“Electricity is an example of a general purpose technology, like the steam engine before it. General purpose technologies drive most economic growth, because they unleash cascades of complementary innovations, like light bulbs and, yes, factory redesign.”__ Erik Brynjolfsson
The seventh Sustainable Development Goal seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. In line with this goal, a young brilliant man called Kudzaishe Mumanikwi has devoted himself to improving the lives of his community through clean and affordable electricity.
Mumanikwi is the founder and creator of the Battery/Solar Powered Generator. He is currently a student at Bindura University studying Natural Resource Management. Growing up, he was always passionate about harnessing power through electricity and this passion intensified when the nation was hit with shortages of the basic commodity in 2019. Winning the Mash Central provincial competition opened up opportunities for Kudzai to develop his product further and expand his knowledge in the field of Physics and Electricity Generation in association with the Bindura University Faculty of Science & Education.
Kudzai’s journey started with the simple goal of being able to produce enough current to sustain and recharge a cell phone. The success from that attempt propelled him to continue experimenting with several different power charging sources. He knew he had something when his solar powered generator could charge lights for a full 24 hours.
Moving from one scrap yard to another, Kudzai was able to source materials to grow and develop his prototypes. Overtime, Munanikwi collaborated with other reputable local companies to source components from companies outside Zimbabwe in order to circumvent their sourcing problems and increase efficiencies.
However, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, their company has been heavily affected because procurement and delivery of components is often delayed. The company’s objective therefore has shifted to producing electricity without the need to use any other form of fuel other than the solar-powered battery. In an extremely competitive field, Munanikwi hopes this feature will be able to set them apart.
When asked about the whole Youth Connekt experience he had this to say:
“With the experience and knowledge Youth Connekt imparted; we have managed to access an investor named, ALSE Pvt Ltd, a company we are working with in the development of other innovations. To the forthcoming/newbies to the family, work hard to move past problems and utilize the opportunity and resources Youth Connekt offers to better mankind.”
Would you want to own a battery-powered solar generator? If yes, how long would you want it to last for? What does the future of renewable energy sources in Zimbabwe look like?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below: