Our guest blogger is Mo El-Fatatry, CEO of Masar. Masar is a smart energy company ushering a new era of smart energy in the Middle East & North Africa, headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Masar specializes in mobile and distributed solar power generation with its flagship product, Masar Box (a container-based fully-functional 50KW solar power plant ready within less than 60 minutes) and was selected as one of the top smart energy startups by Rockstart, Climate-KIC, Slush, Energy Academy Europe and Collision. The company is also a corporate member of the leading European solar industry association, SolarPower Europe.
“During our lifetime, we will see the first economic migrants from the rest of the world to Africa” said to me Arash Aazami, one of the leading Dutch experts on energy, who is a regular keynote speaker at the International Energy Agency. I was puzzled, because here’s a man who beautifully articulated why I started Masar Smart Energy in a single sentence, without even trying. Africa, is poised for breakneck economic growth for the next few decades. It has rich natural resources, a young population and now, with abundant affordable energy, some communities experience triple-digit economic growth.
Right now, much of that potential is paralyzed, because over 600 million people do not have access to electricity and they spent hours every day collecting firewood, transporting oil-based fuels and living in darkness. In some areas, school are closed during the daytime because it is too hot. And they are also closed during the nighttime because there is no electricity. When solar energy arrives to such communities, they boom suddenly and you see a large number of entrepreneurs emerge. Craftswomen can produces up to 300% more products and the streets are safer because they are lit during the night. What’s even better is that we have for the first time a global consensus to fight climate-change and global powers are racing each other to participate in this Africa energy revolution.
Here are six examples that are helping make a difference:
Who’s leading it? United States government
The New Deal for Energy in Africa
Who’s leading it? The African Development Bank
Energy Africa campaign
Who’s leading it? The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa
Who’s leading it? Funding comes from the governments of Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom and United States and the fund is administered by the African Development Bank
Electrification Financing Initiative
Who’s leading it? The European Commission
African Energy Leaders Group
Who’s leading it? Heads of state and corporate executives of companies from across the African continent