For so many people in Africa, Access to electricity for the purpose of lightening and small appliances is scarce. One obvious example is the mobile phone. In Africa, the mobile phone serves as a lifeline; it is used to maintain family contacts, to make business deals, to do banking, to keep yourself posted of the latest news, et cetera. Almost everybody has one, but charging your mobile phone is problematic and an expensive activity, since energy sources are rare and prices for charging rise high. Small solar energy sources can provide a simple solution for this problem.
Hence, Solited aims at bringing solar energy within reach of these households and entrepreneurs and in this way tries to increase the quality of life in African rural households. In preparation of his business activities, Charles conducted a market research in West Africa. He made visits himself and worked together with local students. He investigated the need for solar energy and what people are willing to spend on it. Outcomes were supportive for his idea that solar energy is an undiscovered, but relatively simple and affordable solution. At the moment activities are mainly concentrated in Nigeria, but contacts are made to extend activities to other African countries, such as Zambia, Zuid Sudan, Congo, Benin, Cameroon, Liberia, Ghana and Togo.
The rise of Solited is in line with Charles Dickson’ vision on development cooperation that it should be approached as a win-win situation. We should abandon the idea that development cooperation is a one-way process of bringing ‘them’ what (‘we’ think) ‘they’ need, without a reciprocal effect. A relation of equality should be central, not one of dependency. This can be found in Solited: itmakes solar energy accessible for people in Africa and at the same time it creates employment here and realizes a new market area in Africa for companies in the West.
Of course, Solited aims at making profit, but part of the profit is returned in local communities by return investments. Besides, Solited tries to link up with existing development projects in supporting that they make solar energy to the core of their policy.
To improve the living conditions of residents in the rural areas Solited International BV now has offices in a number of countries together with local partners. Visit our Offices page for an overview.