Dean of Engineering shares perspectives on how startups can boost solar energy supply across Africa

May 11, 2017
Energy supply is a worrying problem across the African continent. At current deployment rates, it is estimated that access to reliable energy supply will be limited to a select few until 2080. While several small-scale entrepreneurs are making forays into the energy space, their efforts are minimal, at best.

In a publication in independent online media outlet, The Conversation, Dean of Engineering School at Ashesi, Fred McBagonluri, shares perspectives on how governments can help entrepreneurs to address Africa’s energy challenges.

“In an era where private investors and public funds are receding entrepreneurship is vital to Africa’s economies,” he says. “With a swathe of technologies opening up, entrepreneurship poses a big opportunity for African innovators. The energy entrepreneur is well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the sector. But where can they realistically get involved?”

The publication further addresses a number of ways governments across Africa could contribute to the success of startups within the solar space.

“Providing energy is generally the government’s job,” he states. “That alone is enough to dissuade new entrepreneurs. Governments have traditionally subsidized and collaborated with large utilities and grid-based electricity provision. But they haven’t done much for the small-scale off-grid or micro-grid solutions. There are several ways in which governments can help redress this imbalance.”

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