#FORBESAFRICA30Under30: Meet COVER STAR Koaile Monaheng: ‘How Do We View Africa and as Africans How Can We Make a Difference in This Sector’

Published 9 months ago
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Very rarely do we receive 30 Under 30 nominations from Lesotho, and even more rarely, finalists from the small landlocked southern African country.

Monaheng is passionate about the energy space and doles out numbers easily.

According to an African Development Bank report, “over 640 million Africans have no access to energy, corresponding to an electricity access rate for African countries at just over 40%, the lowest in the world”.

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In West Africa and Central Africa, the situation is dire as only three countries are on track to give every one of their people access to electricity by 2030, reports the World Bank.

“At this slow pace, 263 million people in the region will be left without electricity in ten years,” the report highlights.

Monaheng is trying to ensure that people know about these staggering numbers through Khantša Energy, which tackles the issues of energy access in Lesotho.

He also wants to do so for Africa.

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“I found it very interesting to say ‘how can we use adaptation from a subordinate level to combat some of these issues’ and these are also colonial powers. Because fundamentally what we are speaking about is how do we view Africa and as Africans how can we make a difference in this sector.”

The Lesotho-based Khantša Energy provides mobile solar power to rural communities in Lesotho and has been operating in the districts of Roma, Thaba-Tseka, Qacha and Mokhotlong since 2018.

“Our work was born out of connecting with the villagers and hearing about their everyday stories regarding their dire need for electrification,” Monaheng says.

Khantša spent its initial investment of about $8,000 on two years of research and development, learning about the communities in his country whilst also traveling the world to find appropriate solutions that were affordable and accessible in the “pursuit of equality, dignity, and equal opportunity to achieve a better life for all Basotho”.

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“We imagined what the realties on the ground look like, having to structure entire days and orientate activities on the availability of light… Khantša which means ‘light up’ was a very symbolic name, as we looked to tackle the issue of energy access in Lesotho.”