Only one in ten people in Africa have access to electric light. Yet light also means access to knowledge, the chance to learn when it’s dark outside, the opportunity to go on developing. Evans Wadongo from Kenya came up with an LED lamp powered by solar cells that brings light to the villages. And was included by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the list of most influential innovators under the age of 35 for this product.
As a child, Evans Wadongo had to share a kerosene lantern with his brothers when doing homework after nightfall. Besides being expensive, dangerous and smelly, Kerosene provides only a dim, smoky light. Wadongo’s eyes were often so irritated by the fumes that he couldn’t finish his homework. Classmates failed to complete their education and remained poor partly because they did not have good light. Today, Evans Wadongo encourages others to start their own businesses with the help of LED lanterns that can be recharged by sunlight.