Africa Wake Up Call: 'Oil drilling' to shift to moon
By Chief Charles O. Okereke, Nigeria Masterweb
Whatever has a beginning has an ending, and that is the reason why it is advantageous to have alternative choices. Most of Africa has made the choice of natural resource dependency, generally due to poor leadership. Countries are living off one resource or another, and have kept blind eyes to industrialization. Devastating wars have been fought, and are still been fought for the control of these resources by rival ethnic groups. In these countries, the government is the largest employer of labor. Selfish tyrants in the guise of patriotic leaders have seized power with the barrel of the gun raped and looted the national treasury. Colonial Africa in terms of economic growth made giant strides, and makes a mockery of post independence Africa. Oil has been the biggest industry for economically redundant countries, most of which are in Africa and the middle east. Africa with all her oil and other natural resources is still refered to as 'the sleeping giant'.
The worst is still yet to come for Africa, unless it puts its house in order immediately. The 3He isotope(Helium 3), might be the next major source of power in the world, if research at University of Wisconsin-Madison continues as expected. Helium 3 has been found in abundance in the Moon's regolith just below the surface of its maria. It is a resource worth mining and bringing to Earth; it is more valuable than oil, gold, diamond, or even enriched uranium. The Moon's Helium 3 is worth about 3 billion dollars(US) a tonne. The Moon has enormous reserves of Helium 3, in the order of one million metric tonnes. According to reports, one metric tonne of helium 3 will generate enough electricity for Nigeria for two years. Helium 3 can be mined and processed in to liquid form for utilization on earth. The projections for commencement of such project are as follows, ten years at the earliest, and fifty years at the latest. Helium 3 can be used in fusion reactors producing 'clean' electricity, with little or no radioactive waste, unlike present nuclear reactors. Research studies have shown that a 20 ton lunar mining machine, brought to the Moon could collect the regolith and using solar energy extract the 3He which could be ferried to the earth. By-products of the extraction would include water, nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, all extremely valuable life support elements for lunar colonies.
It was coal then, oil now, and would be Helium 3 in the near future. Is Africa prepared for this transition that might bring her to her knees economically. To very few African countries the answer might be a small 'yes'. To the oil dependent economies including Nigeria(the giant of Africa), the answer is a big 'NO'. Man would be able to land and explore other planets from the moon, and the chances are that more minerals might be found in abundance in these planets. On this note, the entire earth might yield its vital natural resources to lunar mining. The natural resource dependent countries would bear the brunt, as they would be thrown out of the world market. What these countries could not do in natural abundance, I doubt they could achieve in famine.
Africa should wake up, I mean now, to take control of her destiny. The party and inept days are numbered. Globalization and possible loss of natural economic might, could spell another slavery, but this time economic enslavement. Agriculture might be a way out, but as it stands the west enjoys comparative advantage due to her technology and political stability. The time for Africa is now, and the place is here on earth. A word is enough for the wise. Nigeria turns forty one years today. Happy birthday Nigeria! The time for you 'giant of Africa' is now, because a fool at forty is a fool forever.
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