Guest blog by Daniel Mwingira
Electricity is essential in developing economies and especially in rural settings, for creating new ways of generating income and adding value to existing products when it arrives for the first time. Unconnected communities normally have high business expectations when energy arrives, hoping rural electrification alone can bring along development opportunities. Sadly, they might be neglecting other variables that stimulate rural development.
In this blog, Daniel Mwingira, who participated as a coach and participant in the 2018 Energy Safari, reflects on how rural communities can use electricity for income generation, as opposed to current practices, using electricity for lighting, charging mobile phones, and for domestic entertainment on radio and TV – as he experienced during his engagement with the communities he visited.
He describes how energy companies working with these rural communities are facing multiple setbacks and challenges, such as limited community knowledge on how electricity access can promote economic growth in these communities.
Unconnected communities normally have high business expectations when energy arrives, hoping rural electrification alone can bring along development opportunities. Sadly, they might be neglecting other variables that stimulate rural development.
In an interview with Frederick Mushi, the Energy Change Lab PUE Advisor, we learn there is a need for more stakeholder involvement in establishing a friendly business environment to enable these communities to productively use rural electricity in order to improve their livelihoods.
Mushi asserts it is more productive for Tanzania youth looking for the scarce jobs in urban areas, to consider tapping into the existing opportunities that come with the setup of these mini-grid installations in rural areas.
Read the complete blog in Swahili here written by Daniel Mwingira
Daniel Mwingira is a Tanzanian journalist based in Dar es Salaam. He is a co- founder of Nukta Africa Limited, a digital media start-up owning three products: Hewani (Radio/audio services app), Chapisha (free online publication platform) and Nukta (www.nukta.co.tz, a Swahili news site covering innovation, business, data and Safari).