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新闻万花筒:VOA视角之电力不足阻碍非洲业务发展

1 2113 分享 来源:必克英语 2015-02-11

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Scourge of Power Outages Holding Business Back in Africa

Power outages are a fact of life across much of Africa, with the near-daily blackouts affecting rich and poor countries alike.

A small business in Nairobi that began as a party supply outfit has expanded to serve restaurants and supermarkets - moving more than a ton of ice a day, while their custom-made ice sculptures decorate State House events.

It's an entrepreneurial success story. But Betty Mbithe, office manager of The Ice Man company, said the limits of the country's power supply puts the business in jeopardy.

“Sometime last year when we had three days without power, and we couldn't operate at all, because the machines need power, the cold room needs power, and no work can go on without any power,” she said.

To keep their swans cold and to keep their customers happy, the Ice Man needs a 24-hour supply of power, but relying on Kenya's grid is proving costly, said Mbithe.

“It is a difficult business, especially if the power is high, because everything you make goes to the power, we pay back to the government for power,” Mbithe said.

Africa is facing enormous power challenges. Some 600 million Africans have no access to electricity at all. That is 60% of the population.

Africa consumes less power than any other region in the world, but pays nearly the same average tariffs as the United States, and about twice as much as East Asia.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland this year, African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka said energy shortages are holding countries back.

“At this moment, every single African country is experiencing energy shortages and power outages. That is costing the continent 2% of GDP. In fact, an African leader says that we are a continent of miracles. If we are growing at 5% without enough electricity, think about what we could do if we had enough electricity,” said Kaberuka.

The African Development Bank says weak infrastructure is the biggest challenge to electricity distribution.

Even richer nations like South Africa and Nigeria have fallen behind because of a lack of investment in power generation.

While each nation presents its own challenges, Kaberuka said increasing the trade of energy across borders may help to create more consistent supplies and bring down prices.

“It is not possible for our individual 54 countries to have energy security from their own domestic resources. We have to create viable regional markets for power. And that is possible,” he said.

Investors are pouring money into renewable energy projects in Africa to help lessen the energy gap, but much more is needed.

Africa's booming population, expected to double by 2050, will continue to put pressure on power supplies.

And failure to improve generation could mean a lot of lost opportunity.

词汇解析

community

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

n.社区;社会;公众;共同体;团体;共享;共有;[生]群落

参考例句

用作名词 (n.)

Community colleges have become popular and their enrollments have increased rapidly.

社区大学日渐增多,报名人数迅速增长。

The political community is composed of a number of diverse economic and functional groups.

政治共同体由一系列在经济上和功能上不同的团体组成。

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private

难度:5星基本词汇,属常用1000词

英汉解释

adj.私人的;个人的;私下的;私有的;缄默的

n.士兵;列兵

参考例句

用作形容词 (adj.)

The public is fascinated by the private lives of public figures.

公众对社会名流的私生活具有浓厚的兴趣。

用作名词 (n.)

Soldiers are classified as Private, Specialist Sergeant and Master Sergeant.

士兵分为列兵、专业军士、军士长。

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competition

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

n.竞争;比赛

参考例句

用作名词 (n.)

Everyone in modern society faces keen competitions.

现代社会的每个人都面临着激烈的竞争。

To our satisfaction, he had got the first prize in the diving competition.

我们满意的是,他在跳水比赛中获得了一等奖。

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so-called

pinlv: hanyin:

英汉解释

adj.<贬>号称的;所谓的

参考例句

用作形容词 (adj.)

There is no so-called "recipe for success".

所谓“成功的诀窍”是不存在的。

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provided

难度:5星基本词汇,属常用1000词

英汉解释

conj.假如;若是

adj.预备好的;提供的

动词provide的过去式和过去分词.

参考例句

用作连词 (conj.)

Provided that circumstances permit, we shall hold the meeting next week.

只要情况允许,我们下周将举行会议。

用作形容词 (adj.)

To get these features working you first have to install the software provided.

获得这些功能的工作,你首先必须安装该软件提供的。

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patience

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

n.耐心;忍耐;毅力

参考例句

用作名词 (n.)

Her endless patience made her the best nurse in the hospital.

无限的耐心使她成为这个医院最好的护士。

Learning to walk again after his accident required great patience.

他出事后重新学习走路要有极大的毅力。

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flee

难度:4星核心词汇,属常用3000词

英汉解释

vi.逃走;消失;逃避;(时间)飞逝

vt.逃离

参考例句

用作不及物动词 (vi.)

He tried to flee from the police in a stolen car.

他企图驾驶一辆偷来的车从警察局逃走。

He should not flee from responsibility.

他不应逃避责任。

用作及物动词 (vt.)

Many refugees have been forced to flee their homeland.

很多难民被迫逃离了祖国。

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