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[Youth Initiatives] Harnessing the Zambian Sunlight

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African Views

African Views


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Entrepreneurialism is a thread that runs through the core of our program: only by embracing a spirit of risk-taking and harnessing the power of new ideas can youth in Africa and those working towards for young people find the path to a safer and more prosperous continent.

Thomas Smyth, an American twenty-something who graduated from Yale University this past year, has moved to Zambia to provide those living off the grid with power for their phones and light for their childrens' schoolbooks. Instead of endlessly buying candles for light after sunset, Thomas and his partners encourage Zambians to consider putting down a payment on a solar-powered light, which, once fully purchased, will pay for itself many times over.

Only 19% of Zambians have access to electricity. Zamsolar – Smyth's social enterprise – seeks to provide the other 10 million with that precious resource.