Solar Power Improving Lives, Access to Information in Rural Africa

Think about this for a minute: Your pocket probably holds the sum total of human knowledge. (That’s assuming your smartphone is in there. If you’re using it to read this, 10,000 libraries of Alexandria are at your fingertips.) There is practically no limit to what one can achieve with just a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection, from contacting people on the other side of the planet, to earning academic degrees, making money, or even just swiping right. But suck the power out of that smartphone and you’re left with a useless hunk of plastic.

In rural villages throughout Africa, there is no central grid to plug into. Yet despite this energy deficit, many Africans do own mobile phones - though recharging one can mean a three-hour bus ride to the nearest city. In Nigeria, some areas do have access to an electric grid, but there isn’t enough power to go around. It doesn’t matter if the electricity is being used for life-saving operations, because even hospitals are subject to rolling blackouts.

Erik (HASH) Hersman