Sandra Chukwudozie is harnessing the sun to create ‘affordable power for all.’
Forbes Africa named Sandra Chukwudozie a trailblazer in their 30 Under 30 Class of 2022. Chukwudozie is the founder and CEO of Salpha Energy. “This was a company born out of a desire to tackle injustice,” wrote Forbes Africa. Salpha Energy addresses energy injustice by working towards a future where solar energy is accessible to everyone. The organization is based in Nigeria and “on an aggressive mission to bring clean and affordable solar energy through the design of innovative solar products across the African continent, while at the same time growing African talent.” Salpha Energy’s mission is rooted in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a call to action and guide for all countries. Each of the 17 goals focuses on sustainable growth, protection of the planet and the end of poverty. Goal 7 states that affordable and clean energy plays a part in and impacts all SDGs; the UN describes energy as “central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity.”
Billions of individuals
Salpha Energy agrees, stating on their website, “Energy poverty is an area of concern that . . . affects billions of people globally. Those affected are forced to resort to alternative methods that have proven harmful to human life and the environment. . . Nearly 9 out of 10 people now have access to electricity, but reaching the unserved 789 million around the world – 548 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone – that lack access will require increased efforts.” Lack of electricity often results in a scarcity of clean water. Women and girls spend hours collecting drinking water. Energy poverty results in the inability to store vaccines, to do schoolwork in the evening hours and limits progress for countless businesses. Maaike VanderMeer stated in an article “Net Zero Ethics” (CC, Dec. 12, 2022) that the continent of Africa and other regions of the Global South are significantly more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than the Global North, while contributing significantly less emissions – the continent of Africa contributes only two to three percent of global emissions.
Light up the world
Harnessing the energy of the sun and implementing business practices to serve the underserved and more vulnerable populations in her native Nigeria, Chukwudozie aims to provide sustainable, equitable energy; “I watched people in my country suffer inhumane treatment, because a flawed system, which should have protected their interests, was set up in a way that only benefited those at the top of management. This fueled a passion within me to want to change the status quo and break the cycle of injustice,” she told Forbes. Salpha Energy offers solar products ranging from various home fridge and freezer systems to energy kits which include lights, radios and charging stations for phones. Images on their website show these solar systems at work in small businesses: a barber shop, a chicken farm, a small grocery store. As we seek how to live out justice and creation care, let us look for ways to partner with organizations like Chukwudozie’s. As Salpha Energy’s mission states, “Together we can light up the world.”
more examples, please
This article is part of Christian Courier’s ongoing series on innovation in the energy sector, and part of our overall mission to help Canadian Christians transition to more sustainable lifestyles. If you know of an entrepreneur who is balancing the equation between justice and climate care, email ac.reiruocnaitsirhc@rotide because we’d love to meet them!
Sandra is my hero and inspiration.