The diffusion of solar products in Africa has the potential to positively impact millions of people’s lives by providing portable lanterns, and more significantly, solar home systems.
However, as the life cycle of the first wave of off-grid solar products comes to a close, the need to create local capacity to provide appropriate technical support and information about reinvestment in new home products will be key in ensuring the continued positive trajectory of this technology’s adoption. We adopt a three tier approach to create such a capacity.
R&D is done at western university. New products technology is transferred to the Nsamizi Technology Center. The Center provides a targeted training program that combines vocational engineering and entrepreneurship, essentially establishing a delocalized grassroot industry. Trained students provides solar energy generation devices and services to rural Ugandan communities, through the creation of Rural Technology Centers.
This model can be greatly enhanced by the participation of private industry in the top tier, and can easily be expanded to technologies other than solar. We are looking for partners to scale up and enhance our program.