Connecting The Watts

Unpacking the Micro-Revolution of Energy in East Africa

For half the planet, access to energy remains elusive, unreliable, and expensive.

In east Africa, where traditional structures fail or are slow to form, a decentralized network of energy has taken its place; a micro-revolution of practical solutions that start with the individual, just a few watts at a time.

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Location Kakamega, Kenya
Length 4:52
Description A traditional electrical grid will take up to 40 years to complete in east Africa – that’s simply too long. With the rise of affordable personal-scale solar microgrids, families are bypassing these outdated systems and dramatically improving daily life. Learn how the expediting of solar was catalyzed by cellphone ownership and meet a farmer who’s building her own grid to stay safe and run her business.
Location Luanda Town, Kenya
Length 5:10
Description Kenya is losing its forests; one of the fastest ways to curb that is to address open-fire wood cooking. While the world at large confronts global climate change, follow a team of traditional weather forecasters and Kenyan meteorologists as they work to educate and empower local farmers despite increasingly erratic weather patterns.
Location Webuye Town, Kenya
Length 4:38
Description What started as trading talktime has evolved into a thriving digital economy where cashless transactions enable the most rural households to participate in a broader market of exchange. However, as mobile phone ownership outpaces rates of electrification, east Africa faces an energy paradox, demanding solutions that can keep up. See first hand how mobile money helps this restaurant owner run every aspect of his work, from the customer bills to financing his kitchen.

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