A Dollar a Day Makes the Phones Okay!
During our stays in Africa, we have experienced people in rural areas walking for hours to get their mobile phones charged. They clearly do so because electricity is lacking where they live, but what we didn't understand at first, was the significance of a mobile phone for them. Then we realized that the mobile phone makes people able to keep in touch with their families far away, but also gain access to reliable and vital information about food, health, work, etc. Lately, the mobile phone has also provided access to payment (mobile money) and bank services, something they otherwise would not have access to. No wonder therefore that people are keen on having a charged mobile phone!
Based on the need for power to charge mobile phones in rural areas, we believe that access to local charging services in areas without power would not only be popular, but also important for sustainable development in rural Africa, as people would get the information and bank services for that development to happen.
The purpose of the first part of this project is therefore to test whether the concept works in practice (Proof-of-Concept). We have planned the PoC to be carried out in Tamale, Ghana, where we believe the conditions would be excellent and where we have a local partner. However, the concept is quite universal, and may be implemented also in other countries.
In short, the PoC involves renting out 80W PAYG (Pay-as-you-go) photovoltaic systems to a small number of micro-enterprises for one Dollar a day (paid for with mobile money), for charging up to 25 mobile phones per day. Charging of mobile phones cost 0.5 - 1 dollar per charge in that area, and we therefore expect that charging mobile phones will be profitable for the small businesses that rent the systems.
The project will be a pilot project in relation to a possible up-scaling in the same area via three stages, and in relation to starting similar projects elsewhere in Africa.
The project will be carried out in collaboration with our partners.
If you think it would be interesting to know more about this project and our plans, we encourage you to click below for more information.
A short video outlining the project.