Business Culture Editorials

How Solar Power is Transforming Africa’s Rural Communities

In places where people experience up to 12-hours of electricity daily in Africa are considered ‘hotspots’ by locals and business owners. Electricity is one of the challenges Africans face. The costs of items are expensive partly due to electricity challenges. While most cities in Africa struggle with electricity, the rural areas seem to have found a solace in solar power.

Asides the African continent, the world in general is aiming to transition into cleaner sources of energy and electrification one of which is solar power. Another advantage of solar power is ready availability of sunlight especially in regions where sunlight is bountiful. To cater to night times where sunlight is diminished, solar panels are made to gather the energy from the sun in the day and store in batteries.

Solar power has become a source of hope for people who desperately need electricity in Africa. Even though, these solar panels are very expensive, many homes and businesses have resorted to using it.  Few villages in Africa are lucky to attract the attention of local sponsors or international support for these solar panels.

In a remote village in Togo,  solar power has transformed their lifestyles.  Some people trek for hours before they can fetch water for their use in this village called Sikpe-Afidegnon. To help them and relieve them of the stress of walking long distance for water, a company called BBOXX launched a solar power program for them.

Today, solar power has moved to shops, schools, houses, and streetlights.  Like every other place in Africa, noisy generators had dominated the environment, until solar power came to the village’s rescue.

Generators are expensive in Africa and run on expensive and dangerous gasoline. Sometimes, polluted fuel oil is sold to the people, and the lucky ones might get hurt. One thing that solar power is gradually reducing in Africa is the excessive noise from these generators. Unfortunately, a larger portion of Africa is still struggling with electricity and noisy generators.

While many businesses groan over the erratic power supply for their products or services, generator and solar power have provided millions of jobs for many people. From mechanics to shops selling spare parts and whole parts of these power facilities, people have been gainfully employed.

While villages like Sikpe-Afidegnon might have escaped the agony of blackout or noisy generators, Africa is still struggling with electricity challenges.  Africa lags when it comes to providing access to the power grid.

Millions of Africans depend on electricity to carry out their businesses. Unfortunately, the lack of electricity in most places has increased the price of food and other basic amenities for life.  For entrepreneurs who want to invest in Africa, they can think of developing off-grid programs.

The power industry is an untapped market that worth billions of dollars. People are willing to pay for electricity in Africa. The sad story is satisfying these people is proving to be impossible. However, with the availability of solar panels in most parts of Africa, businesses are gradually picking up. While many people complain of access to good roads in most part of the continent, electricity poses a greater problem for many people.

We are seeing an improvement in the demand for these solar panels from most homes and companies.  The industry deals with batteries and inverters, making it a lucrative niche anyone can join.