The San Fran solar company bringing clean energy to off-grid Africa

After witnessing the dangers of using kerosene for power in some of the world’s poorest communities, Lesley Marincola co-founded Angaza to offer alternative, cost-effective clean energy solutions

Frequent travel, particularly to Central and Latin America, made Lesley Marincola acutely aware of the realities of living off-grid, without any electricity, as 1 billion people currently do worldwide.

“From early high school, I spent a lot of time travelling in rural areas where villages sometimes didn’t even have water supply systems, and were certainly not connected to the electricity grid,” says Marincola, who was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and is now based in San Francisco. “Many were using kerosene and candles – and I was very aware of how environmentally unsound this was, and how disadvantaged people were as a result.” The World Health Organization has estimated that burning kerosene for light is equivalent to smoking two packets of cigarettes a day [pdf]; and it’s children, who use these lights to do homework and to study, who are suffering the most.

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