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Roadshow Bringing Light to Rural Communities

Africa,Philips lighting solutions

Royal Philips Electronics is continuing its program of installing more than 100 Community Light Centres across Africa, with six new ones in South Africa.


The program is in the form of the Philips Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow 2013, which is a vehicle for Philips to raise awareness of how healthcare and lighting solutions can enhance life in Africa. The roadshow will visit 18 cities in 17 African countries while Philips engages in dialogue with customers, governments, nonprofit organisations and media on the current challenges in Africa.


Philips has donated two Community Light Centres to the Department of Energy, which will be allocated to communities that will benefit from community lighting.


In addition, Philips, in partnership with SuperSport Let’s Play and Hitachi Construction Machinery Southern Africa, has completed projects at Dumisa Public School, near Ladysmith, Lebowakgomo, in Mpumalanga, and Lion Park Primary School, in Gauteng.


The light centres are 1 000 m2 in area, the size of a small soccer field, and are lit using a new generation of efficient solar-powered LED lighting. The centres create areas of light for rural communities that are without electricity.


The aim is to create opportunities for social, sporting, healthcare, education and economic activities in the evening, and Philips has committed an investment of €1.2- million over three years to this project.


The light centres are predominantly focused on schools closely linked to rural areas and towns in off-grid or semi-grid areas to provide light for communal areas.


"Africa is starting a new reliable solar-powered LED lighting revolution, which will save energy and provide more light for those without electricity," says Philips Lighting Africa GM Andre Dehmel.


Since its first pioneering efforts in 2009, the solar-powered LED lighting has tripled its light output, while reducing the costs by two-thirds.


Dehmel says ‘enabling life in the evening with light’ was a key aspect in the development of Europe and the US in the twentieth century. It led to safer environments for communities, economic growth and social development. Evening education classes became viable, while providing healthcare and disaster relief services was made easier.


Philips has chosen to launch these light centres in communities by using the light for a night-time soccer match. The company has partnered with the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) to bring awareness to communities about solar-powered LED lighting and its applications.


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