The Problem

In Sub Saharan Africa there are over 600 million people that live without access to grid electricity. According to the World Bank this number is expected to increase to 700 million people by 2030. Our pilot country, DRC, has the third largest off-grid community in Sub-Saharan Africa with only 6% of the country’s ~75 million person population having access to the grid. In urban regions 30% of people in DRC have grid electricity and in rural regions at most 1% of the population have electricity access. These individuals use kerosene lamps to meet their lighting needs and some may have limited access to electricity from diesel generators. Kerosene is not only a substandard lighting source for these communities, it is very expensive, on average 25-30% of their annual income, kerosene also poses significant health and environmental risks.