The tall man has done so much in athletics that no one could blame him if he chose to skip out of the 2017 season. He is the best sprinter in history and stands shoulder to shoulder with Ali, Pele and Jordan in an elite group of the best sportsmen of all time. His farewell season won’t be easy. Many of his 100m rivals are young and ambitious. Don’t let the smiles fool you. Andre De Grasse, the 22 year-old Canadian World and Olympic bronze medallist, has a lot to gain from a victory over Bolt in London next year at the World Championships. So does Trayvon Brommell, who tied with De Grasse for bronze at the 2015 Worlds. Yohan Blake, Jamaica’s other 100m World Champion, might be in the mix too. His personal best of 9.69 seconds is faster than Bolt has run since his super run of 9.63 to win the Olympic gold in 2012. Yet, despite the youth of De Grasse and Bromell, the potential Blake still has, and the energy that 35-year-old Justin Gatlin might marshall in what could be his last hurrah, Bolt will be the favourite in London. That makes perfect sense. Should he close his career there with a win as expected, no one should grudge him his wish to retire. Like Rosberg and Marciano, it is far better for the tall man to walk away on top. – Hubert Lawrence has watched Bolt at Boys and Girls Championships, the World Championships and the Olympic Games. HISTORY’S BEST Imagine you’re Usain Bolt jetting home from the London premiere of I Am Bolt when news of the Nico Rosberg’s retirement hits. Five days after clinching the Formula 1 drivers championship, Rosberg stepped out of the cockpit permanently. If you were Bolt, the news of a freshly minted champion heading for the hills at 31 years old probably strengthened the resolve to go off track forever. The German, world champion just once, said he’d reached a lifelong goal. The tall Jamaican has been World Champion seven times and Olympic champion six times and is just a year younger than Rosberg. His growing lack of motivation is, therefore, understandable. Another sign became evident last week in Monaco at the IAAF Gala when he revealed that he’d given up his favourite event, the 200m. That announcement made me sit up and take notice. Bolt is even better at 200m than he is at 100m, with three Olympic gold medals, four World Championship golds and a silver tucked away in his trophy case. For him to give that up, he really must be sensing the end. Rosberg’s sudden retirement may have convinced Bolt that he is picking the right time to go. The German made a bit of Formula 1 family history. He and his Finnish father Keke are only the second father and son duo to be champions of that sport’s premier circuit racing competition. The British pair Graham and Damon Hill were the first. The king of retiring on top is Rocky Marciano. Marciano knocked out 43 opponents in a 49-fight heavyweight career and left the ring in 1955 as a world champion with an unblemished record. Between them, Rosberg and Marciano form a great example to Bolt to retire on top.
Reports filtering in from the U. S. capital, Washington D.C., Tuesday, November 12, said Liberia with backing from the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) has garnered support for a far-reaching renewable energy investment plan worth $50 million from the Climate Investment Fund, (CIF) through a program known as Scale up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP).Endorsement of the Liberian investment plan took place during the just-concluded weeklong CIF governing body meetings in Washington, DC, U.S.A.According to the African Press Organization, (APO) Liberia will use these resources to bolster its intention to reach a 35 percent electrification rate by 2030, a critical step forward for the country with less than two percent of its population receiving electricity. The plan is designed to help increase energy access through off-grid electricity schemes based on small hydro, solar PV, biomass, and hybrid systems.As a first step, the report said Liberia would use a $1.5 million SREP project preparation grant to develop an AfDB-supported project entitled Renewable Energy for Electrification in Eastern Liberia.“At AfDB, we are very pleased to support Liberia as it takes this transformational step,” stated Florence Richard-Quintanilha, AfDB’s task manager for the preparation of the Liberia plan.She continued: “Countries like Liberia face the enormous double challenge of providing badly-needed access to energy while at the same time applying the relevant climate-friendly solutions. We believe that Liberian citizens stand to benefit greatly from this plan; indeed, we hope that increasing access to affordable and safe energy in rural areas of the southeast will support greater development in this nation damaged by civil war.”“With this plan, the AfDB executive intimated, “Liberia stands ready to become an example for other fragile states in Africa trying to increase energy access and diversify their energy mix through renewable ( a source of energy that is not depleted by use, like water, wind, etc).”The APO report (in the Daily Observer’s possession), said the plan is designed to be carried out in two financing phases. In Phase I, implementing partners will rely more on public investment to help mitigate risks associated with the country’s conditions, which include the lack of an enabling environment suitable for renewables powered by off-grid schemes, and new and/or untested business and technology models. In Phase II, the private sector will take the lead with development partners’ support to scale up the program based on the results of Phase I.The Climate Investment Fund was established in 2008 as one of the largest fast-tracked climate financing instruments in the world, and with the $7.6 billion the CIF provides developing countries with grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments, and equity that leverage significant financing from the private sector, MDBs and other sources. Five MDBs – the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG) – implement CIF-funded projects and programs.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) read more