Photograph courtesy Eco-Fuel Africa

Great Energy Challenge Innovator: Eco-Fuel Africa

Project: Training and Creating Micro-Entrepeneurs for Fuel Briquettes

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Summary: Eco-Fuel Africa trains poor Ugandan farmers to turn farm waste into clean-burning fuel briquettes and organic fertilizers (biochar). Starting in 2010, Eco-Fuel Africa has created a strong, distributed network of charcoal-producing farmer-entrepreneurs working across Uganda.

The next phase of expansion consists of establishing 100 new micro-retailers of fuel briquettes. Eco-Fuel Africa will build kiosks and thoroughly train largely illiterate farmers and poor women to carry out this work. In addition, they will construct 100 new manual briquetting machines to produce the fuel briquettes. Manual machines are critical in places where the electrical grid is unreliable, which is widespread in Uganda.

Given the aim to help illiterate farmers and poor women, Eco-Fuel Africa will mentor the newly trained micro-retailers to ensure they can build successful retail businesses. Eco-Fuel Africa will also create market awareness and conduct marketing campaigns on the retailer's behalf.

Goal: To create a network of new clean energy micro-entrepreneurs in Uganda

Project Participants:

  • Moses Sanga, CEO
  • Ben Tandekwire, operations manager
  • Peter Mulinda, CFO
  • Winfred Igola, education manager

The Great Energy Challenge grant program, in collaboration with a distinguished group of scientists acting as the board of advisors, awards roughly a half-dozen grants per year. The goal of the grant program is to hasten the growth of promising, global energy solutions as a response to climate change, energy resource constraints and environmental limitations.

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