Meet The African Green Entrepreneurs Showing The West How It’s Done
From solar smart meters to low-impact beekeeping, a new generation of African entrepreneurs are using their ingenuity to bring equitable, climate-friendly solutions to some of the most disadvantaged communities.
Forbes magazine spoke to five SEED Awards Winners across the African continent. As many as eight out of the 10 nations most at risk from climate change are in Africa. So, as wealthy western nations congratulate themselves for their climate leadership whilst deliberately undermining global climate action, innovators in some of the world’s least developed countries are taking matters into their own hands.
“After university my brother and I became solar entrepreneurs, installing mini-grids,” says Kyeswa from Peec Energy. “We quickly found that the high up-front cost of solar developments were a problem for many rural communities, so we looked for a smart metering solution that could allow smart metering and prepayment.” The Uganda-based enterprise supplies the meters to mini grid developers who are installing solar systems that aren’t connected to the grid, enabling the companies to remotely monitor their systems and collect bill payments hassle-free.
Peec Energy has so far helped install about 10,000 kilowatt hours of solar energy systems, enabling others to start their own businesses in areas that were formerly off the grid. Yet Kyeswa says this is just the beginning. “We expect to reach maybe 50,000 households over the next five years, impacting quarter of a million people in Uganda alone,” he explains. Beyond that, Peec Energy hopes to build its own research and development lab, and expand outside Uganda to Rwanda and Congo, reaching up to 500,000 households and impacting more than 1 million people.
Other enterprises featured in the article work in waste management, like JVL-YKMA Recycling Plant does in Ghana or Regenize's Smart Solution in South Africa, clean energy solutions, such as EcoGen Limited in Malawi, or sustainable agriculture with a focus on biodiversity, like Wuchi Wami's beekeeping in Zambia.