Bright Energy Africa: Using Agricultural Waste to change Lives

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Bright Energy Africa: Using Agricultural Waste to change Lives

Arusha, Tanzania
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

While the debate for global warming persists so does the lack of a clean energy fuel that does not lead to deforestation and soil erosion within local communities. Bright Energy Africa aims to be Arusha's one stop shop for providing innovative, sustainable energy solutions to Tanzanians.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

BEA was born from the need to address a growing human and ecological problem. Majority of Tanzanians live off the land however more than 83% rely on wood and agricultural residues for their energy needs. In urban areas 90% use wood charcoal for cooking. The use of wood charcoal is a cause of deforestation and environmental degradation. We wanted to know how can we create a localized, self sufficient energy alternative to counteract this problem?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To utilize livestock and agricultural by-products provided by local farmers to make biomass briquettes and create employment for community members. 1)BEA will provide kilns and lease them out to farmers who will produce char-powder necessary for production of the briquette. We commit to buying all of the product thus increasing income for rural farmers. 2)Raw materials will be collected during harvest season, and BEA will contract with farmers to guarantee the supply of the raw materials to us and we will transport the materials to the factory 3)We finish the briquetting process, drying and packaging 4)We then distribute our briquettes through a network of small-scale retailers mainly made up of unemployed youth and women.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

An unemployed youth, Rafiki, who has been sitting idle for a couple of months has been trying to visit his friend Mafasa but to no avail. Mafasa has been going through training at BEA is about to become a sales agent for the company, he decides to pay Rafiki a visit to share with him the new venture he is about to embark. Mafasa explains that he learned of this opportunity after his mother purchased briquettes from a local vendor. With this knowledge he approached the vendor and inquired more into the position. The vendor explained how she receives commission with every sale that she makes and provides advice to women who use smoky wood to cook their food about the potential health and environmental risks of using wood charcoal.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Bright Energy Africa intends to considerably increase the use of affordable and environment friendly energy source to all low and medium income people living in Tanzania. Our exceptional and ground-breaking approach brings together farmers and sales agents (youth and women) to form a business model that is driven by the community and its resources. By empowering farmers with kilns and education on productive agriculture we are not only using their agricultural by products but also providing them with income similarly our sales agents will receive training in selling and marketing our clean energy products and secure permanent jobs. With the progressive production of briquettes comes less deforestation, increasing income (and ultimately standard of living) for the community.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Continued relationship with Embark Energy until we start generating revenue. We will put in place a research and development department to ensure that BEA keeps improving its products. And plan to increase sales by increasing the number of sales agents. Furthermore the good relationships we foster with our farmers will ensure that we have a constant supply of agricultural waste for production.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The current briquettes makers are Arti Tanzania and Mkaapoa. Compared to other briquettes makers BEA has outstanding management, technology, great production planning and a good marketing strategy. BEA's competitive advantage lies within its management who have been trained extensively by Embark Energy- an organization that offers an experienced network of mentors from the United States who provide distance learning and coaching. Their services have lead to our investment-ready business plan.

Comments

Violet Ayoub's picture

Hello fellow Changemakers,

Let me know what you think about my ideas.

Dear Violet,
What livestock and agricultural by-products are you using? In my country the manure is used by every local farmer to make organic fuel. Don't your local farmers make them by themselves?

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