How can a country in which only 8.5% of people have electricity illuminate itself? What's more, how can they accomplish this without suffering from the devastating effects of kerosene smoke? Masa Energy, a Ugandan start-up, has come up with an affordable clean-energy answer. Their first product, a portable solar lantern, is easy to use and costs just $12.
Masa Energy has started a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com with the goal of $50,000. [UPDATE: Donate to Masa Energy's fundraising campaign before February 28, 2014.] All contributions from the campaign will go directly towards building materials and factory space, with the potential to fund future product development and new hiring.
According to their Indiegogo page, Masa Energy's goal is "to make affordable solar products for the millions of people in Africa without access to electricity." The World Bank estimates that only 8.5% of Ugandans have access to electricity, by far the lowest in East Africa. Because of this, "many people, especially in rural areas, still rely on solutions that their grandparents relied upon, like kerosene lamps."