Distributed Power Africa (DPA) and Community Technology Trust in Zimbabwe (CTTZ), have entered into a partnership that seeks to empower rural communities through provision of solar power energy to boost their small businesses.
The partnership should see small-holder farmers and other small to medium enterprises enhance productivity through efficient use and availability of solar energy. CTTZ director Andrew Mushita said this initiative will compliment Government’s efforts in promoting entrepreneurial skills, employment creation, value addition and beneficiation across value chains.
“Community Technology Development Trust took the initiative and contacted Distributed Power Africa to provide solar power solutions for our community projects, which will support us in our efforts to provide economic stability, hope, and a bright future for all people,” said Mr Mushita.
DPA is a dynamic African renewable energy solutions provider that enables businesses and individuals have access to affordable and efficient energy at a lower cost. On the other hand, CTTZ implements sustainable development programmes targeting health, bio-diversity conservation, community income generating activities, crop production and food security.
The projects are being implemented in nine of the country’s districts covering Mutoko, Mudzi, Rushinga, Murehwa, Goromonzi, Chegutu and Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe. Mr Muchemwa said the partnership would also help mitigate effects of climate change, which is a threat to agriculture, especially the small holder farmers who rely on rain-fed agriculture. Successful implementation of the programme should also reduce dependency on coal-generated and hydro electricity.
“At the same time, Distributed Power Africa will profile the visibility of the model to other interested or like-minded institutions,” said Mr Mushita.
In Zimbabwe, an estimated 60 percent of the population do not have access to electricity and the problem is prevalent across the continent. But those with access to electricity, experience recurrent blackouts and poor quality leaving individuals and firms resorting to diesel generators that increase overheads. The World Bank’s Enterprise survey shows that electricity is a major constraint for 44 percent of established manufacturing firms and service sector enterprises.
Use of solar energy has therefore been identified as an attractive alternative to hydro-electricity across Africa as it is cheaper and more sustainable for both industrial, commercial and domestic uses.