With high levels of unemployment and vulnerable employment on the rise, the world of work in Africa is still facing tremendous challenges in terms of job creation and sustainability.
Of all the continents of the world, Africa exhibits the highest unemployment rate. Creating productive jobs remains a key challenge in Sub Saharan Africa.
Most African countries are fast developing and there is a huge need for extensive innovation and creativity – being able to channel the little resources at one’s disposal into something positive to yield sustainability.
According to the World Bank, the African Continent has arguably the worst electric power infrastructure in the world with the lowest scores in power generation, consumption and security of supply.
The sun is the most abundant and free energy source, when compared with the other alternative and renewable energy sources available for Africa. Thousands of villages in Africa are so remote and too spread apart that it would take decades and billions of investment dollars to take electricity to all corners of the continent.
Because most of Africa sits on the earth’s equator, the sun’s reaches many parts of the continent including the remotest parts. This raw energy already touches the parts of the continent that power grids and infrastructure have still not reached – after many decades.
Below are some business ideas inspired by the discovery of solar energy:
Solar Phone Charging Business
In most developing countries, people have a greater chance to own a cell phone than to have access to electricity or water. In these countries where electricity can be a luxury not accessible to all, public phone charging is very popular. To counter the electricity issue, solar phone charging is one of the solutions provided to local consumers.
This involves setting up a solar powered shop or stall, where you charge small amounts of money for charging people’s phones.
Solar phone charging business is very lucrative because:
- Most African countries are known for epileptic power supply.
- Everyone uses phone.
- It is convenient and cheap for the customers.
Most rural communities in Africa are known to lack the most basic amenities such as electricity, clean water, and so on. This is why Water Business is a good idea.
An entrepreneur can set up a borehole and a solar powered pumping machine which is used to provide clean water and sold at affordable rates to the people within the community.
Wholesales Of Solar Products
Wholesaling is the sale and distribution of solar products to retailers. Wholesalers are usually the importers who stock large volumes of solar equipment.
These guys usually import all kinds of materials, equipment, appliances and materials relating to solar energy from overseas manufacturers or major distributors in the USA, Europe and Asia.
As expected, playing at this level requires a significant amount of capital. The exact figures will depend on the type of equipment and volume.
Solar Installation Service
Installation service contractors are the technical guys who do the actual work of fixing solar panels to rooftops and setting up the entire system to make it work for customers.
Due to their skill, these guys are contracted by individual customers; and work on government and NGO projects. They also help to maintain, service and fix problems relating to solar systems.
On a regular day, production and sales of ice is a lucrative business in Africa due to lack of electricity and hot weather.
With the invention of solar ice machines, be sure to be raking in all the cash. In a community where there is irregular supply of power, this is a hit business as you can make and sell ice to several people who need it to run their daily business.
Ice Production is lucrative because:
- Apart from the machine, ice production is not capital intensive.
- Ice is related to consumption, there are hardly any low days.
- You can be a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer at the same time, at no cost.
Retails Of Solar Products
Retailers are the folks who buy in smaller quantities from wholesalers. They usually don’t stock huge quantities of products and often sell directly to consumers.
Unlike the wholesaler who stocks goods in a warehouse or depot, a retailer is likely to sell his products from a shop or stall. Of course, retailers require much less capital to start up and offer a wide range of options to customers.