Gosol arrived to Tanzania in June 2017, with the goal to replicate the success of the Lytefire solar concentrators that they had in Kenya and other countries. The very first oven was featured in Butiama Environmental Expo, where many visitors enjoyed this new technology and where it was visited by the vice president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu.
The two first Lytefire solar concentrators in Tanzania came with a baking oven. And this solar oven has a design improvement: The user can put in a roasting drum, turning the oven into a peanut roaster.
The Lytefire was first introduced to the users at the Butiama Environmental Expo. Monica and Joyce of the Alpha Women’s Group from Musoma, Tanzania, were baking all weekend and selling their solar baked goodies to visitors.
After the expo, the Alpha Women’s Group received the Lytefire solar concentrator to their compound. The group consists of ten women, who bake for themselves as well as sell to their neighbors in the suburbs of Musoma town. Musoma is the capital of the Mara region of Tanzania, and the town is located on a peninsula in the shores of Lake Victoria. We were introduced to them through our local partner Global Resource Alliance - Tanzania.
Before the Lytefire, the Alpha Women’s Group used to burn charcoal to run their bakery business.
The Alpha Group has previously been baking for their own needs and for their neighbors. The group used to bake with charcoal 2-3 times a week. Until now, the baking hasn’t been a serious business endeavor. However, in their first weeks of solar baking, they increased their baking to five times per week. They don’t need to pay for charcoal anymore and they can buy baking ingredients instead. The elimination of fuel cost has increased their business productivity, and now they are selling more breads to more people, making the group the first real bakery business in their neighborhood.
Buying charcoal is part of a poverty trap, and free solar energy creates new entrepreneurship.