Tag Results for Accra (5)

  1. Out of Africa: Giant air conditioners

    For the first time in five year I'm back in Accra, Ghana, the pearl of Angolophone West Africa. The biggest change I see in Ghana's capital city is the proliferation of giant, seven-foot tall air conditioners. That's right. Accra is the new Houston. Parts of the U.S. -- Vegas, Phoenix, Sacramento -- were only fully domesticated with the advent of relatively effective and efficient air conditioning. Yet the cooling technology that ignited the boom in the Sun Belt came during a long economic expansion in what once was the world's richest country. The arrival of super-duper air conditioners in Accra …

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  2. Out of Africa: Goodbye Solar, Hello Nuclear Power

    There is a curious, even strange and demented, technological trend underway in Ghana, a west African country which recently made a major oil discovery and boasts large hydro-electric resources. Ghana wants to go nuclear. The country may be bathed in sunshine. It may even have potential supplies of wind and thermal power. And Ghana can essentially "harvest" enormous amounts of electricity by vastly reducing "transmission losses" from its venerable Volta dam complex. And yet despite all these energy supplies, real and forecasted, Ghana's government is training hundreds of people in order to staff a planned nuclear-power plant that would …

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  3. Out of Africa: Alternative lighting

    The World Bank keeps raising the curtain on an unusual campaign to stimulate alternative and non-traditional sources of "off-grid" electricity for Africans. The World Bank's "Lighting Africa" initiative held its first business development conference last week, in Accra Ghana. The conference is the latest move by the initiative to link private businesses with African partners in the area of "off-grid" electricity â''Ã'ì solar, small hydro, wind, geothermal and other self-contained systems. The campaign is a big departure for the World Bank, which for decades has loaned money â''Ã'ì or helped back loans â''Ã'ì to national governments who built …

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  4. Out of Africa: a Hacker writes his final code

    One of my favorite Africans died the other day in Nairobi. Guido Sohne was a brilliant, if unheralded, software programmer who worked for Microsoft in Kenya. He was found dead in his living room. People discovered him when he didnâ''t turn up for work. Guido was 35 years old. He was best known as a tireless and passionate advocate for open-source software in Africa. His decision to join Microsoft last year represented a decisive turn for him technically, an attempt to build a bridge between proprietary and open approaches to codewriting. …

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  5. The Agonies of an African Programmer

    Last month during a brief stop in Nairobi, I tried to meet one of my oldest friends in Africa, Guido Sohne. The post-election riots were keeping him inside, however. â''I am not quite under house arrest,â'' he emailed me. But travel to the airport was too risky. Sohne is another of those people that I think of as living in â''the Africa nobody knows,â'' people who should not exist if you never read past the screaming headlines about disaster, disease and mayhem in Africa. Sohne is a big brain, one of the most important codewriters in sub-Saharan Africa, and …

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