Women solar entrepreneurs drive East African business surge

BUNAMBIYU, Tanzania, Dec 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania’s northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants.

"Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn’t cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two.

"I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said…….

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