2020-07-02

Africa's new breed of solar energy entrepreneurs

Henri Nyakarundi Africa's new breed of solar energy entrepreneurs

African economies may be booming, but continued growth and quality of life are being jeopardised by lack of power.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates 585 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, with the electrification rate as low as 14.2% in rural areas.

The problem is most acute in East Africa, where only 23% of Kenyans; 10.8% of Rwandans; and 14.8% of Tanzanians have access to an electricity supply, according to the World Bank.

In spite of efforts to get people onto the grid, population growth has meant these figures stay fairly steady, with the majority of people still using costly and unhealthy forms of energy for cooking and lighting.

A number of companies and organisations on the continent have identified solar power as the solution.

And a new breed of "solar-preneurs" is emerging, increasing access to power and generating revenues at the same time.

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