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Going beyond ‘business as usual’ in Malawi


We are excited to share the news that our SunnyMoney team in Malawi has set up two new solar light libraries which are designed to help enable universal access to clean, renewable, light.

The lights were donated to Bolera Full Primary School through Dan Lowe by Avenue Junior School in Norwich, UK. In the photo: Brave Mhonie, Dan Lowe and Catherine Mlenga.

While we have led the way in Malawi, selling over a quarter of a million solar lights across the country, we know that many people still struggle to afford even the simplest solar light. As Brave Mhonie, our General Manager, based in Lilongwe explains,

If we want to ensure that everyone has access to solar lighting by 2030, we need to go beyond ‘business as usual’ and develop new initiatives which enable even the poorest households to access solar light.

Light libraries are designed to do just that. By adopting the same philosophy as a traditional library of books, people who cannot afford to buy a solar light can still access one by borrowing from their local solar light library.

We are not stopping here, however, as Brave explains:

We are continually innovating and developing our models. Light libraries help overcome the finance barrier which prevents many people from affording a solar light. The next step is working through the libraries to help people who want to own a light, sign up to a rent to own programme.

At SolarAid, we believe that no one should be without clean, safe, renewable light. That is why we need boldly go beyond market-based solutions, which are not reaching everyone, if we are to ensure that, by 2030, no one is left in the dark.

Students at the Bolera Full Primary School