20-05-10 11:54

Winners picked as best off-grid lighting products in Sub-Saharan Africa

Nairobi, Kenya, May 19, 2010 -- The World Bank Group’s Lighting Africa Program today selected five innovative products as the best able to deliver safe, reliable and cost-effective lighting to millions of people in Africa who currently rely on fuel-based lamps or other low-quality products.

The winners were judged by a panel of industry experts and announced in Nairobi, Kenya at the Lighting Africa Conference and Trade Fair. Lighting Africa is helping mobilize the private sector to provide modern, off-grid lighting – such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) - to more than 250 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

Twenty-four entrants were rigorously tested and judged in five categories: room lighting, task lighting, portable torch lighting, best value and top performance. No award was made in the portable torch lighting category. The winning manufacturer’s and products in the other categories are:

  • Barefoot Power’s ‘PowaPack’, which won in the room lighting category and also won for top performance
  • Greenlight Planet’s ‘Sun King’, which won in the task lighting category and  took second in the best value category
  • Barefoot Power’s ‘Firefly’, which won in the best value category for products that cost under $40 and came second in the task lighting category
  • SunTransfer’s ‘SunTransfer2’, which took second place in the top performance category
  • D. Light Design’s ‘Nova S200’, which took second place in the room lighting category

Jean-Philippe Prosper, IFC’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “The awards mark the beginning of a process that will help consumers identify quality lighting products more easily. The awards were designed to recognize off-grid lighting systems that achieve high performance, while remaining affordable for low- income earners in Sub Saharan Africa.”

Lighting Africa, a joint World Bank and IFC developmental initiative, will provide feedback to the five winners and all of the 24 finalists with detailed laboratory test results and user comments to help them refine their products and ready them for the African market. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.     

Lighting Africa was established to mobilize the global lighting industry to help entrepreneurs develop off-grid, non-fuel based lighting solutions for the millions of Africans who lack access to reliable light, and to reduce barriers that interfere with the private sector’s efforts to penetrate the market.

Lighting Africa’s technical partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy in Freiburg, Germany, the National Lighting Test Center in Beijing, China, and the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University in California.

Comments and questions are welcome at:  qualityassurance@lightingafrica.org 
For more information on the Lighting Africa program, go to: www.lightingafrica.org

Note to editors:

Upcoming press release:

  • Key outcomes of the Conference and way forward – May 20, 2010

About Lighting Africa
Lighting Africa is a World Bank Group (WBG) initiative which supports the private sector to develop, accelerate, and sustain the market for modern off-grid lighting technologies tailored to the needs of consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lighting Africa is implemented in partnership with: the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Energy Sector Management Assistance (ESMAP), The UK Department for International Development (DFID), Good Energies Inc., Luxemburg, The Netherlands, The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), The Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), and the Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE).

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.4 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About the World Bank

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world, with the mission of global poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards. It is not a bank in the common sense. It is made up of two unique development institutions owned by 185 member countries — the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Each institution plays a different but supportive role in this mission. The IBRD focuses on middle income and creditworthy poor countries, while IDA focuses on the poorest countries in the world. Together, they provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit, and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications, and many other purposes. By doing so, the World Bank concentrates on building the climate for investment, jobs and sustainable growth, so that economies will grow, and investing in and empowering poor people to participate in development.  For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org

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In partnership with: 

  • AFREA - Africa Renewable Energy Access Grants Program 
  • ASTAE - Asia Sustainable and Alternative Energy Program 
  • ESMAP - Energy Sector Management Assistance Program
  • GEF - Global Environment Facility
  • Good Energies Inc.
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway 
  • PPIAF - Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility
  • REEEP - Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership