a single intervention improve not only the health of the people it is for, but also their education, their nutrition, their income, the gender inequality in the area, and also combat climate change? Those unaware of the reality would dismiss our claims as falsehoods, but they are not.

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Access Over Ownership

Among the barrage of selfies, South Korean pop sensations and videos of women twerking, it is easy to forget just how wonderful an invention the internet is. The ways it has been abused and sabotaged should not detract from the fact that it has the potential to bring about incredible change and influence.

Since its inception the internet has grown at an astonishing rate and now almost three billion people have access to it. Despite the best authoritarian efforts of some states – and I include the US and the UK in here, as well as the likes of China and Turkey-  the internet has remained relatively free. My biggest concern is that the internet, and the online community that we are continually shaping, becomes nothing more than a cyber re-creation of our every day lives.

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