Tanzania at Slush: “We are like the village’s own electricity company”

Jamii Power: Rural electrification with a social aspect

Naeem Mawji represents his and his brother's company Jamii Power at Slush. The company delivers green electricity to rural villages in Tanzania that don't otherwise have access to electricity.

Photo: Venla Voutilainen
Naeem Mawji profile
Naeem founded Jamii Power with his brother. The brothers learnt about working in rural Tanzania from their father. Engineering skills they learnt in Vancouver.

Working in rural Tanzania can be challenging, but Naeem and his brother have a family background in working in that environment.

"Our father owned a construction company in northern Tanzania. From him we learnt about what kind of challenges the rural communities face but also how to implement projects in that environment", Naeem says.

Jamii Power generates electricity from solar, wind, biomass and hydro sources that are available in the countryside.

"We are like the village's own Tanesco [the national electricity company]", Naeem describes. "We design, install and run the solar power plant ourselves."

Photo: Jamii Power
Jamii Power in action
The foudners of Jamii Power still do a lot of the practical labour involved in their product. As a next step, they are looking into how to scale up.

However, Jamii Power is about more than just a technical solution to a problem. In addition, they make electricity usage a collective responsibility. If someone takes out electricity without paying for it, a common problem in Tanzania, the whole village is collectively responsible for it.

Is only suiting that Jamii means community in Swahili. Jamii Power is then community power.

The company's potential has already been noted. World Bank financed their first phase. After that, Jamii Power started looking at how to scale up their operations.

Currently the company is developing a JAPO smart mini-grid metering system with support from PowerAfrica and Finnish-supported Energy and Environment Partnership Programme. The first prototype is soon to be ready, after which the field testing will start.

Jamii Power is looking for an investor for the next stage, the commercialization of the product. Slush is a potential platform where to meet such investors.

"We are also looking to grow as a technology company", Naeem adds. "We have already identified multiple derivate products with business potential."

Naeem is looking to find an experienced CEO with time to invest in the development of the company. Experienced leadership would help to take Jamii Power to the next