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Opportunities to Make a Difference in the Off-Grid Solar Market in Tanzania

last modified Oct 10, 2018 12:43 PM

A small multidisciplinary team from Innovation Forum (Cambridge) travelled to Tanzania to research the off-grid solar development of rural electrification. The In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy was pleased to support the activity as one of the funders through its Small Grants Award.

The team interviewed a range of stakeholders in the solar industry which included Azuri, a solar home-kit supplier, and Rural Initiative for Sustainable Energy (RISE), a local solar home-kit distributor. The interviews provided insights to the technology and the risks and challenges in the business. The interview with TechnoServe, which works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industry, provided an understanding of the impact of training and educating young individuals taking up the challenge.

The team also met with Lighting Africa (a joint program by IFC and World Bank). The collaboration is set-up to enable 250 million people without access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa to gain access to clean, affordable lighting and energy products by 2030. In their meeting with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, they learnt about the priorities and work of UNCDF in Tanzania and the kind of projects they fund and develop.

Root level engagement to patron discussions, provided well researched understanding of the current market, the role of the stake holders in the economy, and potential opportunities. Future projects and partnerships between Tanzanian off-grid solar stakeholders, University of Cambridge and Innovation Forum for the rural-electrification initiative will be proposed.

Team members: 
Arfa Karani (Department of Physics)
Benjamin Droguet (Department of Chemistry)
Yi Lei Tan (Department of Biochemistry)
Yiyun Zhang (Department of Engineering)

If you are interested in getting involved please contact project leader Arfa Karani at .

Read the full report at

Image credit: Innovation Forum (Cambridge)