INTERVIEW-Beyond light, solar startup seeks to plug in rural homes in Africa

Friday, 7 April 2017 01:00 GMT

“It is about changing expectations, raising aspirations, and empowering people to become part of the knowledge economy” By Kieran Guilbert

DAKAR, April 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes – it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent’s biggest solar companies.

Azuri Technologies’ entry level solar system – for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis – provides eight hours of lighting each day.

Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri.

“This is about so much more than just providing light,” Bransfield-Garth told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone. “It is about changing expectations, raising aspirations, and empowering people to become part of the knowledge economy.

“One thing you can be sure of is that once people have solar power in their lives, they’ll never go back to kerosene,” he said.

This entry was posted in Goal 7 - Năng lượng sạch và bền vững cho mọi người - Sustainable and modern energy for all, Năng lượng - Energy, Năng lượng mặt trời - Solar energy and tagged , , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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