Ideas to Action:

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Solar Power for the Lamps of Africa: World Bank and IFC Back a Bright Idea

September 10, 2007

Some 500 million Africans—about two out of three people on the continent—lack access to electricity. Those who do have electricity often pay more than people in other parts of the world, and the supply is erratic, with daily outages often lasting for hours. The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation have launched a new program, the Lighting Africa Initiative, that aims to help solve this problem by bringing safe lighting via solar lamps and other clean-fuel methods to half of the people who live without electricity. Vijaya Ramachandran, a visiting fellow at CGD, welcomes the program and praises its innovative, competitive approach.

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