Lighting initiatives applauded at Rio +20 for increasing energy access

Experiencing solar lighting in the darkness of night © Lighting Africa
Experiencing solar lighting in the darkness of night
© Lighting Africa

Lighting Africa and a number of its associate companies were recognized at the Rio +20 Summit for their contributions and commitments towards the UN target of sustainable energy for all by 2030.

Lighting Africa, which has been instrumental in bringing to birth the modern off-grid lighting industry in Africa, was singled out for already making it possible for some 2.5 million people  without electricity in Africa to reduce their dependence on kerosene by embracing solar for their lighting needs.

Sustainable Energy for All  is an initiative of the United Nations, launched in September 2011, to transform the world’s energy systems so that everyone in the world will by 2030 have access to modern and sustainable energy for their various needs be they lighting, cooking, etc.

About 1.6 billion people in the world have no access to electricity, an estimated 600 million of whom are in Africa.

Lighting Africa is working to spawn a vibrant, competitive market for clean, high quality lighting products in Africa that will by 2030 reach 250 million people without electricity.

A number of the program’s Associate companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of modern off-grid lighting products in Africa were also recognized for their efforts towards improving access to clean energy. These include:-

  • d.light  – committed to expand the production and distribution of its solar lamps to 30 million people in more than 40 countries.
  • Nokero International – partnering with Navajo tribal leaders and a local non-profit organization to provide universal access to solar energy in the Navajo Nation.
  • Nuru Energy – pledged to avail its portable, rechargeable LED lights to about 1.8 million rural households in East Africa by 2016 through an expanded network of 10,000 village entrepreneurs.
  • Philips – committed to improving the energy efficiency of all its products by 50% by 2015 (compared to 2009), and to develop more off-grid, solar-LED lighting solutions.
  • Schneider Electric – committed to enable one million (1m) low-income off-grid households access energy by the end of 2014 through development of lighting and other clean energy solutions. Schneider will also provide technical training to some 30,000 young people at the ‘Base of the Pyramid’ in various aspects of energy management. Additionally, Schneider will educate more people in its products’ markets on energy saving in a bid to boost energy efficiency.
  • SolarAid – embraced audacious new organizational mission of eradicating the kerosene lamp from Africa by the end of the decade. In an inaugural blog , the CEO Steven Andrews explains how they will accomplish this through innovative thinking, novel approaches and partnerships.