Lets green our African cities


Imagine like a lot of cities across the world have already done, what money and power could be saved in our large African cities if they switched to LED technology. Take a look at what the result were for Los Angeles.

“On January 23, the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting published an update [PDF] on the status of the LED conversion project. The results: 114,067 units replaced, $5,325,793 in annual electricity savings, and 63.3% electricity savings over the incumbent high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lights” as published by Forbes Magazine.

OK, so maybe Los Angeles is the city of bright lights, and we shouldn’t use that as the yardstick. But yet the reality lies in the fact that so many African Infrastructure projects have failed due to cheap materials being used. You just need to travel around any African city via its transit points to see young buildings that are falling apart with cheap fittings in all states of disrepair.

With the progress that LED technology has made over the last decade, we should maybe look at a more recent example of a city that switched to LED technology

Take at look at this statement by the City of Ottawa in Canada, and published as recent as August 2016. “I’m pleased to see the City of Ottawa and Energy Ottawa working together to spend money, energy and resources more efficiently,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Even at this early stage of the conversion, we are already experiencing savings.”

Street lighting accounts for 17 per cent of the electricity used by the City. The conversion is expected to reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent per fixture. Since converting 750 lights on Carling Avenue in 2015, the City is already saving more than $72,000 annually.


Now that certainly gives us a picture of the units, energy and money that every African city could be saving with just street light replacements. We already know that with LED technology we have energy reduction, but in addition the LED infrastructure can provide the following benefits:

  • reduced maintenance costs
  • greater light control
  • greater light quality
  • reduced light pollution

Surely, the time is right to start greening our African cities by switching to LED technology, and using the savings to provide the much needed rural electrification projects.

A ProVisual and African Business Alliance partnership.

For further information on LED lighting technology for Africa, contact walter@african-council.com

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