Blimpo, Senior Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk’s School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, discusses his experiences turning policy into real-world impact, his evolving views on dominant development narratives, and what climate justice means to him.
Moussa is a Senior Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, a Fellow at the Energy for Growth Hub, and Senior Fellow with the Clean Air Task Force. He is an applied economist interested in a range of issues in developing economies, mainly African countries. He is a Senior Economist (on leave) in the Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region at the World Bank. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics and International Studies at the University of Oklahoma (2012-2015), following a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). Moussa holds a Ph.D. in Economics and MA in Political Science from New York University and a B.Sc. (Mathematics) from the University of Pau and the Adour Region (France). His work has appeared in several peer-reviewed academic journals. Moussa was born and raised in Dapaong, Togo. Between 2011 and 2015, he founded and led the Center for Research and Opinion Polls (CROP), a think tank in Togo, which was ranked as one of the top 10 new think tanks in the world by the 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, University of Pennsylvania.
- Demand for cooling projections from IEA Rose refers to, that “will more than triple by 2050 – as much electricity as all of China and India today.”
- In countries such as in Africa, as Katie mentions, the demand for cooling will rise here and be much more imperative.
- More on what Rose mentions regarding the importance of tech that uses cleaner chemicals for cooling.
- The relationship between cooling demand and solar output that Katie mentions.
Moussa Blimpo Interview:
- Moussa’s Hub bio.
- Moussa’s personal website.
- Moussa’s Google Scholar page.
- The World Bank Energy program that Moussa refers to.
- The current definition of energy access that Moussa described encountering in his early days at the World Bank.
- SDG7 is the UN energy access goal that follows this definition.
- More about energy modeling and energy mix work with the Clean Air Task Force that Moussa is now exploring while on leave at the World Bank.
- More on Moussa’s books, including the one that he refers to about the assumptions and goals set when considering the supply side of energy modeling.
- Our work on climate justice, which Moussa has been a contributor.
- The different negotiating groups and bargaining power leverage Moussa makes reference to at COP26.
- More academic support to the concept of foregoing foreign aid if there is no ability to keep sovereignty in development plans.
- The $100 billion annual pledge in climate aid Moussa refers to that wealthier countries have not met.
- Katie dives into net zero modeling with Moussa: a project that he has been helping the Hub as part of a working group providing recommendations on modeling net zero pathways for African countries.
- More on the varying “economic narratives of Africa” that Rose outlines.
- The opportunities Moussa raves about with the rise of social media across Africa.
- A randomized controlled trial.
- A glimpse into the World Bank cafeteria that Moussa and Rose have differing views on.
START (MOUSSA BLIMPO INTERVIEW)
KATIE: I’m Katie Auth in Washington.
ROSE: And I’m Rose Mutiso in London, and this is High Energy Planet, the podcast from the Energy for Growth Hub about new ideas to solve energy poverty.
KATIE: On Today’s show we talk with Moussa Blimpo, senior fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, and senior economist currently on leave from the World Bank.
ROSE: We’ll ask Moussa about his understanding of how to make research drive real policy change and what he thinks climate and economic justice mean for African countries.
KATIE: But first Rose and I get amped up about growing energy needs for cooling.
ROSE: All that coming up on this episode of High Energy Planet.
ROSE: So time for Amped Up, when we talk about what we can’t stop thinking about right now in the energy and development space. And this week we’re obsessing about growing energy needs for cooling in a warming climate.
KATIE: We’ve seen a ton of articles recently warning about an explosion of demand for air conditioning driving up emissions. So let’s explore that a little bit.
ROSE: Yeah, Katie. You know, there’s a little bit of a vicious cycle going on with AC and climate. You know, the world is heating up so demand for cooling rises. And the IEA projects AC demand in 2050 could use as much energy as all of India and China do today. So this of course then threatens to increase global temperature rise. So there is a climate impact to AC demand, but we need AC to adapt to increasing temperatures.
KATIE: Right. And, I mean, the stat you just mentioned, as much electricity as China and India consume today, is obviously a shocking stat. And I think when people hear that it can be a little bit overwhelming. But as you said, the answer can’t be simply not to provide power for cooling. I’m in D.C., summers are very humid here, and heat here is often a dangerous crisis for people without access to air conditioning. And in places like Pakistan or Niger it’s far, far worse. So the real question is how do we do this without blowing the carbon budget?
ROSE: Yeah, Katie. I mean, of course there’s no easy answer. But, you know, really important as you said, is we can’t panic and we can’t ditch ACs. Like, people need to be able to cope with these increasing temperatures. So, you know, I think that there are some areas of opportunity. One is in technology. So there’s been very little innovation in air conditioning over the last decade, but with the right policy and technology we can actually double efficiency. So here’s one thing – one low-hanging fruit thing that we can do, and we need governments and manufacturers working in tandem to set standards, invest in innovation, and also make sure that less-efficient machines aren’t just simply being exported to poor countries where the demand is growing. I think another, like, really interesting climate angle is that we need technologies that use fewer harmful refrigerants. So some of their refrigerants – actually most of their refrigerants in the market have pretty high global warming potential. So I think there is an innovation (play) that we can look to definitely in the short-term.
KATIE: Yeah. And I think when you think about energy demand for cooling as part of a larger energy system there’s also space to see opportunities in addition to the threats. So for example, cooling demand closely follows solar output. So in a lot of nascent markets AC demand could actually help drive demand for new clean power.
ROSE: Yeah, Katie. And, I mean, obviously these are just a few kind of starting paths we can take to get around this buying. There’s a lot more to be done but, you know, the important thing is the starting point has to be in an acknowledgment of cooling as an urgent human need in a warming climate. We just have to agree on that and build from there. And I hope that we can see more alignment in the climate conversation around this. So anyway, if you have an energy or development obsession, good or bad, tweet it to us at @EnergyforGrowth and we’ll include it in an upcoming episode. Coming up we talk with Moussa Blimpo about his experience with policy change at one of the world’s most influential multilateral institutions, and that my friends is the World Bank. He’s also done lots of other stuff, so it’s going to be a good episode.
KATIE: Hey Moussa, welcome to High Energy Planet. It’s so great to have you with us.
MOUSSA: Thank you, it’s my pleasure to be here.
KATIE: Awesome. So we wanted to start out just by recognizing the fact that you’ve had so many different roles over the course of your career. You’ve been a World Bank economist, you’ve been a professor, a technical advisor, you founded a non-profit, you’ve written a bunch of books. And we wanted to ask if you could name one particular skill or attribute that has helped you the most to thrive across all of these different roles what would it be? What’s Moussa Blimpo’s superpower?
MOUSSA: Well, I wouldn’t characterize it as a “super power.”
KATIE: There’s no modesty here, Moussa. Go ahead.
MOUSSA: [LAUGHTER] But I think it suggests being open-minded – being open-minded and focused on life objectives. And if – being that way basically means you will pursue where you think you’re going to be able to make the most difference. And that’s why my career looks like a ping-pong game–I’ve been left and right doing different things. But in my head I see very clearly how each of these things are connected one with another to an ultimate goal. The main thing I’m looking at really is to see the communities from which I grew up, like, back home in Togo, see that community doing much, much better thirty years down the road, twenty-five years down the road. And for that to happen the whole world needs to be in a better place because everything is interconnected. So Togo, my community, and trying to do my part, however small that is, to be able to point (inaudible) other things that say, okay, we are in a better place today and then I was part of that journey, and I did this, and this, and that.
KATIE: Can you elaborate a little bit on that? Like, growing up in Togo and the community that you’re obviously still so connected to, what drove, you know, where you launched your career from and where you went? How did you get on that pathway to being at the World Bank, etc.?
MOUSSA: When I look at people I grew up with, we went to school together barefoot in primary school sometimes, not even able to afford shoes. And when I look at that and look at where I am today a lot of people want to basically credit, oh, this is a success story and all that. But what they don’t see is the many, many who are equally able who were working equally hard as I did, but who end up stuck just because the environment, the condition, the institution, and the places that we all grew up and basically wouldn’t allow them to have that opportunity. I don’t think that. I just think that they all had the opportunities that I had at some time, purely due to luck, out of a hundred of us I could see at least forty making it. But right now it’s, like, maybe two or three out of a hundred. And I don’t want to celebrate that; I want that to be recognized as an exception and as a proof of what could be done, where the world could be if all these people were to have that opportunity.
ROSE: Moussa, that really resonates with me, and often I also feel like an edge case that’s (lauded). But I think these exceptions are really an indictment of the system more than anything. And so building on that… Because at the Hub, similar to you, we’re quite focused on this issue of energy poverty and really seeing the ways in which lack of energy access, lack of energy-to-power growth is one of the contributors to this kind of lack of opportunity for all of these people back home that we’re thinking about. So we’ve seen this problem of energy poverty and energy access reframed over the years as more than just giving people basic access, right? So I think the community is beginning to understand it’s about demand stimulation, fixing broken utilities, having strategic national approaches, just really seeing the big picture, how does power fit into a broader growth agenda, a broader, like, jobs and opportunities agenda? So I think the narrative conceptually has shifted, but then yet we continue to struggle to fix the problem. Like in Togo back home they are still for you probably, you know, just thousands and thousands of youth still in the same position. I see this in Kenya all the time. And so even as conceptually we understand problems better, and in this case in the energy-poverty problem, I think we’ve shifted but we’re still stuck. So why is that? Like, what is the biggest barrier to a solution?
MOUSSA: So I think part of the problem that we have is to see every constraint as a big single barrier to development, instead of stepping back and thinking how does this particular dimension–and in our case here energy–how does that fit in the broader development agenda? And where you have a pragmatic approach that way then in some cases – if we all are pursuing development then some cases the turf war will stop a little bit. Then you could see somebody who is working in energy, but occasionally agree that maybe we should do a little bit more in education even though that’s not my area. Because I did some effort to understand that there needs to be these complementarities to get there. But you find yourself every time – and I even pity policy-makers sometimes. Like, if they were to meet us separately they would be laughing at us. You meet people in the morning who tells that it’s all about skills–if you invest in skills then you transform your economy. In the afternoon you meet another group of, you know, experts who come from the same institutions sometimes, who are telling you you are going nowhere if you don’t do energy. That’s all where you have to put the effort. And we need people who understand their interconnectedness and how all of these things – we need a little bit of all of these things.
KATIE: I agree with that. But I also think the challenge is that when you start to widen the lens like that it quickly can become overwhelming. It becomes this sense that we can’t solve anything unless we solve everything at the same time. So how do you prevent it from becoming so large that it’s unachievable?
MOUSSA: My answer to that is two things. First, we can have people who are experts and focus on their narrow expertise, and provide in knowledge, and help them build things, and all that. But we need people who are, like, more generalists also. And those are the people who will be focusing and trying to – those will be, for example, the advisors to the top policymakers, like to the World Bank vice president or president. Those people should not be experts who are trained in one narrow area and are in love with that area, and then will bring everything around that area. That is damaging I think. So that’s the first way to look at it. The second way to look at it–and Katie, I think you’re making a very important point here… And I’m not against that, and in fact a lot of the people I talk to on the continent are saying that that’s what even our president should try…
MOUSSA: …to do with their limited time in power–ten years, five years–is pick a problem and solve it, just solve it. And that’s also a good approach. Because some of these investments that we know are foundational. One way or the other you will need it at the end of the day. So you will need a strong well-functioning energy system, all right? So if you are Nigeria, if you can do that maybe it’s not worth tinkering around and trying to figure out what is the (inaudible) next year, what is this and that, but really step back and have a vision about where you see your energy system in (inaudible) Nigeria, and then pool your efforts to be the energy government and just get that out of the way, so that the next administration maybe can then use that as a lever to build something else on, right? So that’s another approach. But the problem with that approach is that where you have limited resources it’s natural to try to make the best use of those resources in the short-term. So this second approach will be prone to some waste. So you may have oversupply, for example, for a certain number of years until the other pieces come into place. But I am for both. But the important thing is to have a vision, what you want to do first, where you are going, and then build on that vision. So yeah, I think if you – you know, it can be overwhelming, but you shouldn’t be asking everyone to do that. There should be people whose job it is to do that, whose job it is to think through the connectedness and all that, and the experts can focus on the expertise and naturally advise those people. And I think that’s one way to make faster progress.
ROSE: This is great, Moussa. I didn’t think I’d ever hear an economist praise generalists, so thank you [LAUGHTER].
KATIE: So Moussa, we were curious – you know, you’ve been in the energy and development sector a long time. Is there a particular piece of establishment wisdom that you kind of accepted at first and then over time realized was either untrue or more complicated than you originally thought?
MOUSSA: So for me I think you are being generous in saying that I’ve been in energy for a long time. It hasn’t actually been for that long, and that has been for me the strength also, because I just jump in. Getting into World Bank I jumped in and then I had to figure out what is a kilowatt hour [LAUGHTER] in the first place. So that basically meant I had to go back to some of the things a lot of people take for granted. And one of the first things was, like, okay, what is energy access? And I’m, like, I look at the definition and I’m, like, that doesn’t even make any sense at all. Like, why would any responsible government trying to build an economy, trying to build a society define energy access by just counting a number of household of people who are hooked? So that was the first thing, if you go back and look at the very first concept note that I wrote in terms of trying to look at this study. So then I see that this is also what is in (inaudible) goal number seven really is all about, you know, in great part about that, right? So the fact that I didn’t have a lot of preconceived notions forcing me to look at the things that the expert who’ve been in the area for so long no longer look at. And I think that was my strength to get into areas that maybe others would not get. Now, you will see that I (start) educating myself now on the energy transition issues as part of the leave – this two-year leave that I took from the World Bank. And that’s one of the areas where I think I had the big preconceived notion until I actually opened the papers and look at what is being done. So the energy modeling and then the energy mix – long-term energy mix, I would say that I thought there was, like, a super-great scientific basis behind what goes into the (inaudible) that, okay, you can do 40% green, and X-percent this, and 40% that. So because my work had all been – was focusing more on the demand side, but even if you focus on the demand side you have to take a look at what is going on (inaudible). So I stumbled on some of these things and you see that it’s a (inaudible) in the book when I touch on that issue very briefly in passing, because it’s not the focus. The point I tried to make there is that it all boils down to the assumptions. And those assumptions, part of them is about the goals that you set for yourself. Some of them is about the data and the quality of elasticities you put in the model, etc., etc. So when I saw that I was, like, whoa, I need to be at the table for this discussion. Because it’s not a researcher’s call to make some of these choices, it’s the society as a whole and the leadership of the countries to decide where they want to go. And then from there you get some of their assumptions that could then inform what… So the massive literature on energy transition, the (inaudible) energy mix and all that, my view on that has changed completely when I started looking a little more closely.
ROSE: Coming up we ask Moussa about climate justice, net-zero pathways, and economic narratives for African countries. And of course we play Rant or Rave.
ROSE: So Moussa, you’ve worked with us on issues of climate justice, which is a concept that has taken on a lot of different meanings. What does “climate justice” mean to you?
MOUSSA: So again, for me–and I think I’m speaking as an African, but also as (a scholar) thinking about some of these issues–to me it all started with some element of self-determination. And self-determination is about the society and the leaders being able to chart a path that they want to follow, and from there to try to see how that fits within the global imperative. Because we’re not living in (inaudible); we can’t just go ahead and do all we want. But you have to bring our perspective to the table, and that perspective needs to be respected, and there has to be the utmost efforts to try to help you within the global context to implement that. You’re not going to get all that you want, but you ought to be able to get maybe most that you are aspiring for. So that is the lens through which I see it. I don’t start climate justice with the technicality of who has to give what, who has to support whom. It’s a matter of are we somewhat equal around the table and putting our voice together to come up with something that’s good for our planet and good for each of us individually, and then for us to be able to continue to respect each other and be able to say, “Okay, we all care about each other.”
ROSE: So in your opinion are you seeing this vision of climate (inaudible) manifest, especially I guess for African countries? Like, what is really happening? How would you rank the state of progress towards climate justice?
MOUSSA: Yeah, so for Africa and to be concise, I mean, what I see is that first of all the world hasn’t really been all that (far) in the first place, if you just look at the history. And I’m not talking just in terms of Africa, but about the whole world. So I don’t think we have a strong basis to expect justice in the way I define it in the first place. The way that justice can manifest itself ultimately is through the (front) levels of bargaining power. How Africa is able to increase its bargaining power, which will come to some form of unity, is the lens through which I see it. I am very pragmatic about this. I don’t see things happening through charity or somebody else who all of a sudden cares so much about you that they’re going to do the right thing. I think it’s about Africa coming together with a decent level of bargaining power to the table, and then with a proposal, and then try to work together to something that is reasonable for everyone. We’ve seen that in COP 26, we’ve seen that countries who have the technology and have their own future in the end are able to say no even to things like, you know, phasing out coal. And those who don’t say that just because they don’t have the bargaining power, that’s fine. But you have to work together a plan that you can bring to the table. But don’t think a plan alone is going to be enough. You have to come with some leverage. And that leverage in Africa, I would hope that it will come to the African Union coordination and collaboration. That’s the way I see it. I don’t see any justice happening out of thin air. I see justice happen as a result of different bargaining powers.
KATIE: Yeah. And it’s interesting because obviously reliance on foreign aid is part of this power structure that creates a lot of imbalances. And you and I talked about this a long time ago–you might not even remember–but one of the things you said which really struck me was that you thought countries should consider forgoing aid all together if, you know, that acceptance means they can’t make their own energy decisions. Do you mind kind of elaborating on that and explaining what you meant?
MOUSSA: Yeah, so I’m not the first one to say this, and there’s a lot of – that’s the general sentiment among African scholars, at least the ones that I know. We want to help but the help should be help; it should not come and replace what we actually want to do. It should come in great (inaudible) helping us do what we want to do. Now, in some cases we don’t do our own homework and come to the table with what we actually want to do. And that is what needs to change, right? The reason I’m saying this strongly about aid–and I’m actually very happy contrary to what everyone is saying–I’m very happy that (the developed world) (didn’t) make their commitment of $100 billion that year. Because that kind of tells you the very reason why you have to have your own baseline plan that relies essentially on your own capacity, and then go out there to look for additional help. And that’s what we need to do. If these resources were being given to Africa, even on a yearly basis, the fact that (inaudible) hasn’t been disbursements, that it can stop at any point in time for reasons that have nothing to do with energy, we’ve seen that for countless different areas. Sometimes even education and health aid can be cut because you are not respecting somebody’s will for something else, right? So that’s the first reason for that, the dependency reason. The second reason is that we are not just consumers. Life is not just about consuming. It’s not. I mean, if somebody were to give me my full salary and then say, “You don’t do anything for it,” I don’t think I would be happy here. The fact that I spend time trying to help, see myself having value to the world, to some people in the world, to students and all that, is what keeps me going. So the idea that we’re going to do a (carbon task) and therefore the countries that can use pollution more effectively to generate more income, economically that will be that – okay, those are the ones who should use it and then give us some cash so that we can buy the product that they’re producing to consume. It just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t look to me like we are (living full) of life. So the aid – if the aid is going to come the aid should be about helping build a system that would allow us to take our destiny in our own hand to have an energy system that allows us to produce.
KATIE: So switching topics slightly–because we wanted to get back to some of that modeling work that you mentioned earlier–you’ve been working with us and also with the Clean Air Task Force to make sure that climate models and energy pathways better account for Africa as we think through what this transition trajectory looks like for the world. What’s one particular thing that struck you most when you started to dig into this research?
MOUSSA: So, I mean, to be fair I’m still learning. I’m still learning. I’m working with the Clean Air Task Force support on a systematic review of the work that’s done over the past several years on this issue. But one thing I could say so far is something that I mentioned earlier, is that my sense is that even as maybe we are too forceful in thinking that energy is (the constraint), there are many, many constraints, and I think our approach should be one where we don’t want energy to become (the constraint). Many countries in Africa right now it’s not like everything is just going to fall in place if you get high energy in abundance and all that. If you (plug) GDP in energy you are always going to see a very strong correlation. And that correlation is there for a lot of other things, like education, health, road infrastructure. You’re going to see those correlation (inaudible). What I think we’ll want to do is to make sure energy doesn’t become a constraint, but in doing that a lot of times I think we’re getting carried away to think that energy can then be the answer to everything. And that’s the (inaudible) that I will want to dig on a little bit more and try to bring that perspective. And part of the reason is because, again, the expertise – you know, I’m an economist (inaudible) economist, I don’t know too much on energy but I’m trying to learn. And I think the energy economists who do the modeling may misinterpret some economic dynamics by bringing all these different pieces together so that we all are on the same table, and I think a better outcome will come out of that.
ROSE: So Moussa, now I’m going to ask you a big-picture econ question. This is something that, you know, I’m not an economist; I’m, you know, a scientist who’s now dabbling in – a little bit in the policy world. But I’m generally – this is a topic that I generally think about and am confused by. So there seemed to be two competing economic narratives when it comes to Africa, yeah? So on one hand there’s a gloom-and-doom. You know, it’s all this (inaudible) decades of economic depression since independence. We were, like, the same as South Korea, and then now what happened? And then also this kind of worsening prospects for African people in a 21st Century that is just full of existential threats left, right, and center, right? One narrative. On the other hand there’s this (buzzy) Africa on the rise story, you know? So African countries are often on the lists of fastest-growing economies. There’s so much excitement over leap-frogging, population dividends, etc., etc., etc. So if you were to pick one indicator, or otherwise help us situate ourselves in this conversation to help us make sense of all this noise, so what is an indicator or what is a take that would capture Africa’s economic reality? Like, what would that be?
MOUSSA: So I think it’s understanding the nuance between level and changes and growth, right? If you just look at the level, yeah, of course you can rank the world and have a lot of African countries at the bottom. But what do you need to correct for to make that ranking meaningful? Because these countries are not – their starting data and their birthdate even are not the same. Their starting point(s) are not the same. Even when the birthdate had the same they didn’t start the same way. We know that some of the historical events have different (inaudible) from one place to another, including (inaudible) variation within Africa. So to me I think these are all really (noise). But what I would agree with is that I think there is an element of self-fulfilling prophesy that we have to be very conscience about. And that’s why I’m against either of these approaches of saying, you know, Africa is growing by looking at the growth per year, or Africa is doomed when you look at the level and it’s at the bottom in terms of the ranking. When things are not great and you see things aren’t great you are hurting the country, you are hurting people to help fix the problem. Or saying that things are bad – when things aren’t all that bad, and you’re saying that it’s bad, you are hurting the continent. Take – you know, there’s a countless number of statistics that I cover when I teach development of Africa. And there you see massive variation. Take HIV (AIDS) for example, where you have a handful of countries where it’s a big problem, where you really have to put maximum effort in southern part of Africa and help solve the problem. But if you then think about it as Africa as a whole, and then you look at the statistics and you see that there are a countless number of countries in Africa where the HIV/AIDS incidence is actually less than in the United States here, then you see the problem that you’re causing for these countries. Security issues, it’s the same thing. You have trouble in one country and then you’re talking about Africa. It’s causing harm. So I don’t think we should talk about that at all, and I’m not in that game. The way I see things is, like, I know that between 1960 and today the progress is (fundamental). I know that if we were not independent in 1960 I know that it wouldn’t be me, because it’s (inaudible) independence that mass education has become even a thing, right? So for somebody to point to any (negative) to pretend that we haven’t made any progress, I’m not even into that kind of discussion. Now, how far could we be today if we had done everything right? We would be much further than where we are. So that’s the growth part. And having the discussion about we can do much better should not be compared with how much we have done, which is massive.
KATIE: All right, Moussa, now it’s time to play Rant or Rave, a quickfire game where we give you a word or a phrase and you choose to either rant or rave about it and explain why. And we have 90 seconds to get through as many of these as we can [CROSSTALK]…
ROSE: All right, I have the timer.
KATIE: …stay loose, stay fun, Rose is ready, 90 seconds.
ROSE: Okay, starting now.
KATIE: The rise of social media across Africa.
MOUSSA: It’s a rave because anything that puts more power in the hands of people and democratizes the floor of ideas on the net is going to be positive.
ROSE: The use of randomized-control trials in development.
MOUSSA: Is there a halfway between a rant and rave? [LAUGHTER]
ROSE: Okay, don’t offend your econ colleagues [LAUGHTER].
MOUSSA: Yeah. Otherwise I will say rant because it misplaces priorities relative to where the African policymakers really are and where they see their priorities.
KATIE: Interesting. Lomé, Togo.
MOUSSA: It’s a rave, because whenever I get there I have all of my friends. But then, okay, you have that centralization that kind of pushes out my friends there. And Lomé is basically home for me, even though that’s not where I grew up. Yeah, and I think everyone should consider visiting Lomé once in their lifetime.
ROSE: All right, it’s on the bucket list. Okay, the World Bank cafeteria.
MOUSSA: It’s a rave, because, you know, you meet people in a much more loose setting, and I think you also get the basics that you need there. I think it could be much better, yeah, but… [LAUGHTER]
ROSE: All right.
KATIE: So you’re less interested in the food and more interested in the networking opportunities?
MOUSSA: Yeah. It is the networking, yeah.
ROSE: Okay – okay.
ROSE: Well, our 90 seconds are up. We can – they’re up (inaudible) cafeteria.
MOUSSA: I’m very good at filibustering, okay? [LAUGHTER]
ROSE: Yeah. And I just want to say I think when I was really a young student, and the first time I went to the World Bank cafeteria I thought it was, like, the best – I was just starry eyed. I thought it was the best thing I’d ever seen. [LAUGHTER] I guess it got old for you.
MOUSSA: Oh, not the food [LAUGHTER].
ROSE: Okay. All right, Moussa, thanks so much for being with us on High Energy Planet. This has been a really great conversation. We love hearing your kind of really piercing insights, and you always give us so much to think about. And we hope to have you again on the show later, or, you know, look forward to talking to you in all of these other forums in which we interact with you. So thank you so much.
KATIE: Thanks Moussa.
MOUSSA: Thank you. It’s a great pleasure for me to be here and have the opportunity to contribute to the mission of the Hub.
KATIE: That’s it for today’s show. High Energy Planet is a production of the Energy for Growth Hub, matching policymakers with evidenced-based pathways to a high-energy future for everyone. Find out more at EnergyforGrowth.org, and tweet your questions and thoughts to us at @EnergyforGrowth.
ROSE: If you liked today’s episode be sure to rate and rank the podcast and tell a friend about us. Bob Lalasz is our executive producer, Mariel Ferragamo is our senior producer. Join us next time for more High Energy Planet.
END (MOUSSA BLIMPO INTERVIEW)