Israeli Venture Aims To Put African ‘Power Pimps’ Out Of Business
It’s hard to imagine the concept of a “power pimp” in Africa unless you have lived there. But it makes sense and cents on a continent that lacks a unified power system. There is basically no electric power in most rural places unless you are enterprising enough to own a battery and generator of some sort –– making you the “pimp” by letting other people charge their cell phones at crazy inflated prices.
It’s a problem that humanitarians worldwide seek to address, but an Israeli solution would do this using a cell phone. The idea of Nova Lumos is to buy solar power by phone on a needs basis, putting the middleman (that pimp) out of business.
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“The system is small enough for one person to carry and simple enough for a person to put on the roof. Just connect it without any technician; and use a cell phone to operate it through a mobile phone with a simple SMS,” Vortman tells ISRAEL21c.
Off-grid and green
Could Lumos save the day for about 1.5 billion people in Africa and Asia who don’t have access to power? The system provides access to green energy, a practical off-grid solution, a security system to protect the mobile pack and a good business opportunity to mobile providers in Africa, who can lease the Lumos pack as a bundled service.
“Africans don’t talk as much as they’d like to, not because they don’t have money to talk, but because they don’t have money to buy the charge,” explains Vortman. “When you think about the alternatives, there are the electricity pimps, a local entrepreneur with a car battery and generator and a kerosene candle for light, or a generator, which 99 percent cannot afford.