Lighting Africa helps developers of off-grid lighting systems

The International Finance Corporation aims to help suppliers establish a supply chain infrastructure in Africa for low-cost LED lighting, writes Tim Whitaker.

May 15th, 2008
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In early May, at least 400 attendees are expected in Accra, Ghana, for the Lighting Africa conference. This is the latest stage of a program that is seeking to provide access to affordable, self-contained lighting systems (usually but not exclusively LED-based) to millions of people in Africa. Specifically, the Lighting Africa program seeks to reach 250 million customers with modern, affordable lighting by 2030.

The Lighting Africa program began life as “Lighting the Bottom of the Pyramid,” an initiative launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group (see “IFC project stimulates LED market for off-grid lighting” at www.ledsmagazine.com/news/3/10/25).

IFC’s Russell Sturm told LEDs Magazine that there has been “intense interest” in the program, which currently is focusing on initiatives in Ghana and Kenya. “The problem of energy access remains acute, but we have seen increasing awareness as well as recognition of the constraints, not least the required scale of investment,” he says.

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This article was published in the April 2008 issue of LEDs Magazine.

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