The last few months has seen significant growth in Africa for the locally spearheaded ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ campaign. The interest and positive market reaction to both the EcoBoxx and WakaWaka products within South Africa, has enjoyed similar success with partnerships formed in over a dozen African countries to represent both these portable solar power products.
The crippling effects of energy poverty is as dire across the African continent as within South Africa, if not more so. With 580 million people (out of 1 billion) across Africa not connected to any form of electricity, Africa’s 58% off grid comprises the highest off grid percentage in the world. “With sunshine in abundant supply across the entire African continent, the solution is obvious,” says Ryan Steytler, Director Product Innovation, In2Brands. “The use of portable solar power brings with it the mechanism to provide electricity to those without.”
But it is not without its challenges. “The generator industry holds enormous power across Africa,” says Steytler. “Our challenge is not only to educate African countries on the benefits of portable solar power, but simultaneously to encourage them to move away from old forms of energy and replace them with green alternatives.” It is about more than connecting people to power. As important is the provision of safe, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives.
Countries across Africa in which ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ partnerships have been signed includes the likes of Nigeria, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mauritius, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Togo, Ghana, Kenya, the DRC and Tanzania.