More than 800 gathered today at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila for the opening of the Asia Water Forum 2018, focusing on “Information, Innovation, and Technology.” The forum—the fifth held at ADB headquarters since 2002—provides a platform to share knowledge and experiences to help ensure water security for the Asia and Pacific region. Participants included government officials, water and development professionals, and representatives from the private sector, academia, civil society, and media.
ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Mr. Seung-Soo Han, Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Indian Council for International Economic Relations Ms. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, and Chief Executive Officer of Suez Consulting Ms. Annelise Avril took part in the opening plenary panel on “Innovating the Future of Water.” ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Mr. Bambang Susantono gave opening remarks.
“About 300 million people in the Asia and Pacific region do not have improved access to water and 1.7 billion lack access to basic sanitation,” said Mr. Nakao. “Innovations and new technologies provide the means to help ADB developing member countries advance their water management including river basin management, flood control, and water pollution; and service delivery such as water supply, sanitation, and irrigation.”
This year’s forum features over four days a series of panels, leadership discussions, technical sessions, and workshops. The event is complemented by an exhibition of 48 international firms showcasing the latest water sector technologies and innovations, including artificial intelligence applied to real time river flow forecasting, drone technology for improved irrigation, solar powered pumps, and equipment that generates water from the air.
Water demand in the region is poised to grow by more than half by 2050, leaving up to 3.4 billion people facing water insecurity. Moreover, in 2016, disaster-related losses in Asia totaled $87 billion, of which about 25% was connected to flooding. Over the past 20 years, Asia has incurred half of the estimated global economic cost of water-related disasters.
ADB’s recently approved Strategy 2030 highlights the importance of water in the context of climate change, disaster resilience, the water-food-energy nexus, rural development and food security, and livable cities. ADB water projects have been using the latest technologies and innovations to improve development impact.
For example, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, ADB has been making the water supply system more reliable, sustainable, and climate-resilient through a project that uses an innovative zonal approach to rehabilitate and manage urban water services. The project resulted in a substantial reduction in nonrevenue water, used “trenchless” technology to quickly install pipe networks, and mobilized the local community to connect the urban poor to the water supply.
The Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Investment Program Project in Fiji—one of ADB’s first projects using Green Climate Fund finance—is reducing nonrevenue water and has expanded sanitation coverage through climate resilient supply intakes and a design-build-operate contract for management.
ADB is using satellite remote sensing to quantify agriculture productivity improvement and guide investments in the irrigation sector.
ADB is also doing substantial work to crowd in private finance and leverage domestic finance, which is another important element of Strategy 2030. For example in the People’s Republic of China, ADB supported a nonsovereign project with a comprehensive lake and river pollution prevention and rehabilitation program that involves multiple environmental interlocking facilities and services. By integrating infrastructure systems, the total project cost was reduced, and operational efficiency was improved.
Since its founding in 1966, ADB has spent a total of $45.88 billion on water projects. ADB’s active water sector operations amount to nearly $14 billion and this is growing—another $14 billion in investments is planned between now and 2020.
Choosing the Best Engine Hoist for your Garage
An engine hoist is an extremely valuable piece of equipment. It will allow you to remove an engine from a vehicle easily, without putting yourself or others in danger. People have been using ropes and pulleys for centuries to lift heavy objects – and some modern engine hoists work via the same principles. However, there are a few alternatives which offer distinct advantages.
So, what’s the best kind of engine hoist for your garage? Let’s look at choosing the best engine hoist for your next car repair job.
The manual hoist uses old-fashioned pulleys and cords to lift a heavy object. These tend to be the simplest option, and therefore the cheapest. Simply pull on the chain, and the other chain will move. The main drawback here is that the manual hoist needs to be suspended above the room. That means that you’ll need a suitably-rated ceiling that’s capable of carrying the load.
A manual chain can allow a single person to lift tonnes of weight, since the arrangement of pulleys will result in a larger transfer of force. The cost is that you’ll be moving the chain a large distance to move the engine just a small one.
Hydraulic hoists work using fluid, spread over multiple vessels. By reducing or increasing the amount of fluid in one vessel, you can change the amount of fluid in another, attached by a length of hose. In this way, you can push or pull heavy loads. A telescopic boom arm actually does the lifting, with the help of pumps, cylinders, and oil.
Hydraulic hoists are positioned on the ground rather than the ceiling, and they tend to come with plenty of castors so that they can be moved from one side of the workspace to the next. The relative mobility of the hydraulic hoist puts it at a considerable advantage over the mechanical one in situations where you need to be flexible. You can even use a hydraulic hoist outdoors.
The electric hoist is similar to the manual one, except that you don’t have to pull on the chain – an electric motor will do that for you. This makes life much more convenient – though you can expect to pay a little extra for the remote-control console. Electric hoists tend to be underpowered in comparison to hydraulic ones, which might be something to consider if you’re lifting loads heavier than a few hundred kilos.
Electric hoists tend to be operated by a single dangling button, which means that you might not have the same degree of precise control as you do on a manual hoist. For most applications, however, this won’t be an issue.
Tech Start-ups Key to Africa’s Digital Transformation but Urgently Need Investment
The World Economic Forum’s latest report, “Attracting Investment and Accelerating Adoption for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa” analyses the challenges Africa faces in joining the global knowledge-based digital economy and presents a set of tangible strategies for the region’s governments to accelerate the transition.
The Forum’s report, written in collaboration with Deloitte, comes just weeks after the announcement by Google of a $1 billion investment to support digital transformation across Africa, which centres on laying a new subsea cable between Europe and Africa that will multiply the continent’s digital network capacity by 20, leading to an estimated 1.7 million new jobs by 2025. Africa’s digital economy could contribute nearly $180 billion to the region’s growth by the by mid-decade. Yet with only 39% of the population using the internet, Africa is currently the world’s least connected continent.
Tech start-ups such as Kenya’s mobile money solution Mpesa and online retail giant Jumia, Africa’s first unicorn, represent what the continent’s vibrant small business sector is capable of. Despite raising $1.2 billion of new capital in 2020 – a six-fold increase in five years – this represents less than 1% of the $156 billion raised by US start-ups in the same year. Meanwhile, Africa’s investment in R&D was just 0.42% of GDP in 2019 – less than a quarter of the global average of 1.7%.
“African governments urgently need to drive greater investment in the tech sector and the knowledge economy,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Africa Division at the World Economic Forum. “Policy-makers can make a difference by reducing the burden of regulation, embedding incentives within legislation and investing in science and technology skills.”
The report breaks down these three policy enablers:
- Pass legislation such as “Start-up Acts” designed to spur private sector innovation, reduce the burden of regulation and promote entrepreneurship, in which Tunisia and Senegal are leading the way.
- Embed incentives for start-ups in legislation, such as start-up grants, rebates on efficiency gains through technology implementation, co-investment of critical infrastructure, tax-free operations for the early years, and incentives for R&D.
- Invest in workforce education, skills and competencies. Currently, only 2% of Africa’s university-age population holds a STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degree.
However, the analysis of 188 government incentives for business across 32 African countries finds that just 14 incentives – fewer than 10% – facilitate investment in Fourth Industrial Revolution technology. And most of these incentive schemes lack an efficient monitoring and evaluation system to gauge their effectiveness.
Delia Ndlovu, Africa Chair, Deloitte, believes that digital transformation promises to boost economic growth in Africa: “Connecting the region to the global digital economy will not only open new avenues of opportunity for small businesses, but will also increase intra-Africa trade which is low at 16% compared to markets such as intra-European trade which is approximately 65% to 70%.”
African governments have much to learn from each other. In Côte d’Ivoire, an R&D tax incentive has been created to direct investment away from commodities and into innovation. In South Africa, the Automotive Investment Transformation Fund created by the largest manufacturers in the country is facilitating the development of a diverse supplier base to realise the 60% local content target set by the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP). In Tunisia, the government offers state salaries for up to three start-up founders per company during the first year of operations, with a right to return to their old jobs if the venture fails.
Coding – what is it and what are the benefits?
Coding has become more popular in recent years with everyone from entrepreneurs, hobbyists, children and professionals. And with many different kits now available, it’s easier than ever to try your hand at coding.
If you’re unsure what coding is or where to begin, read on to discover more and find out the benefits of learning this new skill.
What is coding and what is it used for?
In a nutshell, coding is writing a set of instructions in a language understood by machines to enable a computer to follow to carry out a task. It’s used daily across the world in multiple applications from appliances to traffic systems and the motor industry.
With more of the world relying heavily on digital systems, there is an increased need for those who know how to code. But it’s not just for professionals. Anyone can now try their hand at coding and it’s increasingly popular amongst hobbyists who are creating exciting projects during their spare time.
A good place to start when thinking about coding as a hobby is by using a Raspberry Pi kit. Starter kits are great for beginners and allow you to develop your coding skills with everything you need in one package.
Benefits of learning to code
Whilst some benefits of learning to code such as future career options might be obvious, there are other advantages to this skill:
- You could become smarter – Coding can utilise the logical part of your brain which is useful for other tasks, not just the coding process. It can also be very creative if you use your coding skills to work on different projects.
- It increases your employability – and not just in the computer software industry. Skills learnt from coding are transferrable and the kind of qualities employers across many industries will be looking for.
- It helps you understand technology – By getting to grips with computer languages, you’ll learn how technology works at a base level – knowledge that will filter through to everyday life as well as in your career.
- Enhance problem solving skills – By learning to code you’ll learn how to address problems and, in turn, become skilled at solving them. Tools that will be transferred to other aspects of life.
- Enhances STEM learning for kids – Using coding tools as educational play will develop a child’s skills around science and technology – industries which are only going to increase in the near future.
- Coding is a universal language – so there are endless opportunities to learning this skill.
Whatever knowledge you have of coding, why not give it a go? You could be creating the next big robotics project, having fun playing games with your kids or even developing a new software programme in no time.
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