We know that solar power can transform school performance in Africa, and we've seen how solar technology and information technology can combine to benefit rural African communities. (These solar-powered shipping container internet hubs are a particularly fine example of what is possible.)
So it's welcome news indeed from allAfrica.com that a new $4.7million solar initiative will bring electricity to schools and businesses across Tanzania:
The project follows a move by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US aid agency which operates in Tanzania as the Millennium Challenge Account - Tanzania (MCA-T), to award the tender to a local energy company in Tanzania. The local company, Rex won the Tender in partnership with Camco, an energy efficiency company. The Director for Commercial Sales and Marketing at Rex, Ms Christine Kahane, said on Sunday the project would involve installation of solar power at 45 secondary schools, 10 health centres, 120 dispensaries, municipal buildings and businesses across 25 village market centres.
As part of the project Camco will encourage households in the region to install small-scale solar home systems (SHS) by advising communities on the collective purchase and installation of systems in bulk. This arrangement, known as the 'PV Clusters' project format, is already being implemented by Camco in rural communities across the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania.
There's more on the Camco website about "solar clusters"—an innovative collective purchasing approach designed to remove market barriers to solar growth in Africa.