2009 SEED Winner, Nafore and Afrisolar Energy Kiosks, wins ERM's Low Carbon Competition
Nafore and Afrisolar Energy Kiosks, a 2009 SEED Winner, aim to fill the energy gap faced by citizens in rural areas in Burkina Faso, where 98% of the population is excluded from the official power grid. Through a network of franchisees, the initiative provides access to mobile solar-powered charging stations (the Nafore) where rural households can charge their mobile phones in a commercially and environmentally sustainable way.
In the western world mobile phones are a convenience and might not seem a priority investment, but for people in rural areas of Burkina Faso, mobile phones are an essential element towards the day-to-day management of their businesses and personal lives. By improving communication capacity, people in rural areas receive better access to knowledge, information and services, such as market prices or medical assistance.
The charging stations are leased to a trained villager, who is then able to start an own business charging the communities' mobile phones. Therefore, the Nafore not only allows citizens in rural areas to re-charge their phones easily but at the same time it creates permanent jobs and income opportunities in rural areas through the franchising. View more photos of the energy kiosks on the ERM website here.
The Nafore and Afrisolar Energy Kiosks were chosen as one of the three winners of the Low Carbon Competition, which enables people at the Environment Resources Management (ERM) to identify investment propositions for the Low Carbon Enterprise Fund and offer technical support for other carbon reduction initiatives. The Low Carbon Enterprise Fund was established to support small “low carbon” businesses in the developing world. The fund sits within the ERM Foundation - a not-for-profit charity - and provides finance in the form of loans and equity stakes to entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Read more about ERM here.