Market Intelligence

Discovering an opportunity

Conducting a market intelligence survey
Conducting a market intelligence survey

When the Lighting Africa program first began looking into the availability of off-grid lighting products in sub-Saharan Africa, we soon learned how little was known about this market. Through our own research we quickly discovered the huge potential of off-grid products – both for markets, and for the end-users that would ultimately benefit from gaining access to modern lighting and energy products.

Yet, despite the vast opportunities, industry was generally reluctant to get involved as key players lacked information and perceived the risk as too high. One of our first activities was therefore to collect and publicly disseminate market data.

Encouraging participation through information

Gathering and disseminating market data is an essential first step in catalyzing the market to expand access to these life-changing products. Jennifer Lynch, Lighting Africa’s communications lead.

Manufacturers, companies, and investors can all benefit from Lighting Africa’s publicly available market research that details information on market size, the demands of end users and their ability to pay, as well as analyzing distribution channels to ensure products reach even the ‘last mile’ consumers.

To date, Lighting Africa has published dozens of market insight reports ranging from country-level consumer demand surveys to the 2016 Global Market Trends Report, which was jointly published by the World Bank Group and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In addition to uncovering demand and market trends, much of our research has focused on analyzing existing and potential distribution channels in order to support delivery of these products to consumers living ‘at the last inch of the last mile’ – where they are needed most.

A distributor delivers solar lanterns to 'last inch of the last mile' by bicycle
A distributor delivers solar lanterns to ‘last inch of the last mile’ by bicycle ©Solar Aid

Together our reports have clearly demonstrated the extensive opportunities presented by the off-grid market in sub-Saharan Africa. We have also provided critical data to reduce first-mover risk and help manufacturers, distributors and retailers make informed business decisions.

More to come

As Lighting Africa continues to support growing existing markets, as well as looking to provide a boost to nascent markets in countries we are not yet active in, our market research work continues. We currently have several ongoing research activities – and will make our findings publicly available once completed.