KARIBU Solar Power: Making Quality Solar Affordable

By Andrew Clark, Communications Manager, Karibu Solar

KARIBU Solar Power: Making Quality Solar Affordable

From Dream to Reality

Initially started by then-banker, Adam Camenzuli, and his friends from York University (Canada) in 2012 our team seeks to address one of the many issues hindering African economic development: kerosene usage. Did you know that over 500 million people across Africa have little to no access to safe sources of light and energy? Current options, notably kerosene, produce toxic fumes that harm both people and their environments. This fuel source emits millions of tons of CO2 annually, and each kerosene lantern pollutes over 100 kg yearly. Aside from the environmental consequences, this energy source also results in economic costs. For example, our team found that families waste up to $100 USD on inefficient fuel every year.

Realizing that this issue entails multiple problems for local communities and watching other initiatives fail to make a deep impact in Tanzania we decided to offer a new solution informed by engaging the individuals we hope to help directly. We found through meetings with duka, or small shop, owners and families that the most significant barrier to purchasing alternative energy/light sources was their cost. Thus, our team devised a two-pronged approach to welcoming communities to affordable solar power, which offers a cleaner, more sustainable energy supply. At its core, KARIBU Solar Power produces a modular solar lamp (solar panel, rechargeable battery/charger and light) and employs an innovative social business model that allows the average Base of the Pyramid (BoP) consumer to enjoy the benefits of solar lighting and energy. Unlike non-governmental organizations and charities, we seek to provide Tanzanians (and eventually other Africans) with the opportunity to control their destinies via social entrepreneurship. We believe that by developing local partnerships we can best serve communities with our products and empower them. Check out our Prezi about how our business model works: .

New Adventures in 2014: Crowdfunding Campaign and Pilot Program

What is up next for us during the remainder of 2014? Well, the short answer is quite a bit, and we could not be more excited! Hoping to make our aspirations to enable Tanzanian communities through affordable solar and contribute to cutting carbon emissions globally, we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign later this summer. All funds raised will be going towards the production of lamps for deployment in our pilot program in northern Tanzania expected to drop in late 2014. We have been formulating some awesome perks for our donors, but we do not want to ruin the surprise – sorry everyone! The best way to keep updated on KARIBU Solar Power’s journey is to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Editor’s Note: KARIBU Solar was selected as the winner of #bizsogood14, a competition run by Cornerstone International. Business Fights Poverty was one of the competition supporters.

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