KARIBU Solar Power

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KARIBU Solar Power

Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaDar es Salaam, Tanzania
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

We are an innovative social enterprise that makes high quality solar power affordable via a modular solar lamp (solar panel + rechargeable battery + light) that allows the average BoP consumer to enjoy the benefits of solar lighting and energy.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What is solar was as affordable as kerosene?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The current problem is toxic kerosene lamps, which create poor indoor air quality, pose the risk of house fires and personal injury and emit millions of tons of CO2 annually. Less than 3% of the 500+ million Africans use solar due to affordability. People already visit the small-shop network daily for their household needs (including kerosene). KARIBU aims to distribute through these channels via microfranchising.

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

By splitting up the components of a solar lamp (solar panel + rechargeable battery/charger + light), we split up the payments for the end-consumer – replicating the cash payments for kerosene. A KARIBU micro-franchisee sells the battery, charger and light components of the lamp to a consumer and keeps the solar panel – the only way to charge the battery. The consumer returns to the shop daily to swap out their empty battery pack with a fully-charged one (and they pay what they would for kerosene).
Impact: How does it Work

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

This is illustrated by Alice’s example: 1. The KARIBU-branded shop has a lamp (panel + battery + light) with an extra battery. 2. Alice buys the battery portion (for $3) and the shop charges the extra battery with the solar panel. 3. Alice’s children use the light at home to study and the family charges their mobile phone. 4. Alice returns the next day and exchanges the empty battery for the charged one (pays $0.30 – what she already pays for kerosene). 5. Alice has the choice to continue buying the “charge” or buy the solar panel outright and become her own solar entrepreneur.

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

KARIBU addresses the lack of access to light and energy and the use of kerosene. Kerosene emits toxic black smoke, poses the risk of burning homes and people and emits millions of tons of CO2 annually – contributing to Climate Change. In addition, people spend a significant portion of their income on kerosene – which literally goes up in smoke. KARIBU improves the social (longer study hours for children and elimination of toxic fumes), environmental (cuts CO2 emissions) and economic well being (saves money) of families and communities. In addition, with longer working hours (with more hours of light) and improved connectivity (with functional phones), KARIBU contributes to improved economic development. So far, we have eliminated 200 tonnes of CO2 (2,000 lamps x 100kg/year) from entering the environment through regular, non-modular solar lamps.

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

With the up-front expenditure for making these modular solar lamps, sales to small shops will ensure the financial sustainability of KARIBU Solar Power.

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

Current solutions (i.e. solar lamps) are utilizing sales channels to which their consumers do not have access. The target market for solar solutions is rural communities that are not connected to the electric grid. By offering the KARIBU solution to a rural community consumer who has the choice between 0.30 USD / day for solar lighting (and the added benefit of mobile phone charging) and 0.30 USD for kerosene, they have the ability to choose solar.

Founding Story

We began bringing solar lamps into Tanzania and we learned that the major barrier for most people was affordability. We went back to the drawing board and developed our new modular solar lamp. This new lamp in tandem with the social distribution model allows for solar lamps, and mobile phone charging, to be affordable


Adam Camenzuli's picture

We won the EnGen Award from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce​! Thanks Community Innovation Lab​ for the nomination and Core21 Oshawa​ for the working space! 

Thanks also to our mom for accepting it on our behalf while we are in Tanzania.

Read more here: www.oshawachamber.com 

Adam Camenzuli's picture

Congratulations to Brian Camenzuli for winning the Community Innovation Lab's Fast Pitch Competition!

Thank you Ontario Centres of Excellence!