Megawatts and connections improving lives — Birhan Chekene’s story

With support from Power Africa, as a result of assistance provided to host country governments and the private sector, energy customers in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria gained access to new or improved electricity. Birhan’s story highlights one of the experiences households have had as a result of gaining access to that electricity.

Since getting electricity from a wind powered mini-grid, Birhan can now sell his oxen for a much higher price than before. Photo Credit: Power Africa/Integra
The profit that Birhan now gets from selling oxen at a higher price helps him to run other businesses. Photo Credit: Power Africa/Integra

“We used to sell fattened oxen cheaply for 5,000 or 6,000 birr [172–206 USD]… but after we got connected to the power, we charge our cell phones and call Addis Ababa, and they tell us the price of oxen there. Now, we can sell it from 20,000 to 35,000 birr [688–1,204 USD]”.

The electricity has changed the lives for the community as well. Women can make injera (sourdough flatbread) whenever they want without stress using an electric stove. They can see clearly without the use of the kerosene, which relieves a larger burden. Since they can cook injera at night instead of the day, they have time to spin cotton during the day to sell.

Women in the community now have more time during the day to perform income generating tasks because they have electricity and lights to cook at night. Photo Credit: Power Africa/Integra
Birhan plans to buy land in the future near the city and open another business with his increase in profits from selling oxen at a higher price. Photo Credit: Power Africa/Integra

A U.S. Government-led partnership that seeks to add 30,000 MW and 60 million electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 >