Ghanian startup hits crowdfunding target for solar power supply
Paul-Miki Akpablie, CEO and founder of a company called Kadi Energy, and his team have reason to celebrate after the company’s Ray 20 solar mobile charger crowdfunding campaign recently surpassed its funding goal on Indiegogo. Now the aim is to get a Ray 20 into as many hands in Ghana as possible and help provide employment for young Africans.
Akpablie, who is currently majoring in mathematics and biochemistry at Colorado College in the US, says he founded Kadi Energy to increase energy sustainability and reduce unemployment in Ghana and other developing countries.
“Growing up in eastern Ghana, my siblings and I struggled to complete our homework at night, my mother’s trading business was constantly interrupted by blackouts, and we had trouble keeping in touch with relatives who moved away,” he says on the Ray 20 Indiegogo page.
“When I was fifteen, I began my mission to tackle these energy problems by developing a solar collector to power community centre lights in my village. I have since continued my education in Hong Kong and the United States, but my heart is still in Africa.”
The Ray 20 charger takes about a full day to power up via two solar panels and can charge 14 mobiles at the same time before it needs to be put back outside.
Kadi Energy was initially looking for $5 000 (R58 635) to go towards manufacturing, shipping, and retailing the Ray 20 to Ghanaian consumers. Seeing as the campaign now sits at $5 189 with two more days to go, Kadi Energy hopes to reach $6 000 which will help manufacture more Ray 20s, contribute to shipping costs and compensate current employees who are all working on a volunteer basis.
We’ll try to catch up with Akpablie to find out how he hopes to make a little money go a long way.
Part of the Kadi mission is to encourage young people to start their own business distributing the Ray 20.
Kadi Energy is already looking to the future with hopes to expand Ray 20 distribution to surrounding countries, starting with Togo and Burkina Faso and is already working on a product that will be used to power certain medical devices within rural clinics, Akpablie says.[Source – Indiegogo via Tech Cocktail, image – Indiegogo]