March 14, 2010
Lagos — Solar Jooce, a social enterprise put together by David C. Agbakoba, has concluded plans to embark on a Solar for the Masses campaign, whose objective is to drive through rural communities in all the 36 states of the federation.
A statement from the company, said the campaign is expected to last about 30 days, in order to create awareness for the potentials of solar energy. The company's initial ambitious target is to provide basic solar appliances to 3,600 homes in the 36 states, an average of 100 households per state.
The Solar for the Masses drive-around-Nigeria kicks off from Abuja in May, this year.
The statement said the enterprise was formed as a response to the two most important threats facing humanity today, which are climate change and poverty, while the objective was to enable Nigeria's poorest people gain access to free, alternative, clean, renewable power such as solar energy.
Managing Partner of Solar Jooce, Anne Agbakoba-Osagie: said "currently, two billion people have no access to electricity, but the huge potential of solar energy can be the solution to the energy needs of many. A poor family in Africa burns around 55 litres of kerosene a year to light their home. Not many people know that respiratory diseases, caused by toxic kerosene fumes, kill 1.6 million women and children each year. That is one death every 20 seconds. Kerosene smoke also damages the eyes and the environment. Just replacing 2500 kerosene lanterns with solar lamps will result in far better health for rural dwellers, and reduce CO2 pollution by 100 tons over five years".
The statement further said "for the first time, remote rural areas will not only receive their first solar lights, but will also be shown how to use these appliances that enable after-dark activities-students can study/read; market women and small businesses can keep their trade open for longer and charge phones with a combined solar light/phone charger; fishermen will have much brighter (and safer) light to fish at night; communities and co-operatives can charge their phones at any time, allowing them shop around for the best prices for their produce, and stay 'connected' with buyers."
Heading Team Solar Jooce is the Patron, Major-General Sam Momah (rtd) - former Minister of Science & Technology, and a member of the Solar Energy Society of Nigeria. The General is a First Class graduate of Civil Engineering and will bring his invaluable experience to bear on the Solar for the Masses project.
In his acceptance letter to become Patron, Maj-Gen. Momah says: "I believe strongly that Africa, which has remained at the bottom of the Human Development Index (HDI) for centuries will make a radical turn for the best when our world distinctly enters the Solar Age. The continent will be propelled into the First World by her comparative advantage in the supra-abundance of Solar Energy".
Momah, a strategic thinker and technology buff, has written three high profile books:Technology is Power; Global Strategy; and Global Disorder & the New World Order.
The expedition team, led by Mrs. Agbakoba-Osagie, includes support staff such as a Webmaster, an engineer, and a filming crew.
As a social enterprise, the main aim of Solar Jooce is to generate support to further its social and environmental goals. The company will be calling on corporate Nigeria to support the Solar for the Masses campaign year after year by "Sponsoring a Community" - until most of rural Nigeria is lit up.
Because it seeks to improve the common good and solve a social problem in a new, more lasting and effective way than traditional approaches, the project will be captured as a model for sustainable development