Nokia introduces portable solar charger in Kenya and Nigeria

11 Oct, 2012

Nokia is clearly trying to get  a very firm grip on the emerging markets – not only with the cheaper Asha line of phones, but also with the portable solar charger that they just rolled out in Africa, according to HumanIPO:

“There are numerous advantages to this solution, including being able to service consumers outside of regular electricity supply, or those who need a quick charge on the go,” said Nokia West Africa Vice President James Rutherford.

Africa is very dependent on mobile, not just for communications but also for business and payment transactions. But grids and landlines are scarce, hence the need for portable chargers.

When Daniela Schiffer from was at Idealabs recently, I asked her whether Changers would be rolling out in Africa or Asia anytime soon. is a Berlin startup trying to lower our energy footprint by offering a gamified portable solar charger and reserve battery pack. Daniela explained to me that are very interested in rolling out in Africa, but for Changers, it’s too early still. Anyway, demand in Africa and Asia should be high enough that a few months or years won’t make a difference.

via Nokia introduces portable solar charger in Kenya and Nigeria | News | HumanIPO.

Photo: I think you’ll agree that this is a pretty spectacular solar payphone/boat on Lake Victoria (I’ve searched for proof that this is a fake, but couldn’t find it. I’m still on the fence about this one. If anyone has ever seen this in real life, let us know!)

Do you know any European companies working on innovative products and services in Africa?

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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