Samuelle Asante: Meet the Ashesi Alumna Behind the OPV Solar-Powered Bag and Lamp for Children

Samuelle Asante: Meet the Ashesi Alumna Behind the OPV Solar-Powered Bag and Lamp for Children

  • Samuelle Asante is the founder of Kaniya Energy, the start-up company behind Kaniya Kotoku and Kaniya Energy Needs Index (KENI)
  • Kaniya Kotoku is a solar-powered bag and lamp set designed to provide alternative lighting solutions for children
  • Asante started her company while studying at Ashesi University

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Samuelle Asante is the founder of Kaniya Energy, a start-up company behind the Kaniya Kotoku and Kaniya Energy Needs Index (KENI).

Kaniya Energy is an emerging company that uses organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell technology to design safe and affordable solar-powered lighting alternatives for households and individuals living in areas with inconsistent energy supplies.

The company has developed two products, Kaniya Kotoku and Kaniya Energy Needs Index (KENI).

Samuelle Asante designs OPV solar-powered bag and lamp for children
Samuelle Asante: Meet the Ashesi Alumna Behind the OPV Solar-Powered Bag and Lamp for Children Photo credit: ashesi.edu.gh
Source: UGC

About the products

Kaniya Kotoku is an OPV solar bag and lamp set designed to provide alternative lighting solutions for children in areas with inconsistent or no electricity, giving them at least two additional hours of the night for studying.

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The Kaniya Energy Needs Index (KENI) helps quantify the energy needs of individuals and households across Africa.

With these two products, the Kaniya is focused on contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7, 8, 12 and 13.

The journey

Asante started Kaniya Energy with a group of like-minded friends at Ashesi while pursuing a degree programme in Business Administration.

She was inspired by the lessons of a 2015 electricity crisis in Ghana that led to widespread and frequent power outages, Ashesi.edu.gh says.

This drive, coupled with her love of the Foundation of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE) course, helped her unearth her drive for entrepreneurship.

Grant funding from Ashesi

Even though her co-founders later moved on to other projects and initiatives, Asante focused on improving their initial prototype for a solar bag.

She worked with a peer from the Engineering class to implement the feedback she had earlier received and redesigned the solar bag.

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With a $5000 support grant from Ashesi's Ford Foundation Fund for Service to Youth and Children, she expanded her business, which developed two products - the Kaniya Kotoku and Kaniya Energy Needs Index (KENI).

Kaniya Wins National Pitch Competition

In August of this year, Asante triumphed 29 candidates to win the Ghana Industrial Summit & Exhibition (GISE'21) pitch contest organised by The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in partnership with the Volta River Authority (VRA).

She won an extensive prize package from Mastercard Foundation, McGill University, AABN, the Volta River Authority (VRA), including a cash reward of $7000.

With the prize package, Asante plans to research OPV cells to improve existing products and develop more products through her company.

13-year-old Boy Builds Own Car with Phone Board and T&J Scraps

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old Ghanaian pupil, Evans Mensah of the Gomoa Mampong D/A Basic School in the Central Region, has built a car with a phone board and T&J scraps.

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The junior high school student has a quest to pursue a career in Ghana's automobile industry.

This passion urged him to build the car with a phone board and T&J scraps, which runs perfectly without a challenge.

Source: Yen

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