Nairobi, Kenya, November 12, 2010 ¯
A report published recently by the joint IFC/World Bank Lighting Africa
Program found that Africa will be the world’s largest market for solar
portable lights by 2015 with up to 65 million people who could access safe
and clean off-grid lighting over the next five years. IFC is a member of
the World Bank Group.
The report, Solar Lighting for the
Base of the Pyramid – Overview of an Emerging Market that Lighting
Africa, provides a snapshot and projects trends in the solar portable
lighting market in Africa, where millions still rely on expensive, often
ineffective, and sometimes dangerous fuel-based lighting, such as kerosene
The report found that the market potential
in Africa for solar portable lights is enormous and ripe for investment.
The findings indicate a 40 to 50 percent compounded annual growth rate
in sales volume – or a total of 13 million solar portable lights – by
2015. Current market penetration is only at 0.5 percent of the under-electrified
and under-electrified African population.
Arthur Itotia Njagi, Lighting Africa’s
Program Manager, said, “We have developed tools to test the quality of
solar portable lights, get more quality and affordable lights on the market,
and counter market spoilage by inferior products. This will accelerate
the access to better lighting for low-income households.”
Lighting Africa is helping build a market
to bring off-grid lighting to millions of people across Africa by investing
in consumer education, tackling access to finance bottlenecks, creating
a favorable investment climate, exploring innovative business distribution
models, and establishing quality standards.
Technological advancements and innovative
products and business models have vastly improved the quality of solar
portable lights over the past five years, making them more affordable to
low-income buyers and better suited to consumer needs.
By converting from kerosene to clean
energy, millions of consumers can improve their health, reduce their spending
on expensive fuels, and, ultimately, benefit from better illumination and
more productive time in their homes, schools and businesses.
The Lighting Africa report gathered
input from a broad range of industry experts, manufacturers, distributors
and civil society organizations in over ten African markets. It will become
a bi-yearly publication.
To download the report or order a hard
copy, click here.
Lighting Africa, a
joint IFC and World Bank program, seeks to accelerate the development of
commercial off-grid lighting markets in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of the
World Bank Group’s wider efforts to improve access to energy. Lighting
Africa is helping mobilize the private sector to build sustainable markets
to provide 2.5 million people with safe, affordable, and modern off-grid
lighting by 2012. The longer-term goal is to eliminate market barriers
for the private sector to reach 250 million people in Africa without electricity,
and using fuel based lighting, by 2030. Improved lighting provides significant
socio-economic, health and environmental benefits such as new income generation
opportunities for small businesses. Lighting Africa contributes to the
goals of the Clean Energy Ministerial. For more information, please visit
Lighting Africa is implemented in
partnership with the Africa Renewable Energy and Access Grants Program
(AFREA), the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE), the
Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), the Global Environment
Facility (GEF), Good Energies Inc., Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
Norway, the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), the
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) and the United