IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019 - 43

community members to start their own small businesses around numerous, productive uses of energy.
Recognizing that electricity is an enabler of and means
toward economic empowerment (rather than an end in
itself), the ISV structures its programs not only to provide
electricity but also to drive community-based education
and development of local entrepreneurship (Table 1). Construction of a minigrid enables the creation of numerous small businesses that serve local needs and provide
new services that were not available previously. The
array of microentrepreneurial activities related to productive uses of energy implemented in ISV-funded communities spans a broad range of industries, including
◆ artisan crafts: beadmaking, embroidery, leather work,
and sewing
◆ construction: brickmaking, carpentry, greenhouse
construction, manufacturing, and welding

◆ electrical wiring: closed-circuit television installation
◆
◆

◆

◆
◆

and home wiring
electronics assembly: assembly of LED bulbs and
repair of small electronics
electric transportation: garden-to-market produce
delivery, mobile water pumping, portable battery kit
delivery, and taxi services
IT services: electronics maintenance and repair,
Internet cafes, IT outsourcing (photo tagging, media
editing, and so forth), and programming and software
development
retail services: barbershops, cell phone charging,
refrigeration, and grocery stands
sustainable agriculture: agricultural processing, construction and repair of agricultural equipment, water
pumping, mushroom farming, beekeeping, dairy farming, and animal husbandry

Table 1. An overview of ISV-backed initiatives.
Project

Impact

Adult Literacy

Jobs Created

Technology and Training

Renewable
Energy
Innovators
(Cameroon)

8,000 people in
30 villages, with
planned expansion to 1,200
villages

Men: 50%
Women: 30%

Solar installation, food processing,
tailoring, welding, carpentry, and
farm-to-retail agriculture

Community intranet and Internet access with education content delivery
through pay-as-you-go courses developed by local subject-matter experts
and qualified teachers

Igniting Africa
(Cameroon)

2,000 youth

Men: 40%
Women: 15%

Electronics repair, solar installation,
soldering, welding, manufacturing,
assembly and modification of agricultural machinery

IT training center for adults and youth;
vocational training program in solar
technology, welding, and electronics;
tuition-free farm school; and entrepreneurship programs to help youth
return to their villages

Seva Bharati
(India)

12,000 people in
14 villages

Men: 45%
Women: 32%

Solar installation, information communication technology applications,
agricultural machinery operation/
maintenance, water purification,
and sanitation maintenance

IT training hub, online academy for
computer-based education, digital
skills acquisition, and vocational
training for schools and community
centers

United for Hope
(India)

10 villages of 2,500
people each

Men: 70%
Women: 55%

Tourism and services, IT outsourcing,
health care, social enterprises, sewing, and electric charging services

After-school and young-adult education programs in English, digital
literacy, and social skills and young
women's vocational training and
empowerment centers

The Maa Trust
(Kenya)

8,700 students,
35,000 adults

Men: 50%
Women: 20%

IT outsourcing, local artisan crafts,
sewing, construction, beadmaking, brickmaking, and sustainable
agriculture

TV-white-space Internet, IT hubs,
Empower Reader digital libraries with
textbooks, and vocational training
centers

Shaybis Nigeria
Ltd. (Nigeria)

500 technical graduates per year

Men: 60%
Women: 50%

Solar/wind minigrid installation,
computer repair, electrical wiring,
programming, and computer-aided
design

Minigrid and vocational training
center with local trainers and representatives from Schneider Electric and
Autodesk, among others

Community
Transformation
Centres (Papua
New Guinea)

4,000 people in
Madan, expanding
to 40,000 people in
a 10-km radius

Men: 60%
Women: 50%

Solar installation and operation,
water/sanitation system installation
and operation, and local agriculture
co-ops

EmpowerSchool classroom kits; water,
sanitation, and hygiene training; and
digital versions of government curricula with scripted classes

Africa Development Promise
(Uganda,
Rwanda)

2,000 households

Men: 70%
Women: 65%

IT, solar installation, carpentry, tailoring, sewing, mushroom farming/
packing, construction, adult education, social services, and health care

IT training center for adults and
schools, vocational training school
for women and youth, and agriculture co-op training center and solar
processing facility

Ju ly 2019

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE

43



IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019

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