School children waving through an open window in Zambia

Photo: Susann Stritzke 

Mumuni Singani: A blueprint for clean energy provision and sustainable development in rural Zambia


Mumuni Singani, a spin-off from the RISE project, created an innovative concept that combines access to clean energy, irrigation systems, sustainable farming and agro-processing solutions in Singani, Zambia. The approach was developed in cooperation with local communities, especially the involvement of Women Self-Help Groups, with the aim of scaling-up the concept across other regions in sub-Saharan Africa.

In rural Zambia, over 93% of the population has no reliable access to electricity and clean water, while water and food supplies are threatened by climate change-related drought.. Most of the small number of solar PV off-grid or mini-grid energy solutions installed are not economically or environmentally sustainable. 

Our work

We designed an integrated business model for operating solar PV mini-grids in Zambia which enhances local socio-economic growth. The project includes:

  • Providing clean energy through solar PV mini-grids as well as integration of the Mobile Power component
  • Developing multi-stakeholder engagement plan,
  • Developing business models with and for local entrepreneurs and women's groups
  • Establishing innovative models for providing appliances
  • Developing of irrigation solutions
  • Integrating all components in the overall project.

We documented lessons from the research and analysis, the project development process, success factors and a framework for future research design in Africa. Our work in building local capacity among researchers at UNZA provides practical insights on renewable energy project development and for further joint research projects.