Human Powered Mobile Charger

About Solution

Mobiles require electricity for charging but the energy access in Ethiopia stands at 25% as of 2014 and at only 10% in rural areas with approximately 70% of the population rely on traditional biomass for household cooking and other services according the Green Mini Grid Market Development Programme report. This is being one of the development challenges of the rural communities in Ethiopia. Therefore, a human powered mobile charging device is an innovative way to solve the lack of electricity for mobile charging and promotes the use of modern communication services such as mobiles for every economic activity. At this time, there is no other way of charging mobiles in our country except the use of electricity. The option is either invest in power generation to supply electricity to every household or do nothing and the population will have no modern communication services that have huge economic advantages to get services such as market information, ambulances in the case of emergencies and other related services that one can get using mobile communications. These two options are not preferable because on one hand the government has financial and technological constraints to develop power plants that can supply electricity to every household on the other hand having no communication service for more than 70% of the population is unacceptable as it affects the economic activities of these communities. Therefore, we have the option of having an innovative device that can have huge potential to change the life of the poor with small investment.  The main beneficiaries of this device are mainly communities who have no access to electricity. Those communities mainly live in the countryside and amounts to more than 70% of the Ethiopian population. Those communities live under $2 PPP a day according the World Bank collection of development indicators. However, considering the current blackouts of electricity in the areas where electricity supply is even available, the whole population of the nation can virtually utilize this device.

Prototype of the device have been manufactured and tested. This was done to check its feasibility of charging mobiles with manually operated crank method. Apart from the testing of its feasibility to work, nothing has been done so far because of lack of financing to conduct detailed feasibility tests such as its efficiency, durability and easiness; social acceptance, and financial viability. Therefore, funding is crucial to make the device ready for scale and operation with many more modifications needed.

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