About Us

The ComAfrique – InteliZon Initiative was founded in 2009 with the aim to realize green, decentralized and low cost lighting in rural areas of Africa. The eradication of the use of candles and kerosene lanterns which are costly and dangerous was one of the main targets from the first day on.

Knowing a great solar product, the ‘ZonLights’ from India, it was obvious for the founder of the Initiative, Mr Ram Mohan that this product needed to be introduced to the African market.

Starting the Initiative in the Gambia, people living in rural areas quickly became the main clients of the Initiative. Often located in remote position without a steady access to finance however it was difficult for many people to purchase a ZonLight at a go. To simplify the logistics and ease the burden of finance the Initiative started supplying communities instead of individuals cooperating with sponsors that would be willing to supply an initial set of lights to a village. Under a concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) companies are invited to contribute US$2,500 with which the Initiative is able to provide on average 70 ZonLights to one community. Important is that lights are always given to a community and do not become property of individuals.

To administer the lights an organized village body, the so-called Village ZonLight Committee is founded. A Village ZonLight Committee comprises of at least 5 people: The village chief, an elder, a woman, a youngster, and a Village ZonLight Representative. It is established on request of the Initiative as a prerequisite to start working and takes the guardianship of the Village ZonLight Fund – a key element to assure sustainability to the project.

The finances:

Not having ZonLights people would be dependent on buying a daily candle to secure basic lighting. The price for a daily candle is on average about US$0,20 in most parts of West Africa. Using one candle per night most households spend at least US$6 per month or US$73 per year on basic and dangerous illumination.

Using ZonLights villagers do not have to invest into candles anymore. Instead they subscribe to a contract: In the moment of receiving a ZonLight they commit to pay a daily fee of US$0.05 for the usage of the light. Over six years (the life span of a ZonLight) this means that every light collects about US$110 (a daily candle would cost about US$438 in six years). This means that using ZonLights every villager saves about 75% of the money that he would otherwise have invested into candles. But not only that: The steady contribution of US$0.05 goes into a ZonLight fund which collects about $7,500 in six years assuming 70 subscribers. This fund administered by the ZonLight Village Committee guarantees the replacement of batteries every two years and an exchange of the complete lights after 6 years. Taking care of all those payments it still accumulates a surplus of more than US$3,000 in six years. The surplus can be used for any kind of village development related activity. Some villages decide to expand their variety of lights and for example procure a StreetLight from the Initiative while other opt for paying the fuel for their community rice thrasher. The final usage of the money should be a collective decision of the village and contribute to the development of the community.

News & Events
We would like to convey our sincere gratitude to Effective Intervention for their support in lighting up 120 villages in the Bedanda, Quinara and Tombali regions in Guinea Bissau, West Africa. The villages are all spread out over an area of approximate 10,000 square kilometres and were implemented with 5500 lights. These lights will hopefully enhance the quality of life for the villagers and consequently aid in the growth of a fund that will collect during the course of the years to replace batteries for the lights (Thus. Light for life) and the surplus will/should be used for the development of the village and ultimately the development of the region as a whole. A small step towards bigger achievements with the onus left to the villagers.
We are currently teamed up with The Gambia Experience as part of their Sustainable tourism programme with Education in rural areas as a key focus. Click here for more info
Candle Counter
Number of candles saved till date:

1366446

Number of lights installed:

Current Date: Sep 24 2017

Date of First Implementation: Jan 8 2010