Home Institution

Bowdoin College

Publication Date

Fall 2014

Program Name

Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


Small shop-owners in rural Zanzibar, Tanzania were surveyed on their shops lighting fixtures and requirements to determine whether using a solar home system to power the shops lights would be a profitable investment. The shops surveyed in 4 grid connected rural villages in Zanzibar had very similar requirements, and a high-quality, affordable solar home system was designed to meet the requirements of the majority of these shops. Potential savings were calculated for each shop that replaced its current lighting fixture with a solar home system. 20% of the shops surveyed were found to potentially profit from investing in the solar home system, while 80% would lose money on the investment. However, the 20% that would profit from the investment represent an even larger demographic in Zanzibar than those surveyed: those who spend over 20,840/= per year lighting their shops, and who would benefit from an investment. The analysis was also found to be applicable to homes that use a solar home system to power their lights. This represents an enormous market opportunity for solar suppliers in Zanzibar. Recommendations were made for further studies addressing why diffusion of solar home systems in Zanzibar has been slow, despite its potential.


Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Sustainability


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