Africa’s energy resources have the ability to create sources of economic growth. Creating beneficial deals have been difficult, until now.

Business deals with energy companies, associations, and beneficial investments are the wisest strategies to promote sustainability in global economies. Africa has begun to utilize their developmental resources.

The International Energy Agency (IEA)states that with the growing appetite for modern and efficient energy sources, Africa emerges as a major force in global oil and gas markets. In the natural gas markets, Africa is projected to see a substantial growth as it becomes one of the largest sources for global gas.  IEA Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol gives her take on the importance of Africa’s energy.

 “How Africa meets the energy needs of a fast-growing and increasingly urban population is crucial for its economic and energy future – and the world.”

The commentary by Dr Faith Birol addresses the promising view of Africa’s resources and how they are valuable and substantial to Africa’s growth, as well as global economies.

NJ Ayuk, the author of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals states that Africa has been an oil-market force for decades. In Africa, the oil and gas sector in Algeria is said to be the main foundation for the economy, it represents 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and a sum of 85 percent in exports. Angola produces 50 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product and around 89 per cent of exports from oil and related functions. Congo is a net exporter and producer of crude oil. 10 percent of (GDP) gross domestic product from Nigeria comes from the oil and gas market. Exports of petroleum produces an estimated 86 per cent of total exported revenue.

Presently, the largest refinery is located in Nigeria. Analysts predict that by 2022—650, 000 barrels of crude oil should be produced by the day. The refinery has created thousands of jobs, with hundreds of technicians and engineers from Nigeria studying in different countries on how to manage it.

More oil and gas representatives have come forth but oil and gas lawyer, NJ Ayuk remembers the need for African representatives early on in his career.

“Africans were not part of any kind of deal-making structure: When negotiations involving foreign investors’ oil and gas exploration, production, and revenue-sharing took place, Africans were not at the table—or even in the room.”

But now, as news spreads about Africa’s impact on the oil and gas sectors, African oil and gas representatives and investors may finally begin to make better deals. Africa Oil Week has reported Africa’s deals with oil investments, and billions of dollars will be invested towards the development of continental hydrocarbons. Five specific regions that are located in Nigeria, Mozambique, Egypt, Mauritania, and Equatorial Guinea have been named the hot spots in oil and gas development and investment. BP, Noble Energy and other oil and gas companies from around the world have expressed an interest in the natural resource hot spots located in Africa.

How Technology Can Cut School Costs

The role of education in life is changing at all levels with continuing education keeping individuals in school throughout most of their lives. As the educational environment evolves, the reliance on technology is growing at a fast rate with schools and students hoping to keep costs low by increasing the level of technology used. Across the world, government cuts to educational programs are changing the way we look at the traditional school day. D2L reports school-age students in Germany are facing spending levels ten percent lower than those seen in 2008 meaning new ways of obtaining information must be found.

Less reliance on printed resources

The first benefit any student or educator will identify when using technology is the lower cost involved in using digital platforms instead of traditional textbooks. Scholastic explains private-public partnerships can play a major role in developing technology-based learning platforms where information is sent directly to tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices.

One of the costliest aspects of the educational experience for administrators, educators, and students is the use of paper textbooks which can be outdated in a short period of time. The use of digital materials allows a textbook can be automatically updated and corrected remotely without a great deal of extra expense for an academic institution.

Numbers are less important

No matter what form of academic course is being explored, technology can play an important role in providing learning materials for every student. Charter schools are often seen as the major users of technology for their students as highlighted in this recent article. Online MCAT practice and the development of skills across the board makes it easy for technology benefits to be identified. Educational costs are an important factor for all institutions but the private sector is often seen as leading the way forward by lowering costs.

Private-public partnerships are a good way of lowering costs across all platforms with the scalable nature of technological platforms important to most administrators. In the past, schools would be forced to purchase a specific number of physical textbooks and materials. Switching to an Online-based platform allows more resources to be purchased through a private-public partnership program.

Visual learning environments

One of the most important developments of recent years has been the introduction of Visual Learning Environments, often referred to as VLE. These Online platforms are based around the ability of an educator to release information at specific times and in a style suited to each learner.

The traditional learning materials and environments are no longer enough to allow a student to achieve their potential through the introduction of new learning activities. Online platforms allow learning options such as Online games, videos, and audio all being used to lead individuals to their potential.

As yourself and your student move through the educational system of the 21st-century, you will find the reliance on technology continues to grow. The introduction of a VLE at the U.K.’s Nottingham University led to more than 80 percent of students increasing their study time because of the ease of use. Pass rate increases have also been directly linked to the use of a VLE with the pass rate at Mohawk College rising by an impressive 20 percent following the use of a Visual Learning Environment.

Smart Cities: Addressing Old Challenges with Modern Technologies

Is your city a city of the future? Is it on its way to becoming a “smart city” that’s well-equipped to face enduring problems with new technological solutions? On that note, what is a smart city, anyway? How is the term used, and in line with what goals for a city?

A city is considered a “smart city” when it engages its citizens via a high level of electronic and intelligent infrastructure. A smart city employs technological solutions to manage a number of assets, ranging from its information systems, transport systems, and healthcare systems, to energy infrastructure, educational institutions, and law enforcement assets.

Utilizing principles like the Internet of things, a smart city harnesses technology in the public sphere by using real-time control systems and sensors to record data, manage public assets, and efficiently use public resources. The rationale of a smart city, then, is to improve the citizens’ quality of life and fulfill the mandate of public service with these technologies.

On that note, what are some of the urban challenges met and addressed by today’s smart cities via new and evolving forms of technology? Read on about four of these key issues here.

Health management

One of the foremost challenges of a city is being able to meet its citizens’ healthcare needs, and regulating the healthcare situation both in public and private institutions. One innovation that a city can consider in order to become “smarter” about its health policy is the use of AI solutions for health management. In particular, using AI in initiatives that deal with population health can help a city analyze and process high volumes of health-related data from its citizens. This includes collecting and organizing information about health and illness issues that are unique to the city, as well as studying and predicting health trajectories for specific groups of citizens in order to properly address their most pressing health concerns.

Environmental management

Also key to sustaining any city’s overall development is its environmental management. A city can level up to a smarter status by adopting more modern waste management solutions such as smart refuse and recycling bins and air quality monitoring equipment. Solutions like these pave the way for smarter strategies in improving the city’s air quality, energy savings, recycling capabilities, and solid waste management.

Utilities management

Closely tied to the environmental aspect is that of utilities management. In the utilities sector, cities can take on smarter solutions with smart grids, smart meters, and smart water and electricity monitoring, among others—thus granting utilities provider and citizens greater savings, resource control, and levels of cleanliness in their areas of jurisdiction and residences, respectively.  

Traffic management

In the area of traffic management, obvious tools that can be added to a smart city’s arsenal are quality CCTV security cameras and traffic or street light sensors. Wise usage of these tools can lead to the reduction of congestion in public roads, better street lighting, and noise reduction in places where sound pollution is deemed undesirable. One success story in this vein is Cambridge Transport’s Smart Traffic Management project, which utilizes centrally controlled traffic signals and sensors to regulate traffic in the city of Cambridge in the UK. The system adequately manages vehicles that approach junctions, smoothens incoming traffic flow in real time, and facilitates quick responses to traffic accidents.

More intriguing questions come to light as the concept of smart cities materializes worldwide. What efforts has your local government taken to make your city a smarter one? In what new, groundbreaking ways will technology affect everyday life within your city? The items above are just some of the starting points in terms of the challenges that need to be continually addressed by cities. Overcoming them in the interest of innovation, sustainability, good governance, and civil participation is something that can be made possible by adopting best practices in smart city development.

Carbon Fiber: The Future of Automotive?

The automobile industry is one of the most dynamic engineering industries. Research and development constantly refines the industry with new concepts and designs introduced by the day. The need for durable, stable, and reliable auto parts characterizes the nature of the developments.

Recently, for instance, the auto industry has expressed the need for cars to have stronger frames to withstand the high-velocity stresses of motorsports.

In response to these inherent challenges, the auto sports sector, through engineering, has led to the discovery of suitable technologies that make cars more durable, lightweight, and reliably stable.

One such discovery is carbon fiber, which has displayed qualities that makes it seem like it’s the future for automobile construction and car parts, owing to the numerous comparative benefits that it offers.

Engineered to perfection following extensive research and testing, carbon fiber technology has been proven to increase the performance of cars.

What Is Carbon Fiber?

Carbon fiber is a composite material composed of carbon polymers, which are individually made of carbon atoms, the same material that composes diamonds.

The layout and alignment of the atoms in carbon fiber polymers shows a structure that is incredibly stable. Carbon fiber is composed of layered carbonic atom strands laid side by side to make a thin but stable and strong sheet.

These sheets are normally structurally bonded using an epoxy resin, which also makes it easy to mold the layers to different shapes.

The Use of Carbon Fiber in the Automobile Industry

Due to its strength and weight, the use of carbon fiber for car parts is a revolutionary idea.

The fact that it can be molded into numerous shapes implies that the composite can be used for virtually any part of a car.

For example, most motorsport cars, which need strength and structural integrity, have carbon fiber frames and sheets.

In addition to the chassis, such cars can also have numerous parts made of carbon fiber, such as the individual panels that make the outer skin, as well as the seats, drive shafts, spoiler, and front grill.

Benefits of Carbon Fiber Car Parts

Carbon fiber offers several benefits. Firstly, the material is incredibly strong due to the manner in which it is cured and bonded together. This quality means that it can withstand massive strain.

Secondly, being nonmetallic, parts made from the material cannot rust, therefore ensuring long-term durability and the ability to survive harsh elements.

Also, although they’re individually expensive than conventional metallic parts, carbon fiber car parts, because of their durability, are less frequently replaced than the regular ones. In the long term, one can save on costs with carbon fiber than normal materials.


The invention of carbon fiber composite materials and the research into the technology have led to numerous applications of the material.

Their use when manufacturing automobiles yields innumerable benefits as outlined above. With further research and development, carbon fiber may become more cost effective for making cars than today’s current materials.

As carbon fiber becomes more common, ordinary mass-produced cars may increasingly be made using the material.


Cyborg Implants And The Rise Of The Human Cyborgs

In the late 1970’s people watched a science fiction film created by Martin Caidin entitled ‘Cyborg’. It featured how an individual lost an arm and a limb but was immediately replaced with mechanical prosthetics using cyber technology. These bionic replacements were stronger and powerful than the original replaced extremities.

Inspired with this new fictional concept, it was made into a TV series where people got glued to watch ‘The Six Million Dollar Man”. The ‘Bionic Woman’ was a spin-off of the former. Today, nobody would ever think, even in his wildest dreams that cyber fiction on lost organs and limbs can now be a reality, that is, actual restoration through cyborg implants. Sutherland, W. (2009) explained that “the term cyborg was initially coined by NASA scientists Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline in 1960 when they discussed hypothetical advantages of human-machines in space.

Today, cyborg implants are real. They are part- machine, part- biological organism which can be used for medical and scientific purposes to include military/ law/ intelligence enforcement purposes. When it comes to modern medical technology, there were significant medical breakthroughs intended to improve patient care, deliver longer life expectancy and the right quality of life. The expectations in this field go over and beyond. For example, Divorsky, G. (2012) discusses the recent breakthrough on powering implants in the brain: “MIT engineers have developed a fuel cell that can run on your brain’s own glucose_ a breakthrough that could result in powerful neural prosthetics that could restore and control a number of bodily functions”. According to SCImago Journal and County Rank Journal (2013),

“You can now find cyborg implants being used in each body organ of the human body. Most likely, medical implants must be accompanied with biomechanical features as good as those of tissues arising from within without any adverse effects. Studies of the long-term effects of medical implants in very human anatomical site must be carefully calculated in order to ensure accuracy, safety and effective performance of the implants”. Nowadays, surgery cyborg implants demand an interdisciplinary cooperation of a number of qualified and exceptional consultants. A good example is the successful cochlear implants that required the involvement of audio specialists, medical audio experts, speech and language teachers, and other professions involved with repairing and curing hearing-impaired and deaf individuals”.

Taking up several challenges ahead and in quest for effective and sustainable solutions, cyber research technology is now into laser and advanced implant systems, complemented with thermo-fluid dynamics, mechanics, nanoelectronics, metrology and numeric simulation to bioprocess, biomechanics, other variant bio-systems.

Believe it or not but the following individuals were benefitted from the cyber research technology through cyborg implants. Nelson, B. (2013) presents a few out of the seven recorded actual cyborg patients who benefitted from Cybernetics.
“One is Neil Harbisson was born with extreme color blindness. Equipped with a cyborg eye, he now is adapted to a device implanted in his brain that renders perception of colors as sound on a musical scale. This device allows Harbisson to ‘hear’ a color. Next is Kevin Warwick, a Professor in a University in United Kingdom. Using himself as guinea pig, he experimented by inserting microchips in his arm to perform several functions that allowed him to operate a heater, doors and light.

Nelson, B. (2013) continues by explaining that “Cyber technology is most immediately helpful for amputees like Jesse Sullivan. Sullivan was equipped with new robotic limbs, connected to his nervous systems, capable of functioning like normal limbs. Lastly, Jens Naumann was struck with both blind eyes. He became the first recipient of an artificial vision system which is connected directly to his visual cortex through brain implants”.
All these real-life cyborg individuals volunteered to become cyborg, half-man, half machines. All of them are said to be inspiring harbingers of the future. At least none of them were converted as “Terminators”_ at least not for the time being.

The future is here. Cyborg implants as major component s of Cyborg technology or Cybernetics have already made several steps of advancement to a point where it is now safe to say that bionic humans are no longer stuff of science fiction. All individuals who subject themselves to become recipients of cyborg technology are said to be inspiring harbingers of the future. At least, none of them function as “Terminators” for the time being.
What holds Cyborg technology in the future? Cybernetics will continue to provide more freedom and improve life to quadriplegics, the blind imprisoned in their world of darkness, the deaf and other people who will seamlessly need synthetic replacement parts that will gain widespread acceptance and use. However, there is the trepidation that the cyborg technology will hopefully not be used to control human mind unethically or that will violate human rights.

The Top 10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change the World

Technology is growing at an exponential rate and there are no two ways about it, it is impacting our lives. We have listed 10 emerging technologies that are destined to change the world for good.

Number 10: Screenlesss Displays

businessman with financial symbols coming from hand

Businessman with financial symbols coming from his hand

Screenlesss displays would utilize the transmission of information without the requirement of actually having a physical screen. As you’ve probably seen in The Avengers, this emerging technology has numerous advantages such as presenting 3-D images, far point images, good brightness and contrast levels as well as a large angle of view. These would also be lightweight, provide far better privacy, and will ultimately revolutionize entertainment as a whole.

Number 9: Virtual Reality

VR headset

Picture of a man with a futuristic headset

As Jamiroquai predicted many years ago the future is in fact made of virtual insanity. Three decades after virtual reality goggles and immersive virtual worlds made their debut, this technology is poised to become a technological revolution among consumers. It’s all being spearheaded by Oculus Rift which is a virtual reality headset company that has recently been bought by Facebook for $2 billion. That’s a lot of dollars, but virtual reality has predominantly focused on gaming so far which is a bigger market currently than the movie industry. Users will be immersed to a level where they’ll feel like they’re experiencing the game in real life, something that could surely be replicated for movies no doubt. Ultimately though, you can enter a virtual world in the comfort of your living room. And the things that this can be used for – who knows at this stage?

Number 8: Holographic Television


The next generation of TV won’t just stop at 4K, and after 3D flopped, holographic television will make it so that it’s not just about the screen size and its quality, but rather about the viewing area. MIT researchers have already created a chip, able to render a holographic display at 50 Gigapixels per second. Just like you’ve already seen this technology in action in the fictional film James Cameron’s Avatar. Think about it, eventually you will be able to project holograms from your phone whilst also benefiting other fields like medicine, security, and just general data.

Number 7: Wireless Electricity

Wireless powered home

Wireless powered home

The fact that we can wirelessly charge our gadgets and phones is kind of proof enough that there is a structure we can build upon, in terms of wireless electricity something which I used to talk about as a joke because surely that’s impossible. But no! It’s something that’s happening and should be emerging within the next decade. Several companies are developing electric hubs capable of powering up to an entire house which is made capable by research being carried out by MIT. This concept is based on electromagnetic waves making it simple for the transference of energy while electricity can be transferred between objects that are resonating at the same frequency. Call me old fashioned, but I’m not sure I feel comfortable about the idea of wirelessly powered things all across my house. Even if it’s not touching you, do you want electricity going through you? It sounds weird.

Number 6: Hypersonic Trains

hypersonic train

Very high-speed train going through the
shanghai lujiazui financial center .

Japan, inventor of the world’s first bullet train, is currently working on a floating training powered by magnets which will travel 100 miles per hour faster than current bullet trains which are around 300 mph. The maglev train which stands for magnetic levitation, will run between Tokyo and Osaka and will cost $64 billion which seems like an expensive thing to spend on a train. 64 billion? Are we even sure about this? Anyway it is said to be completed by 2045. But scientists at Southwest Jiaotong University in China have already built a maglev train that could reach 1800 mph. But technology behind it, is that a vacuum is used to minimize the resistance. Now, China already has a functional maglev that goes to 270 mph while Elon Musk, cofounder of Tesla motors, PayPal, and SpaceX revealed the Hyperlink in 2013, a train that would get passengers from San Francisco to LA in only 30 minutes. Musk said it would never crash, will be immune to weather, which is a hell of a thing to say, it would go twice as fast as an airplane, four times as fast as a bullet train, and to top it off, it would run completely on solar power. If we’re not living in the future yet, then we hopefully will be soon.

Number 5: Neurohacking

future brain

Female doctor doing checkup of human brain using futuristic computer technology

Neuroscientists are developing methods to read people’s minds. Sure, like you do, but they’re doing with machines obviously, you know, like in films, this has been in the work for decades but considerable progress is being made by top researchers as technology advances at an alarming rate. By decoding brain waves that translate electrical activity from the brain, it would bring about significant advantages such as the people who suffer from dementia, depression or who have complications with neurotransmitters, relaying thoughts into speech, or holding thoughts long enough to relay them before verbally, that are kind of forgotten by our brains. The disadvantages and kind of a problem with me the most would be the science and machines would have direct access to our thoughts leading to the possibility of ghost hacking, a concept where minds are manipulated and controlled from a remote source. As certainly as it sounds and far-fetched, it’s not beyond the realm of plausibility if you consider the Church-Turing thesis of computational compatibility, it’s is a hell of a mouthful, as well as accounting for cognitive computational-ism, it can be assumed future human minds will be linked to computer systems in some way. Creepy, but maybe useful.

Number 4: Invisibility

invisible man

Invisible man

Ha ha, yes, cloaking engaged. You know, as opposed to the unrealistic concepts of time travel and teleportation, invisibility cloaks do actually already exist. It’s true, they were seen in a James Bond film. Seriously in 2011 researchers developed an invisibility cloak, able to hide tiny objects err, around the size of a red blood cell. Fair enough, that is tiny, isn’t it? The cloak is created via artificial materials called metamaterials which hide the object by altering the light that hits it. See? It actually is a lot like that thing in James Bond. Anyway, scientists are now working on re-creating this cloak for larger objects. Useful. Just imagine, you could use it to avoid dodgy social situations, you know? Maybe you wanna hear what people are really saying about you when you leave the room, because obviously every time you leave the room everybody is talking about you. No, you’re not being paranoid, it’s true. But finally when you’ve got this invisibility cloak, you’ll be able to hear exactly what those gits are saying.

Number 3: Flying Cars

Flying carr

Flying cars are actually not that far away.

With self-driving cars now almost a reality, the concept of flying cars seems somehow more plausible, or at least safer. Of course it’s something that people have been working on for almost half a century. It’s kind of the dream, personal flying cars. Many prototypes in the past have been created but most have proved to be dangerous/deadly with many killing its inventors because funnily enough, unless you’re the person who has invented a flying car, some people don’t want to try it. However some manufacturers have actually started making these cars; of course there’s an untold amount of problems with flying cars including flight paths, regulations, safety, fuel efficiency, landing zones, noise, and obviously training people to do it. Some people struggle to pass normal driving tests. However, according to researchers it’s not out of the question to see it come to fruition by 2025 at the current rate of technological advances.

Number 2: 3D printing

3d printer

3D printing is already taking off in a big way, so much so that people are actually making houses with them. Yes, apparently. That’s insane! A 3D printer prints laser material all on on top of the previous to produce a real physical model allowing it to create nearly any shape, even those that can’t be made by traditional manufacturing methods. Well, the technology is currently very costly and slow, it will eventually be able to produce more robust parts quickly and cheaply as technology advances. One day, you’ll hopefully be able to print your own phone, your own home, your own car, and who knows what else. In the medical world they’ve even managed to do 3D printing of flesh. So, yeah, may be print yourself another liver. Go nuts!

Number 1: Autonomous Robots

ex machina

Futurists believe that as soon as 2030 a technological singularity will emerge with the leading theory being that artificial intelligence in the form of autonomous robots might rival humans in independent thinking and creativity. In Layman’s terms, machines will surpass humans in intelligence. Although, we’re probably not approaching a Skynet style scenario, scientists are worried about whether adequate measures are being taken to safeguard humans from our robotic and digital creations. Fully realize robotic machines have become widespread in medical technology and scientific development, for example, you know, enabling those with paralysis to move their limbs. Unlike today’s robots which generally work in the confined environment, the next generation will have much more autonomy and freedom to move on their own. We already see this with driverless cars and delivery drones.

Google, the company spearheading the self-driving car industry and super intelligent AI research, has already purchased a robot making company. Boston Dynamics affirmed that they have AI machines that can run up to 29 mph and traverse rocky terrain that was bought by Google for $3 billion in its latest purchase. In any case it’s ultimately exciting to envision a world full of robots even if obviously it does leave me worried that they will eventually destroy us all similar to the beautiful and cunningly intelligent AI human-like robots envisioned in Ex Machina (2015) by Alex Garland.