Off-grid solar sparks a lantern sales boom in Africa

A new report has highlighted the continued popularity of lanterns powered by off-grid solar alternatives as more people opt for cleaner lighting options in Africa.

The report is based on sales reported by 32 solar energy kit manufacturers and 34 appliance manufacturers in the second half of 2023.

The trend highlights the growing relevance of off-grid solar power in addressing last-mile electrification challenges on the continent.

A key insight from the report is the growing number of lantern sales across four regions of Africa — East, West, Central and Southern Africa — assessed in the report.

The authors of the report also point to a diversification from rent-to-own purchase (PAYGo) to cash sales.