Empowering Change

October 27, 2011

Neil Jeffery, CEO at Renewable World, looks at how clean, affordable, reliable energy can kick-start income generation activities in areas of market failure.

Innovative solutions to poverty alleviation often fail to achieve full impact due to a lack of energy. This is where Renewable World’s crucial contribution can make an enormous difference.

One example of where Renewable World is helping to bring imaginative solutions to isolated communities is our programme with ALIN (Arid Lands Information Network) in the Kagera region of northern Tanzania. ALIN is a Kenyan NGO working across East Africa. They have a strong background in bridging the digital divide and promoting regionally appropriate information exchange networks through ‘Maarifa Centres’, to enable poor farmers to maximise their return on investment from crops. Their work enhances the ability of poor rural students to access education and equips unemployed youth with modern skills to seek local employment.

Working alongside ALIN, who were recently recognised for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their ground-breaking work, Renewable World is promoting transformative change through the appropriate use of renewable energy across their network of centres. Critically, clean, affordable and reliable distributed energy allows ALIN to establish centres in extremely remote locations, bringing their award-winning poverty alleviation, digital information access and peer-to-peer learning techniques to isolated, off-grid communities. Additionally, we are working with ALIN to develop a viable business model for the Nyakasimbi Maarifa Centre to promote it’s long-term financial, social and technical sustainability. This example is just one of the multiple programme activities currently being developed by Renewable World in dozens of communities across the globe.

Read the rest of Neil’s blog on the role of energy for income generation in issue 14 of our magazine New Energy.