Solar Lanterns Will Give Light To Africa Hundreds of millions in Africa have no electricity. They spend a lot of money to buy fuel for their kerosene lamps. Solar lanterns are cheaper and safer solutions

By Paolo von Schirach

November 5, 2013

WASHINGTON – In the developed world we take affordable and reliable electricity for granted. Sadly, in much of Africa electricity is expensive and very often not available, or available only intermittently. Here are some statistics published in a recent issue of Handshake, a publication of the International Finance Corporation, (IFC), the private sector investments arm of the World Bank Group, .

589,000,000 people in Africa live without access to electricity.

$ 4,400,000,000 is spent per year on kerosene (the fuel of choice to provide at least some lighting) by off-grid Africa households.

1/3 of Africa’s on-grid population experience frequent blackouts and is considered therefore “under-electrified”

49% of off-grid households in Africa (that is 54 million households) could have their lighting needs met by solar portable lanterns.

The bad news is that Africa’s still unmet lighting needs are immense. The good news is that solar-powered lanterns are becoming more effective and much cheaper. By using solar lanterns instead of kerosene fueled lamps millions of Africans who do not have access to the grid will save money (no need to keep buying more fuel to refill their kerosene lamps) while acquiring a lighting solution that is safe (no fire hazards). At the same time, solar lanterns eliminate the respiratory problems often caused by breathing the kerosene lamps fumes.

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