Prospective

Will expanding access to electricity help to boost prosperity?

  • 19 Apr
    2018
  • 2 min

For technical and/or financial reasons, people in some parts of the world still do not have access to a power grid or an Internet connection. These are the people whom Kumbaya is targeting with its ZeroXess solution, which is intended to encourage economic and social development in poorer areas.

According to figures published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), there are still more than a billion people in the world without access to electricity. Even more people – around four billion, most of them living in India or sub-Saharan Africa – are not currently connected to the Internet. Some even have the double handicap of being rather poor and living in a landlocked area. Now California-based startup Kumbaya has set out to assist the development of these populations. Starting out from the principle that electricity, Internet and education are three key factors for progress, the company has launched the ZeroXess solution, designed to be an affordable way to provide  electricity and Internet connection by drawing on solar power. The platform, which comprises a screen, six USB ports and a content library, provides access to the Internet plus local TV and radio stations. The basic aim is to provide educational and entertaining content but of course in order to achieve the desired impact, Kumbaya must ensure that the people who need this solution most can actually afford it. Its success therefore depends on its ability to find partners who are able to keep costs down. The ZeroXess system also enables users to transfer money securely, which should provide a definite boost to small traders in these regions. So will the Kumbaya initiative help to promote overall prosperity in those areas of the world?

By Sophia Qadiri