The International Finance Corporation (IFC)/World Bank have projected that 65 million people in Africa could access safe and clean off-grid lighting over the next five years.
In the report dubbed ‘Lighting Africa Program’ the IFC/World Bank found that Africa will be the world’s largest market for solar portable lights by 2015. The report gathered input from a broad range of industry experts, manufacturers, distributors and civil society organizations in over ten African markets.
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.
The report found that the market potential in Africa for solar portable lights is enormous and ripe for investment.
According to a press statement from IFC, the report, 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 lamps.
“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,” Arthur Itotia Njagi, Lighting Africa’s Program Manager said in a statement,
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 favourable investment climate, exploring innovative business distribution models, and establishing quality standards.
It is said that 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.
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.