BBtv World: Green tech and internet at the Songhai Center in Benin (Africa)

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14 Responses to “BBtv World: Green tech and internet at the Songhai Center in Benin (Africa)”

  1. mgfarrelly says:

    YES! Oh this is fantastic. Using green technology to help bootstrap African nations is such a laudable thing. Great story!

  2. christineprefontaine says:

    Father Nzamujo, Leonce, and the Songhai crew are inspirational. But those aren’t simply “insects” that feed the fish — they’re maggots. It’s a maggot farm. Seeing how they produce food from garbage was one of the highlights of visiting Songahi.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @christineprefontaine, you are right! That’s cool, you’ve visited too! The critters growing on that trash, which by the way smelled truly horrible, were maggots. I don’t know why I didn’t use that word, it’s more precise. Forgive me. The stuff they were feeding on included carcass waste, like, meat scraps and stuff, and was super rank in the hot Beninese sun… but I went to the center’s little restaurant and noshed on some fish grown on those mealygrubs. The fish was delish. The whole place was very cool.

  3. Joel Johnson says:

    So good.

  4. MrsBug says:

    Oh man, that’s the little pill of Hope I needed today! Lovely.

    You might also be interested in the work of Sustainable Harvest. Sounds similar.

  5. Baldhead says:

    That was awesome. And it seems the right way to do it. Take people with almost no infrastructure to be attached to and give them a new, better one than is used almost anywhere.

  6. wolfiesma says:

    WOW…that looks amazing. New word for the day: Biodigester.

    I’m going to look at all the video right now… but, are those quail eggs? They look so petite, and so edible! I like aid groups that provide chickens for eggs and goats for milk. That sort of thing. These folks are miles of head of anyone I know on the solar thing. Great job.

  7. tbell1 says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for posting this. I lived in Benin in the early 90′s while in the Peace Corps. I would love to go back and visit one of these centers.

  8. wolfiesma says:

    We get some pretty gnarly grubby maggoty looking things in our compost. I figure they can chow down on a lot of kitchen scraps and eventually they just sort of get mixed back in with the soil.

    Feeding them to fish is so smart. Fish farms have a reputation for being polluting, but on a small scale it seems like a good way to raise food.

    Xeni- first you interview David Byrne and then you go to Africa to report on this? You are too cool for school.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Lovely BB post. I do have a question though regarding the t-mobile commercial…anyone know the group who is playing the song in it? Sounds like a country-type song. I can’t seem to find out anywhere what it’s from.

  10. Leoncesessou says:

    Xeni,
    Thanks for posting this. I just want to add some ideas. As you said, the Songhai model is based on the interelationship between environmental resources, agriculture, technology industry and services. It also explicity incoporates a human capacity develpment component, an integrated package of technical, managerial, value based leadership and entrepreneurial skill development. The model therefore creates opportunities for rural communities to participate in the sustainable use and management of their local resources while promoting local economic development. In this business, we call it “business unusual”, Songhai acts as a mother enterprise surounded by small agri-entreprises created by the young graduates. This experience is recognized globally as one of Africa based initiatives which achieved notable success in addressing rural growth and poverty. It has been highlighted last year during the UN South-South Cooperation Conference as one of the best practices that have to be promoted for South-South cooperation. Hence the UN system in partnership with some African governments is scaling up the model ensuring that its services benefit the Africa region (this is the vision of its founder Fr Godfrey Nzamujo). 12 countries and 5 UN agencies are already involved in this project that will progessively be extended to the others.

  11. marksurman says:

    Great piece, Xeni. The Songhai people are amazing. I am glad you got to share they’re story. Fun.

  12. ansel says:

    Awesome project, great video. Thank you BB. We need more of these centers, everywhere, including in US cities.

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