Source: IFC

The IFC-World Bank programme, Lighting Africa, is developing markets for off-grid lighting products and promoting their use in Ethiopia.  

Since its launch in Ethiopia in 2015, the programme has enabled more than one million people to meet their basic electricity needs. Ethiopians have purchased 1.3 million Lighting Global quality-assured products.

Those results reflect a worldwide trend: more than 140 million people in over 80 countries are using Lighting Global’s quality-verified products to light their homes and power their businesses.

By replacing kerosene-powered alternatives, the global programme avoids 2.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year—the equivalent of removing 364,000 cars from the road.

One of the many who benefits from this initiative is Shukri Dinsefa, who sells farm products and household goods, including solar lights, to members of his local farming cooperative in the town of Butajira.

“Now the children of co-op members can study at night,” Dinsefa says. “They are enjoying cleaner air as opposed to the smoke they had to inhale from fuels they used to use.”

Dinsefa stocks lights and other off-grid appliances that meet standards set by Lighting Africa’s affiliate Lighting Global. These standards are important because they allow consumers to identify reliable products, and protect the market from being tainted by an influx of poor-quality goods.

Awareness campaigns reaching more than 15 million Ethiopian consumers have also helped build a sustainable off-grid energy sector.

According to the IFC, during the past decade, this sector has expanded to become an industry that generates $1 billion in annual revenue worldwide. Read more: Solarkiosk partners with Siemens for micro-grid solutions

Global goals

Lighting Africa has an ambitious target: to enable the more than 250 million people across sub-Saharan Africa who are living without electricity to gain access to clean, affordable, quality-verified off-grid lighting and energy products by 2030.

The Lighting Africa/Ethiopia programme is funded by the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) of the Climate Investment Funds, the Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP), and the governments of Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands.