Washington — A new report by the joint IFC-World Bank Lighting Africa Program projects that Africa is set to become the world's largest market for clean off-grid lamps, with up to 140 million people having access to better lighting by 2015. The market for quality off-grid lighting products in Africa has seen a 300 percent growth in sales in the past three years.
The Lighting Africa Market Trends Report 2012 - Overview of an the Off-Grid Lighting Market in Africa, provides a snapshot of the region's off-grid lighting market in Africa. In Africa 600 million people still rely on expensive, ineffective, and sometimes dangerous lighting sources, such as kerosene.
The market for quality off-grid lighting products has matured more rapidly than Lighting Africa predicted three years ago. The report projects that cumulative sales could grow to 28 million solar lanterns in Africa by 2015, double the 2010 estimate.
Itotia Njagi, Lighting Africa's Program Manager, said, "IFC and the World Bank are committed to ensuring consumers gain better access to products that meet basic needs. With the price declines in raw materials and solar panels, off-grid lamps are becoming increasingly affordable and within reach for rural
households that lack electricity. Lighting Africa on track to reach 250 million people without electricity by 2030."
Lighting Africa is helping build a market to bring off-grid lighting across Africa by establishing quality standards, investing in consumer education, creating a favorable investment climate, and supporting innovative business models.
Consumer stand to gain the most from a growing market for clean off-grid lights that offer better value to low-income buyers than they did three years ago. Current product offerings have benefited from a decline in manufacturing costs while quality has improved with longer battery life, increased brightness and new features such as mobile phone charging and pay-as-you-go options from the current product offering becoming more common.
Multinational such as Schneider Electric, TOTAL, Panasonic and Energizer are now taking an interest in a market that had been dominated by smaller companies. This has the potential to drive this market at a faster rate.
By converting from kerosene to clean energy, millions of consumers can improve their health, reduce their spending on expensive fuels, and benefit from better illumination and more productive time in their homes, schools and businesses.
The Lighting Africa Market Trends Report gathered input from a broad range of industry experts, manufacturers, distributors and civil society organizations. It is the second issue in a series.
SOURCE International Finance Corporation (IFC)