“Even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide.” — The late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Africa has excellent solar energy potential, however two-thirds of Africa has no access to electricity. The lack electricity has put most of the continent at a severe disadvantage. For example the healthcare system is poor, people have limited opportunities to education, and development of the continent is hindered. Families in poverty will most likely stay in poverty. At the moment most African people have to rely on expensive, dirty and dangerous kerosene for lighting, the improvements in accessibility of solar lighting over the years gives hope for a better quality of life for the poorest people in Africa.
Five years ago, a prominent African who wanted to bring electricity to the continent criticised the idea that solar lighting could provide electricity access. However as lighting technology has improved and become more accessible to poorer people, we can see again and again, having access to solar lighting has improved lives massively. Having off-grid solar lights that can be installed even in the most remote places of Africa can ensure that people be more productive, be safer at night and improves the quality of life.
We can see the huge impact that solar power can make to Africa by looking at a recent solar power plant that was built in Rwanda. The construction created 350 jobs and is now powering 15,000 homes, it is majorly helping the country develop as a result.
Africa acknowledges that they will need other form of electricity to provide universal energy access, however as a first step, solar power seems to be the way to go. With solar power supply systems that are safe, clean and reusable they do more than shine a light on poverty – they shine a light of hope far and wide.