Lighting Africa

World Bank

       The World Bank has launched an initiative to supply non-fossil fuelled, affordable lighting to 250 million people in Africa by 2030. It is estimated that 500 million people in Sub-Sahara Africa have no access to "modern energy sources", while rural electricity connectivity rates stand at 2 percent. This project, called 'Lighting Africa', is an attempt to provide an alternative to the widely used kerosene lamps and candles, which are expensive, inefficient, poor in quality, polluting and potential fire hazards. Advancements in lighting technology, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs), provide cheaper, higher quality and cleaner alternatives to light sources currently used for lighting. It is envisaged that increasing the availability of lighting technology will enable African communities to extend their working hours and thus boost incomes, and will also enhance their security. The project is jointly managed by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and aims to link players in the international lighting industry with local suppliers and service providers, in a 'multi-pronged initiative'. Initial market research will take place in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana to better understand user expectations and practical issues. The project has launched a competition to design off-grid, high delivery, non-fossil and low-cost lighting solutions. Over 350 companies, NGOs and international organisations across the world have expressed an interest in the project, including SC Johnson, the EU and the ILO.

25th Sep 2007