‘Lighting Africa’ programme: Sollatek changing lives through renewable energy solutions

Saleem Abdulla, Managing Director of Sollatek Electronics talks about the World Bank’s ‘Lighting Africa’ programme.

Saleem Abdulla, Managing Director of Sollatek Electronics talks about the World Bank’s ‘Lighting Africa’ programme and how Sollatek is changning lives as part of this programme.

The World Bank, through its IFC arm has been running a programme for several years in East and West Africa. It’s called the ‘Lighting Africa’ programme. One of the World Bank’s key objectives has been to promote the use of solar energy as a form of lighting in developing countries. We have always been associated with manufacturers who are affiliated to the Lighting Africa programme, the key objective of which is to promote the use of solar products, but equally to regulate the industry by certifying people legitimate players who mean business, as well as making sure they can be distinguished from those who are not serious.

Our two solar product suppliers are both associates of the Lighting Africa programme, and we are involved by virtue of that association. Lighting Africa is good, because it helps us command a reputation as a serious company. They support us in terms of spreading awareness of the technology and our products, and in the recent past have also helped to hook us up with potential investors and people who are interested in having a stake in this.

We have also taken part in several exhibitions and competitions, as I mentioned. I have lost count of the number of awards we have won. We have been shortlisted among the KPNG Top 100 Small and Medium-Sized Companies in Kenya for two consecutive years. We also won the best energy sector award at the Kenya Homes Expo, which is the country’s largest real estate and industry-affiliated exhibition, held once a year. We won the Mazingira award, which is targeted towards the Tourism industry and the role that companies play within that industry, especially in terms of providing technological innovation.


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