Lighting up lives

Darkness comes early in Ghana, as it does in many African countries. For 500 million Africans without electricity, for children doing homework or adults conducting business, the only light comes from kerosene lamps or candles. Both of these pose dangers from fire or fumes. Our new lighting products could make a positive change by lighting up lives in Ghana. 


Light for everyone

Frank O. Atta-Owusu, the KITE Manager responsible for this project, explains: “We believe that everybody in Ghana should have light. Yet while 54-56% of Ghana’s populations do have access to electricity, most don’t have a connection to their homes. In addition, 80% of the population of in rural areas – millions of people – has no electricity at all. This is why we are so excited about the SESA project and the Philips sustainable lighting products.”


My Reading Light
These new products include a Portable Lantern that provides bright white light, a Dynamo Multi LED self-powered (wind-up) flashlight that provides 17 minutes of light after two minutes of hand winding, and a solar-powered reading light – with a built-in rechargeable battery – called ‘My Reading Light’. Developed specifically for the education sector in Africa, it will allow a new generation of school children to continue with their homework after sunset.

Improving lives
The products are all part of our drive to improve people’s lives. We’re not only committed to making affordable, high-quality, energy-efficient lighting, but also to making it available to areas where it is most needed. And that’s what our new LED-based, solar lighting products are intended to do. “These new lights are far more efficient than similar products on the market,” continues Frank O. Atta-Owusu, “and they will certainly make people’s lives better by improving health and safety, and assisting in education and economic activities at night. Even grid-connected homes can benefit, because Ghana’s electricity grid is currently very unreliable.”


A noble effort
He explains that the initial target is quite low: a realistic 14,000 lanterns, for example, in the first two years. The limitation is price, but an expected payback of 3-6 months will mitigate this. In addition, users of these lighting products will no longer need to buy kerosene. And as they all have a very low carbon footprint, they will also benefit the environment. “Philips low-cost sustainable lighting products are very good,” he concludes. “And if we pull together in this noble effort that aims to address multi-faceted issues in health and safety, economic activities and children’s education, then we – together with our local/national partners (Deng, Philips, New Energy, SNV and World Vision International), will have done an excellent job. We can only succeed.”