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Photos: Clean energy innovations are lighting up Africa

Mwaniki Daudi
Tafaria Castle near Nyeri, Kenya.
By Thu-Huong Ha
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 600 million people live without power. Two years ago, US president Barack Obama launched Power Africa, an initiative to bring 30,000 megawatts of clean electricity to the region, supported by the US Agency for International Development.

So far, Power Africa has delivered 4,100 megawatts of power to sub-Saharan Africa. Last week, the project marked its second anniversary with a photo contest. Responding to the prompt, “What does energy innovation look like?” 60 submissions revealed the bright new ideas driving energy innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. See ten of our picks below.

A 858-kilowatt-peak solar carport under construction at the Garden City Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo courtesy: Cross Boundary
A girl in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia examines solar LED lights by Little Sun, designed by Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Merklit Mersha
Tafaria Castle and County Lodge near Nyeri, Kenya provides accommodations with solar-heated showers. Photo: Mwaniki Daudi
An 8.5-megawatt solar field at Rwanda’s Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, east of Kigali, has increased the country’s generation capacity by six percent. Photo: Sameer Halai
In Maji ya Chai, Tanzania, a man uses a Mobisol solar system in his home to run a small business charging neighborhood phones. Photo courtesy: Mobisol
Light from a Little Sun solar LED lamp replaces a harmful kerosene lantern at a family dinner in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo: Helen Zeru
Coko Medical Center, three hours from Kigali, Rwanda, uses solar energy to deal with regular power outages in the area. Photo: Sameer Halai
A man in Tanzania is able to work after dark using a d.light solar lantern. Photo courtesy: d.light
A drone shot of a 500-watt system in rural Uganda that uses solar to power a home, video hall, barbershop, and public broadcast system. Photo courtesy of: Sameer Halai
At the Mobisol Akademie in Nyamata, Rwanda, young men are trained on solar panel installation. Photo: Ute Klein


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