The mobile phone is the most successful electronic device in history. It is the first and so far only device to reach the most remote rural and low-income regions of the world. This success is due to a simple business model: Mobile Network Operators provide the infrastructure and run an accessible service that everyone wants. Following this example BuffaloGrid is doing what mobile network operators did for telecommunication to electrical power.
The United Nations says "Mobile phones are the biggest contributor to economic growth in off-grid rural populations". But keeping a phone charged when off-grid is frustrating and expensive. People travel large distances to charge their phones, pay for the world's most expensive electricity, and lose their phones for half a day while they charge.
BuffaloGrid has created a way to reliably deliver power to remote areas of Africa. It makes power affordable. A charged phone means access to services such as mobile-banking, water point mapping, and eventually the internet and the world.
The Joe Slovo vFoundation is working with BuffaloGrid to provide off-grid power for a range of vital uses from medical to educational applications, bringing economic growth to rural communities around the world.
Together the Joe Slovo Foundation and BuffaloGrid are working to create a gateway for new types of power services, billing and promotion that bring remote rural African villages into the information age. The phones and network infrastructure exist, what is needed is a way to power them. BuffaloGrid solar powered Hubs bring power to people, right where it's needed. A decentralised energy source is the key to bringing power to widely distributed off-grid people.
BuffaloGrid uses clean solar power, which increases access to safe phone charging and lighting, reducing respiratory complaints and indirectly tackling other problems such as the danger created by kerosene lamps that claim the lives of 1.5 million people each year, over half of which are under the age of five. Having safe lighting also means that people can be more productive through the dark hours, allowing children to study for longer.
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