Solar-powered systems, the magical solution to enlighten Africa

Millions of Africans are still off the electricity grid despite the efforts made by governments, international financial organizations and NGOs because of the high costs of traditional power conveyance, infrastructure and supply.
Now, solar energy may be the magical solution that will enable to enlighten the nights of millions of Africans and improve their lives.
Actually, solar-powered systems are being tested by some energy companies to assess their viability and marketability before being proposed for sale to governments and nonprofits.
The systems, whose cost is much lower than that of the traditional power grids, could be used to provide power to villages at a discount or free of charge.
The market potential is enticing to the energy companies: Some 600 million people in Africa live without reliable access to electricity, according to the International Finance Corp., a division of the World Bank.
Some of the world’s biggest energy companies, in cooperation with local governments and NGOs, are conducting pilot projects in several African countries, mainly Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania.. to test the effect of available electricity on people’s lives, although the pilot programs completed have already proved positive in improving people’s living standards.
The IFC sees the potential for companies to start racking up double-digit annual gains in sales of off-grid lighting systems by 2015. However, the market’s size will depend on the willingness of governments and nonprofits to invest on a larger scale in off-grid power systems, IFC executives say.

About Geraldine Boechat 1538 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia