Category Archives: Sub-Sahara news


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Kenyan agent for Sungrid Group excited by potential of superior product range

Part of its vision to “Light up Africa”, has seen Sungrid Group successfully extend its reach into the African marketplace. In line with this, it has recently partnered with Gallant Technologies Limited and Dawn Projects Limited. Serving as the marketing arm, Dawn will be supported by its sister company, Gallant, whose strong engineering capability will provide enormous value as it begins to expand into industrial solar power.

Founded and owned by Mike Koech, who serves as CEO (Gallant) and Operations Director (Dawn), collectively its mandate will be to take Sungrid Group’s extensive range of portable (solar) power and lighting products into the Kenyan market, followed by East Africa.

“We first came across both Sungrid Group and its high quality range of portable (solar) power solutions about three years ago,” says Koech. Living in Cape Town at the time, with plans to relocate to Kenya, Koech was excited at the potential for these products within the Kenyan marketplace.

Serving as the main point of contact and agent with an exclusive distribution agreement within Kenya, with further discussions underfoot to eventually expand into the greater East African market, Koech is passionate about the enormous impact portable solar power is capable of having.

“About 60% of rural Kenya is without access to electricity,” he continues. “Sungrid Group’s product range is the perfect solution across not only underdeveloped areas, but also within disadvantaged urban communities as well.”

In particular, Koech references the Ecoboxx Barber Kit. Complete with clippers, it provides consumers not only with power and light, but most importantly with an income generating opportunity. “Kenya is a very entrepreneurial market and we are confident that this will prove to be an excellent fit.” In addition Koech and his team will also be marketing Sungrid Group’s lower entry products such as the Solsave my-powa, my-lite and my-lamp across Kenya’s lower income groups. “Our people need access to alternative, viable and cost-effective energy solutions,” stresses Koech. “The beauty of Sungrid Group’s extensive range, is that there is a suitable option available for everyone – not only with regards to specific requirements, but as importantly with regards to affordability.”

In addition, the humanitarian market will be another strong focus area, for which Koech believes the Ecoboxx 600 will be of great benefit. “Sungrid Group is already enjoying much success within the NGO and CSI sectors,” continues Koech. “We are proud to be part of this outreach within Kenya and eventually, East Africa.”

Whilst the demand for portable (solar) power and lighting products, within Kenya, can’t be disputed, Koech also references increasing competition. “We are expecting it to be a tough market, filled with cheaper alternatives. However, the superior quality that Sungrid Group offers across their entire product range will be what sets us apart. Whilst price is important, superior quality is non-negotiable.”IMG_2946



The last few months has seen significant growth in Africa for the locally spearheaded ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ campaign. The interest and positive market reaction to both the EcoBoxx and WakaWaka products within South Africa, has enjoyed similar success with partnerships formed in over a dozen African countries to represent both these portable solar power products.

The crippling effects of energy poverty is as dire across the African continent as within South Africa, if not more so. With 580 million people (out of 1 billion) across Africa not connected to any form of electricity, Africa’s 58% off grid comprises the highest off grid percentage in the world. “With sunshine in abundant supply across the entire African continent, the solution is obvious,” says Ryan Steytler, Director Product Innovation, In2Brands. “The use of portable solar power brings with it the mechanism to provide electricity to those without.”

But it is not without its challenges. “The generator industry holds enormous power across Africa,” says Steytler. “Our challenge is not only to educate African countries on the benefits of portable solar power, but simultaneously to encourage them to move away from old forms of energy and replace them with green alternatives.” It is about more than connecting people to power. As important is the provision of safe, reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives.

Countries across Africa in which ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ partnerships have been signed includes the likes of Nigeria, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mauritius, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Togo, Ghana, Kenya, the DRC and Tanzania.



‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ aims to eradicate Africa’s pressing energy problems through the provision of cost-effective ‘plug-and-play’ portable solar products capable of addressing any power requirement. Endorsed by local cricket heroes, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn, ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ aims to improve the quality of life for all.

575 million people across Africa, 10 million in South Africa alone, are not connected to any form of electricity. Compounded by Eskom’s recent load shedding which has placed enormous strain on business and communities alike, the need for a safe, sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution to Africa’s pressing energy problem is critical.

“With most areas in South Africa receiving an average of 2,500 hours of sunshine per year, the use of solar power is an obvious answer,” says Ryan Steytler, Co-founder, Co-owner and Director of New Product Development and Innovation at In2Brands. By harnessing the sun’s energy and offering innovative, safe and effective portable power solutions, the very real opportunity exists to bring power to Africa and empower its people.

The current portfolio of portable solar products includes In2Brand’s own locally designed and created “EcoBoxx”, and the Dutch “WakaWaka” for which In2Brands enjoy exclusive sales rights within Africa. Both make use of the very latest in patented solar technology to supply electricity to those in need.

To view the benefits of what these products can do for you, please visit: