This pilot project explores possibilities of using a Base of the Pyramid-approach to social and economic development for poor rural people in sub-Saharan Africa, in the area of renewable energy technologies (RETs) and income-generating activities.
It is a research project initiated by the STEEP-RES research team, supported by SKF through the SKF-Chalmers UTC for Sustainability. It will focus on the value chains of RETs and small-scale mechanical systems in rural Tanzania and Mozambique. It adopts a broad approach to identify potential market segments, consumer groups and possible business models. The study contributes understanding of the BoP-approach and possibilities for economic growth, poverty alleviation and development of clean modern energy products and services in eastern Africa.
The BoP concept promotes companies to establish business partnerships with low-income communities in order to co-create businesses and markets, benefitting both companies and communities. Access to modern energy services is a crucial issue for development. The future sub-Saharan African market for small-scale RETs and technologies for productive electricity use is potentially enormous. In India and Latin America, BoP approaches have been used in the areas of energy, water and agriculture, with positive results both for the companies and people involved.
Birger Löfgren, PhD, Environmental Systems Analysis
SKF-Chalmers University Technology Centre for Sustainability