Promote Renewable Energy Shops in Rural Namibia

Feb 10, 2011

Elephant Energy Shop Thrives in Rural Namibia

Annah Simbilu and the Energy Shop
Annah Simbilu and the Energy Shop

Hello from Katima Mulilo, Namibia!

Thanks to you, 350 more families (and counting) have access to clean renewable energy in rural Namibia. Our first Elephant Energy Shop, funded by your Global Giving donation, has sold over 100 solar-powered lights and other appropriate sustainable energy technologies per month since its grand opening in October 2010.  Elephant Energy DOES NOT hand out energy products for free.  Instead, we work with rural Namibians to enable them to afford our energy products, like solar-powered lights, clean cookstoves, and crank radios, at prices ranging from $15-$35.  Elephant Energy Shop customers make a conscious decision to invest in their own energy future, instead of receiving handouts from an international aid organization.  In this way, your donation keeps on giving, as income from energy product sales is used to buy additional energy products to benefit the over 50,000 people in the Caprivi Region, and one million people across Namibia, without access to electricity.  Please donate HERE and help us raise the last $4,000 we need to complete Phase I of the Elephant Energy Shops Project:

While the success of the first Elephant Energy Shop is heartening, there is still much work to do.  Over the next four months, our two American volunteers in Namibia, including Colin Manasse and Doug Vilsack (me), and two Namibian staff members, Joseph Ziezo and Annah Simbilu, will carry our energy technologies further into the bush and make them accessible to the many people that struggle to save money to meet their energy needs.  First, we will partner with numerous existing shops and rural entrepreneurs in the Caprivi Region to ensure that every person in Caprivi lives within 20 miles of an Elephant Energy sales outlet.  Next, we will implement a rent-to-own program to allow rural Namibians to pay off energy products over a period of six months, allowing them to pay less each month than they would typically spend on candles, kerosene or other energy alternatives.  Finally, we will work through our Women’s Energy Project (WE Project) to develop a strategy for sales by the nine women’s groups we have established in the Kwandu Conservancy, Namibia and Mbala, Zambia areas.

In the next two months, Elephant Energy will also release extensive reports detailing the successes and difficulties of our various projects in Namibia and on the Navajo Reservation in the United States, including our 2010 Elephant Energy Shops Field Report, 2010 Navajo Solar Light Project Field Report, and Women’s Energy Project Report.  Please donate and help us raise the last $4,000 to complete Phase I of the Elephant Energy Shops Project (Donate here: and be on the lookout for Elephant Energy’s Field Reports in the coming weeks.  Thank you again for your support. 


Joseph Ziezo at the Energy Shop
Joseph Ziezo at the Energy Shop
Customer at the Energy Shop
Customer at the Energy Shop



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Project Leader

Katie Murphy

Executive Director
Denver, Colorado United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Promote Renewable Energy Shops in Rural Namibia