Africa has a huge untapped potential for solar power generation and initiatives that electrify businesses and impoverished communities could help the continent meet its economic development goals. At the African FinTech Awards at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, The Sun Exchange CCO Morwesi Ramonyai talked about the revolutionary bitcoin-based investment scheme that is filling the gap between large-scale solar farms and solar-powered lamps and other items.
In her successful pitch to the judges in the bitcoin and blockchain category, Morwesi explained that The Sun Exchange was a crowd-investing platform connecting investors to those looking to access solar power for the first time. The socially conscious initiative used blockchain technology to allow investment from anywhere in the world and although still in its early stages, had been successful in its initial project at a school in the Western Cape. The project was earning 70 investors from 11 countries a return of 10%, while reducing electricity costs for the school, in what Morwesi said was a move towards a "silicon-based economy".
“We found that the communities with lowest access to electricity in Africa, also had the greatest solar power potential, hindering economic development. We wanted to help communities or businesses develop solar power and made it possible for investors to be streamed into solar power projects through a Bitcoin-based remittance system. It is a marketplace for peer-to-peer to own a fleet of solar panels and earn real-time revenue.”
The African FinTech Awards celebrate innovators that shape the future of finance, and acknowledges the work these companies are doing to have a positive impact on their target markets. The nominees were chosen by a panel of industry experts, stakeholders and investors from all over the world, who selected the three finalists in six categories to deliver their pitch at the Indaba.
The Finance Indaba is the biggest annual event on the continent for financial managers and specialists who are seeking partnerships to drive progress. Thousands of delegates will gain valuable insights into realising financial performance and growth, becoming more efficient and accessing funding, among a host of other opportunities from leading players in financial services.
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