The Power of Small-Scale Solar: Gender, Energy Poverty, and Entrepreneurship in Tanzania

Citation:

Gray, Leslie, Alaina Boyle, Erika Francks, and Victoria Yu. 2019. “The Power of Small-Scale Solar: Gender, Energy Poverty, and Entrepreneurship in Tanzania.” Development in Practice 29 (1): 26–39.

Authors: Leslie Gray, Alaina Boyle, Erika Francks, Victoria Yu

Abstract:

Energy poverty is a major challenge in the developing world, with an estimated 1.2 billion people lacking household electricity. Although energy poverty affects both men and women, the burden of household energy supply disproportionately affects women in low-income countries in the developing world. This article examines the impact of a women-oriented solar lighting social enterprise, Solar Sister, in Tanzania for both solar entrepreneurs and customers, demonstrating that solar lanterns positively impact household savings, health, education and women’s economic productivity and empowerment. Our study argues that Solar Sister’s approach is successful because of its explicit gender lens. Providing energy access to women translates to a pro-woman, pro-child, and pro-family development intervention.

Keywords: labour and livelihoods - poverty reduction, Sub-Saharan Africa, gender and diversity

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

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