Renewable energy, especially solar energy, is a growing component of the African Conservation and Development Foundation’s Nature and People Programme. With a dual purpose of enhancing community development and the fight against environmental degradation, this innovative component builds on the fact that access to the national electricity grid remains a distant dream for most rural communities in Africa and that even for those who are connected, regular rolling blackouts are constant sources of frustrations and anguishes for the population, especially for social amenities and small local businesses.

Generating energy, especially solar energy in ACDEF Renewable Energy and Rural Development component, is largely inspired by the model developed by Barefoot College in India. This uniquely innovative model places the local community centre stage in the production and management of solar energy. By so doing, ACDEF and partners believe the communities should be able to manage their own energy needs with minimal external support for long term sustainability.

Building on our comprehensive knowledge of life in rural Africa, the early challenges to introducing this alternative source of energy in the villages include, but are not limited to poor awareness, the paucity of knowledge and local technical capacity as well as lack of initial capital investment. ACDEF is working with national and international partners to address these challenges and establish pilot innovative and replicable renewable energy generation and management models that would support rural community development in Africa.

Please visit our Renewable Energy and Rural Development project portfolio and let us share your thoughts and how you can help.