Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Jacqueline Proneth. I am a 24 year old woman from Tanzania studying for a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting at the University of Dar es Salaam. Meanwhile, I am in the process of registering a business with my partner Suleiman Mzungu which involved charcoal briquettes.
What inspired you to work in off-grid energy? are there key people who inspired you to work in this area?
One of my close friends inspired me to work in off-grid energy and apply to the Smart Villages off-grid energy competition, with business training run by the Cambridge Development Initiative. The issue of energy access came up in one of our conversations about entrepreneurship and we were specifically the impact of alternative sources of energy on our society.
Tell us a bit about SUJA Eco Energy.
Suleiman and I started SUJA Eco Energy as an alternative energy source for Tanzania. The growing demand for biomass energy sources in Tanzania is a huge problem. Tanzania burns one million tonnes of charcoal each year, with many households in both rural and urban areas relying on it, mainly for cooking.
Due to such high demand, a tremendous number of trees are cut down each year, causing significant damage to the environment. SUJA’s solution is to produce charcoal from alternative sources including sugar cane, coconut husks and shells, and charcoal dust. In combining these materials to produce a new form of charcoal, not only will the business be protecting the environment, it will also offer lower income households charcoal at a more affordable cost, and in a reliable and easily accessible manner.
Where do you hope to be, 3 years from now?
I hope to see the business a people’s brand in the energy sector, supplying clean cooking source of energy with good technology to meet our customers’ energy demands.