Solar Powers West Africans To Better Income And Quality Of Life

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Solar Powers West Africans To Better Income And Quality Of Life

  • New report from GOGLA, the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry finds an overwhelming majority (97%) of people living with a solar home system in West Africa report quality of life improvements as they feel safer, healthier and children have more time to study.
  • 1 in 7 households report additional income of $31 per month on average after buying a solar home system.


Lagos, 4th December 2019: Following key findings published in the new report, ‘Powering Opportunity in West Africa, people using small-scale solar home systems in West Africa report significant benefits to their quality of life and have better health in just three months. They also report that living with off-grid solar energy makes them feel safer and gives them the opportunity to work and study longer.

The research, funded by UK aid from the UK Government and conducted by Altai Consulting, is based on data collected from 1,678 households in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo 1 that bought a solar home systems between February and April 2019.

As world leaders accelerate action on climate change, Powering Opportunity in West Africa also reveals that this clean and sustainable energy technology is cutting CO2 emissions by reducing reliance on kerosene and fossil fuels. And for 51% of the households, their solar home systems replaced toxic torches and kerosene lamps as the primary source of light.

19% of households report being able to undertake more economic activity”, GOGLA’s West Africa Representative, Namory Doumbia, says. “Solar home systems are also unlocking business opening hours, especially in rural areas - where customers now gain more time for work after buying a solar system. Overall, for every 100 systems sold, 8 full-time equivalent jobs are created.”

The report comes as off-grid solar companies continue to expand their operations and service offering across West Africa.

Across the region, barriers to the adoption of off-grid solar remain, making it difficult for people to buy and use these life-changing products”, Mr. Doumbia continues. “Governments hold the key to unlock further growth of the off-grid solar market, so their citizens can more easily benefit from reliable and sustainable solar energy. We encourage governments in West Africa to support enabling tax regimes for the industry by removing import duties and other taxes, whilst enforcing quality standards to ensure customers have access to affordable, high quality products.”

The West Africa report confirms similar findings in East Africa, released earlier this year.2

Notes to editors

1The research was conducted in cooperation with off-grid solar companies BBOXX, Greenlight Planet, PEG Africa and ZOLA Electric. Customers were interviewed at the time of purchase of the solar home systems (February – April 2019), and again after three months of using the system. The full report can be downloaded at

2Powering Opportunity in East Africa. Proving Off-Grid Solar is a Power Tool for Change. 

Altai Consulting

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