Kaduna-Based Yakowa Market Pilot Project Wins $100k in Alternative Energy Competition

Kaduna-Based Yakowa Market Pilot Project Wins $100k in Alternative Energy Competition

Earlier this month it was reported that the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and General Electric Africa announced the commencement of the Off the Grid Energy competitions. The competition which is a subsidiary of the Power Africa – a U.S. Government initiative to drive growth by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power

Earlier this month it was reported that the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and General Electric Africa announced the commencement of the Off the Grid Energy competitions. The competition which is a subsidiary of the Power Africa  a U.S. Government initiative to drive growth by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power and energy resources. The OFF THE GRID CHALLENGE which was open to entrepreneurs with cutting-edge off grid technological solutions or ideas sought to reward 11 companies with innovative off-the-grid energy solutions for communities without access to power, with $100,000 each.

The eleven grants have been awarded in the most recent round of the USADF Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge to improve access to energy in underserved communities in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. Kaduna State-based Yakowa Market Pilot Project, a subsidiary of the Kunak Foundation and Anjeed Innova Group, is one of five solar system projects approved for the $100,000 Off-Grid Energy Challenge grant.  

The Yakowa market project hopes to build the first solar- powered market in Africa, part of a bigger concept of reforming the African market to the 21st century. The beneficiaries of the power will be the meat and fish vendors in the Yakowa Market. The market will have a new self-sufficient, sanitary building to safely store and sell their meat and fish products. The project which will be powered by clean, renewable solar energy is designed to be adapted to the needs of almost any type of vendor. 

According to Kunak Foundation chief executive Nyan Bavoshiya: “as buildings for other vendors are constructed, the electrical system of each building can be connected; creating an independent grid for any number of buildings. The Yakowa Market buildings will have an integrated water system to provide water to all vendors within the building and a central drainage system to ensure a high level of cleanliness and sanitation. Each building will also have LED lights and low-voltage fans to improve the overall market experience for traders and buyers. Centralized market buildings will also increase efficiency of trade and commerce”

Power Africa is a $5 million challenge which is of three tiers; it will award 50 grants of up $100,000 each to African companies and organizations providing off-grid solutions that deploy renewable resources and power local economic activities.  Challenge winners must have near-term solutions to the power needs of productive and commercial activities, including agriculture production and processing, off-farm businesses, and commercial enterprises.

About the grant, USADF Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz stated, “We received an overwhelming response to this challenge from African entrepreneurs with creative solutions to Africa’s energy crisis. These grants provide these companies with the funding they need to scale their businesses and deliver results for their communities.”

Oladipo Oladepo
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