One of the major problems affecting Africa is electricity distribution. Many Africans cannot access affordable and reliable electric energy. This is because electricity supply in Africa is by governments. According to the chairman and co-founder of Pawame startup based in UAE Alex Allegue, citizens have failed to get a reliable and affordable supply of electricity due to inadequate capital by the governments.
Electricity supply in developed countries cannot be compared to those in Africa. For instance, Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest oil exporters globally. It has a population of 27 million people. The country has a power capacity of 55 gigawatts. Kenya with a population of not more than 44 million people is one of the biggest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The country has a power capacity of 3 gigawatts. Sub-Saharan Africa has a population capacity of 150 million with 70% of its population running short of grid power. Pawame, therefore, comes in to help fill the wide gap in the region.
Pawame was founded after the founders and Allegue came up with a number of solar kits. The kits were aimed at offering a design for a new product that will be easy to run at an affordable cost. The startup later on in 2016 moved to Kenya after the partnership with a German kit manufacturer that based in Thailand. The startup now delivers a solar energy kit facilitated by a panel with a battery. The battery is then connected to lamps that conserve energy. Furthermore, the lambs are chargeable using mobile phones. Pawame has managed to make a total of 4,000 sales of its kits and it is planning to roll out new products. The solution is in a position to offering energy efficiency and electricity to millions of African homes. This can change the lives of many Africans.
Pawame completed a round of funding worth $2 million recently. Furthermore, it has received many honors since the launch. The firm was a finalist in both the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event and the New Venture Contest of Harvard Business School. Furthermore, the firm was shortlisted by the MIT Enterprise Forum for the Pan-Arab Region for the Innovate for Refugees Competition as a semi-finalist. Moreover, the firm secured a partnership with MasterCard in 2018.
The partnership will deliver technical expertise to connect refugee settlements digitally. The ability of the firm to transform lives is realistic. This is because it has managed to change above 200,000 Kenyans. Electricity supply will, therefore, open up room for various investments in the continent. The mobile sector will be the one to benefit a lot from this startup. Individuals will be able to grow financially. This will later on help improve their living standards.