Solarly installs a prototype solar panel system at Close the Gap's offices in Brussels

Posted on Jul 4, 2019 6:55 AM by

At the end of June, Solarly, a tech start-up, came to our offices in Brussels to install a prototype of their new and innovative product. 

The installation we received contains a solar panel, which is directly connected to the Solarly generator. The generator can be used for charging computers, as well as smartphones, and other functions such as powering small fridges or even sewing machines.

Solarly’s  mission is to connect solar home systems to rural households. Their project aims to bring energy and life changing services to Sub-Saharan Africa. More than 634 million people don’t have access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, 83% of the rural population doesn’t have access to the electricity grid.

Yet, these communities need connection in order to compete in a highly connected world. The solution Solarly offers is an “up-to-date, affordable and connected solar home system, providing an easy access to electricity for rural households, creating opportunities for economic development and giving self-sufficiency to the people”.

Close the Gap and Solarly are looking into opportunities to collaborate to bridge the digital divide in developing countries. By offering high-quality connected devices, a new level of employment can start to develop itself, creating new opportunities and generating local incomes. This perfectly fits Close the Gap’s Digital for Development programme, through which we want to connect the private and public sector together to use digital innovations for various developments.

“It could be a very interesting model to get to Kenya. We hope Mombasa can be the innovation hub where they can start re-selling their products from”, Bram Over, Impact Project Manager at Close the Gap. For more information about our soon-to-be-launched Hub in Mombasa and our Circular Economy Hub in Nairobi, click here.

"Working with Close the Gap is a great opportunity for Solarly. Their great experience with ICT and their knowledge of rural areas in Africa can maximize our impact. The common values and missions that our organizations share will enable Belgium to improve its impact with partners in the South,  with as main pillars: "access to energy and ICT"." Julien Riat, co-founder Solarly.

With Solarly’s help, more students will be able to have access to computers, more businesses will be able to develop, and an enormous amount of energy wasted in traveling from village to village will be eradicated. They are currently operating in various villages in Cameroon, but a lot of demands are arriving as the days go by. Solarly will therefore help rural areas to be self-sufficient, and new horizons will rise for future generations.