George Mtemahanji grew up in Ifakara, Tanzania Kilombero district. At a very young age he decided to move to Italy where his mother was located. After eight years had passed Mtemahnji went back to his birth town only to find that nothing had changed.
“Electricity supply is really important for the development of a country. Without electricity, New York or Johannesburg would just be villages – they’d be like Ifakara,” Mtemahanji explained.
Mtemahanji is a passionate young innovative entrepreneur who provides access to low cost clean energy. Fascinated with solar energy, Mtemahanji believed that this field was accessible to many African innovators who had the opportunity to give some communities with no access to power, solar electricity by leapfrogging fossil fuel energy and other technologies.
In 2013, Mtemahanji decided to consult a friend, Manuel Rolando, about an idea that he had for a business, which would provide solar energy to his hometown Ifakara. This business had to be full of quality and suitable for the rural areas.
When a plan came into motion, Mtemahanji and his friend set out to find financial partners and suppliers. Not long after, both men came across a Swiss organisation who wanted to build a photovoltaic plant (solar energy system) at a school in Ifakara. This pleased both men as the duo offered to design and construct the entire project for free.
By 2014, Mtemahanji had saved enough money to set up the company known as SunSweet Solar while working in Switzerland. Knowing that he can’t do this alone, Mtemahanji split the company 50-50 with his friend.
The Benignis Girls Secondary School has the largest plant in the region of Kilombero with the ability to run +-236 lights, a dozen of computers, fans, a recreation room and store energy worth 3 days.
“Our motto is ‘switch on Africa’ which is not only about providing energy solutions, but also about creating awareness when it comes to renewable energy solutions,” Mtemahanji explained.
In addition to big installations, SunSweet Solar supplies solar-power kits to homes and small businesses throughout the community. Mtemahanji is a very driven individual who believes in that, providing solar power to rural Tanzania at a fraction of the financial and environmental cost of fossil fuel would be seen as a revolution in the electricity market.