By Obinna Agommuo- Executor Director, Economic Strategic Growth And Development Initiative of Africa (ESGADIA)
In my previous articles, I wrote about the potentials in the abundant Renewable and Non-renewable resources in our great continent of Africa.
Today we are going to focus on the World’s largest renewable resource- ‘Water.’
It’s worthy of note that Water accounts for 70.8% of the World landmass and only 3% of this number is fresh water out of which only 1% of the 3% is available to humans to use and drink, the other 2% of fresh water is frozen in ice-capes or glaciers.
The Sea water contains one of the minerals of high commercial value, ‘Salt’.
Sea water or Salt water from our Ocean has a *Salinity* of 3.5%. This means every kilogram of Seawater has approximately 35 grams of dissolved salts in it.
Salt water can be processed and refined through ‘desalination process’ to produce edible table salt.
But what has happened to our Oceans in Africa that we chose to be importing Salt from other foreign economies?
Nigerian Governments for example waste Billions of Dollars in search of hydrocarbons and have projected to build more Oil Refineries even when we are told Fossil Fuel will lose its grip/drive of the world future economy. Why are our Governments and even the African Investors not looking into harnessing the great potentials in our Salt water or sea water (the Ocean)?
Today Australia ranks number one in Salt production and export. She prides herself as the country that salts the World, earning over $2 billion annually as revenue from salt production.
Lagos State with the huge resources available to her can take on projects of this nature from start to completion and likewise other states along the coast and bounded by the Sea; Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Ondo States are states with this enormous resource begging for exploitation. The “Sea never dries” they say. One, two or more of these States mentioned above can syndicate funds to build one Salt Refinery (Desalination) plant where some of our teeming unemployed youths can work and earn living. Jobs will also be created along the value change. The resultant fresh water can also be channeled to homes for use and for Drinking.
Lithium among other minerals trapped in salt water is in high demand globally. Lithium is derived through ion exchange i.e. separation from other ions present in the sea water.
The Federal Government, State Governments of the states earlier mentioned situated along the Coasts and Investors in the Private sector can invest in this field where the raw material is not far-fetched. We don’t need to pay for the raw material nor do we have to pay for labour to mine it before refining, it’s just there for us to harness.
May God help ESGADIA as we continue to explore areas that can animate growth and development in the Continent through Industrialization using our abundant natural resources. May our collective dream of One Youth, One Job for our young Africans becomes a reality in our own time.
_ESGADIA……….. animating Afro-economic growth through industrial revolution of the continent ._