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IFC-World Bank Report: 140 million in Africa Could Access Clean Lighting by 2015

In Nairobi
Bénédicte Walter

Phone: +254 71 74 123 78


Nairobi, Kenya, August 27, 2013 ― 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


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.

Download the report

About Lighting Africa

Lighting Africa, a joint IFC and World Bank program, seeks to accelerate the development of commercial

off-grid lighting markets in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of the World Bank Group's wider efforts to improve

access to energy. Lighting Africa is mobilizing the private sector to build sustainable markets that provide

affordable, modern off-grid lighting to communities across Africa that are not on the electricity grid. The

program and its partners have brought cleaner, safer, and better lighting to close to 7 million people and

are working to increase energy access, providing better lighting to 250 million people by 2030.

Lighting Africa is also a key element of the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global

LEAP), an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Lighting Africa is implemented in partnership with: The Africa Renewable Energy and Access Grants

Program • The Climate and development Knowledge Network (CDKN) • The Global Partnership on

Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) • The Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) • The

Global Environment Facility (GEF) • Italy • Luxembourg • The Netherlands • Norway • The Public-Private

Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) • The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership

(REEEP) • The United States.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing

countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and

Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World

Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA);

and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a

distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing

world. For more information, please visit,, and

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