This knowledge note is the first of three case studies that concerns scaling up access to electricity in Africa, Bangladesh, and Rwanda. Lighting Africa, launched in 2007, was the first private-sector-oriented effort to leverage new LED lighting technologies to build sustainable markets that provide safe, affordable and modern off-grid lighting to communities in Africa that lack access to electricity. The case study for Africa is important, according to the authors, because the continent faces a huge rural electricity deficit. According to the authors, Lighting Africa succeeded as a catalyst for the off-grid lighting market in Sub-Saharan Africa. They say another success is apparent in the trajectory of solar lantern sales in Kenya. Important lessons were learned during the first phase of the program. Some interventions were very successful, while others could have been done differently, according to the authors. Challenges that will need to be addressed encompass solar home systems, consumer awareness and impact evaluation.
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