Technological Advancements in Kenya

As one of the countries in what is is commonly seen as the most underdeveloped continent as a result of its image in international media, Kenya shows promise with its recent advancements in technology and challenge this negative stereotype. According to sources, a Kenyan renewable energy firm called SteamaCo has begun a solar microgrid project to provide dependable power to an outpost beyond the reach of power lines called Entasopia. Although Entasopia only has about 4,000 residents, SteamaCo’s project is an optimistic and groundbreaking advancement that is changing the icon of Africa. Below is an image of the concept of a microgrid project and its impact on a community.

Source:  US DOE, October 2011
Source: US DOE, October 2011

The use of renewable energy is currently trying to be adopted by the rest of the world but it seems like Kenya has begun doing the same. According to SteamaCo’s website they currently have 23 microgrids operating in Nepal and Tanzania.

Not only has the use of renewable energy found its place in Kenya, but SteamaCo has linked customers’ phone numbers with their local power hub, allowing for residents to prepay for electricity with their phones. Seeing that 95% of Kenya uses mobile phones, this solves much of the problem for much of the country’s energy crisis.

This project contradicts the stigma of Africa in the international spotlight which is one of the main focuses of the African Cosmos Stellar Arts exhibit. Whereas the arts exhibition aims to show the rich historical knowledge of the different cultures of Africa, the renewable energy project is a symbol of Kenya’s current technological status. Furthermore it goes to show that there is still a large amount of diversity present in the large continent of Africa. From those enjoying power by mobile devices to the others who have close to no personal possessions, this is an area full of potential and growth.

Sources:

http://steama.co/

Nicholson, Chris. “An Oasis of Connectivity in Rural Kenya.” The New York Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 15.

Waruru, Maina. “Microgrids and Mobile Tech Bring Solar Power to Rural Kenya.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2015.

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