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Africa to Become World’s Largest Market for Solar Lanterns by 2015

Lighting Africa26 August 2013: Lighting Africa's “Lighting Africa Market Trends Report 2012 – Overview of an the Off-Grid Lighting Market in Africa”  indicates that market growth for clean, off-grid lighting has consistently beaten expectations, growing 300 percent in the past three years. Growth is also expected to continue, with current estimations for 2015's market size now double what experts had predicted in 2010.

Aside from sales numbers, the report notes that lighting products have also improved dramatically over recent years, benefiting from reductions in manufacturing costs, improved battery life and brightness, along with new features including mobile phone charging capabilities. It also notes that a number of different charging options have become available, and Lighting Africa no longer refers only to solar lanterns as it had in previous annual reports, but rather considers the market for “pico-powered lighting systems” (PLS), which include hand-cranked and pedal-powered lights. A further change in the market is that a broader set of payment options has become available, including pay-as-you-go. Finally, new actors have entered the scene, including multinationals such as Schneider Electric, TOTAL, Panasonic and Energizer. These large corporations represent potential to expand production and sales even more rapidly.

Lighting Africa is a joint initiative of International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, which seeks to accelerate development of commercial off-grid lighting in Sub-Saharan Africa. [Press release] [Lighting Africa Market Trends Report 2012 – Overview of an the Off-Grid Lighting Market in Africa English / French]