Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ghana Implementation

Robert Van Buskirk the head of LBNL's Village Project International (VPI) research called me many times this Spring. He took the bicycle generator idea to a technician in Bolgatanga, Ghana and was amazed that they can build it there as well. Furthermore, he said it would hybridize well with the solar panel (which was something we are working on as well). He said that his program was interested in generating a market for this locally designed electrical generating device and agreed to work with a local auto electric technician: Abdul Raman.

His agreement with Abdul is that Abdul determines what it would cost him to supply a bicycle generator system to someone, and he finds some customers, and then VPI 1/2 the price for the first few customers so that he can sell the initial systems at a discount.

Here's hoping that more organizations get behind this paradigm shift away from "Designing for the Other" and shifting towards "Empowering Design" with local materials and expertise!

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