The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is an activity within the framework of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.

Solar schools for academic development in Africa's rural areas.

Stage of Idea conceptual stage
This bar shows in a scale of 0-10 the Factor of an idea and his owner PROPORTIONAL TO ALL OTHER IDEAS AND OWNERS - 10 is the best, 0 is the worst value. The blue bar changes constantly due to the votes, comments, ratings and activities on this and other ideas.
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Explain your idea in details:

The first activity is to engage the major stakeholders to be involved in this initiative. These are the Government, Econet Wireless, the power utility and the African Development Bank for institutional funding and support. Personnel should be trained to install the computer system which encompasses a single laptop and an overhead projector per classroom. Personnel should also be trained to install solar panels either as solar roofs or solar fields on the rural schools. The solar system should be integrated by the grid to create a hybrid power system. Extensive promotional activities should be conducted on the advantages of e-learning particularly Ruzivo and solar power. There should be a widespread adoption and use of the Ruzivo platform by every rural school in Africa. There should also be a widespread adoption and use of solar, a clean source of energy by all rural schools in Africa. The innovation encompasses the development of a hybrid power system which encompasses the grid and the solar. It also encompasses the development of a smart metering system which exports and records excess energy to the grid. To encourage private players in this initiative, we shall use the built own operate transfer business model. Under this innovative approach a private player will install and the school authorities will maintain the whole system on a rural school. Over time the system will pay for itself by exporting excess energy generated for a fee to the power utility. The main objective is to sustainably improve the academic pass rates in Africas rural scholars. As rural economies are under huge stress, we want to reduce the schools dependency on levies and school fees for academic development. We want to sustainably accelerate the rate of academic development in Africas rural schools. We also want to increase Africas adoption of solar,

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Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

After the full implementation of this sustainable technology I expect all rural schools in Africa to be transformed into solar schools. Once the system has been installed the academic pass rates should improve by 50% in the first year and gradually thereafter as rural scholars will be exposed to Ruzivo the free e-learning platform. I expect rural scholars to learn STEM related subjects such as chemistry, biology, physical science and information technology. STEM subjects are critical in equipping the rural scholar with the necessary tools to survive in the 21st century. We will achieve the United Nations agenda 2063 which calls for a sustained investment in quality education through action plans to build a united and prosperous Africa. The creation of knowledge-based societies will be made easier through enabling sustainable technologies such as Ruzivo, the free e-learning platform. Green jobs will be created in the rural areas for the installation, maintenance and security of the solar systems. This will help to sustainably sustain rural economies which have been ravaged by the effects of climate change. Since the solar schools will no longer have to purchase expensive textbooks, the money saved will be used on other critical academic infrastructure such as laboratories and furniture. The academic system for example in Zimbabwe is intermittent with holidays in April, August and December. In these summer periods (southern hemisphere), I expect the solar schools to export excess power generated to the power utility for a tariff. Excess energy will also be exported by the smart metering system during solar days and weekends where energy generated will surpass the solar schools peak demand. This will generate extra revenue to be used to further academic development. Teachers will no longer shun rural schools due to a lack of academic equipment.

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Plans for implementation and sustainability

We have come up with an innovative business model for financing this initiative. Investments in these solar schools will follow the build own operate transfer (BOOT) business model under a private-public partnership. Under this approach, a private player under the support and directive from the government will purchase and install the whole system on a rural school. Over time the system will pay for itself by exporting the excess energy generated for a fee to the power utility. The tariff will be negotiated in such a way to recoup the investment over the lifespan of the solar system which is usually twenty years. In terms of financing we expect to source funding from the government, private players, the Infrastructural Development Bank, African Development Bank, the World Bank and the United Nations. Econet Wireless the owner and architect of the Ruzivo platform is our main collaborator. Other potential collaborators include UNICEF, private players and the government. As the government has a major stake in telecommunication firms such as Telecel, Netone and Telone it has a major role to play in ensuring the availability of free broadband for access to the Ruzivo platform by the rural scholar. We also expect all the telecommunication firms to collaborate in this project to ensure free broadband access for academic development in these solar schools. Once the project is launched implementation is expected to last for at least five years covering both primary and secondary schools. Preference will be given to the marginalized areas or the rural areas which experience the lowest pass rates. For this project, Key Performance Indicators includes yearly pass rates for the solar schools for a period of ten years after successful implementation, financial independence and sustainable revenues generated by the system.

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Your profile

My name is Raphael Marima. I am a student aged 24. Currently I am enrolled at the Harare Institute of Technology pursuing a B-tech Honours Degree in Electronic Commerce. Climate change is proving to be a challenge of the 21st century with its effects well documented. However, we can take the initiative to save our communities and globe through greener societies. This strategy encompasses covering all aspects of social, environmental and economic progresses. As an African, particularly Zimbabwean I believe in educated, knowledge-based societies. Knowledge-based societies are more inclusive, adaptable, prosperous and resilient. As a student from a technoprenuerial university I possess innovative qualities and as such I was shortlisted in the top 20 phase of the Africa Energy Indaba 2019 edition. I believe that the future shall and will always belong to individuals and societies who innovate. Those who embrace innovation and sustainable technologies today will be better placed to deal with the challenges of tomorrow. I believe sustainable technologies exists to create knowledge-based societies and reduce the academic gap between the rural and the urban scholar. To achieve the sustainable development goals outlined in the United Nations Agenda 2063 all growth should be inclusive. As an individual I am motivated by philanthropy especially social entrepreneurs who devote their precious time and resources for a social cause. An individual to mention is Dr Strive Masiyiwa. His organization Econet Wireless came up with a free e-learning platform called Ruzivo (Knowledge). Every Zimbabwean scholar with an Internet access can access unlimited academic resources. Such a gesture should be blended by sustainable technological revolutions and embraced by all the relevant stakeholders

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June 16, 2019 08:21

Hi, I apologize, I have not been active on campus for some days now but am back now and will vote every idea that has left a comment or message for me if you have not done so, please check it out and leave a comment quickly to get two votes today thank you

June 15, 2019 11:05

TODAY IS ANOTHER DAY to support on this amazing opinion lets make a change that will benefit the entire world . all the best

kindly let continue with the support


June 14, 2019 12:21

Hi dear,
its another beautiful day of voting, I believe sustained efforts and your creativity will pay off, on and off this platform. keep doing what you do and all the best

June 13, 2019 23:26

I am here again to support on this amazing opinion lets make a change that will benefit the entire world . all the best

kindly let continue with the support

June 13, 2019 23:26

I am here again to support on this amazing opinion lets make a change that will benefit the entire world . all the best

kindly let continue with the support

June 13, 2019 20:33


Well done and i wish you all the best in this competition and implementation of your idea. Let continue supporting each other through votes and comments. You can read my idea too "Waste papers recycling to useful products' and support it with a vote and comment

June 10, 2019 22:34

Hi dear, I am king James from the idea "edUnify under tourism", I want to solicit your support for my idea, and I guarantee you a vote back and comment if you vote and leave a comment on my idea. Thanks for your anticipated support and do have a great day. This is my link,

June 7, 2019 09:57

Hi, I see your idea is quite impactful, Keep making modifications until its perfect. if you can leave a comment on my idea, i know you are active and when i come back online i will vote you. well done. kindly vote too if you can.

June 6, 2019 19:53

You have my vote!! I am Impressed!!! truly amazing the way how you plan to solve social and economic problems through critical thinking, keep up.

If you may, please take a look at my ideia which is in the BEST IDEAS category.

Let us make a difference in the world!

June 5, 2019 22:03


Your idea is wonderful, well done and i wish you all the best.You can read my idea too "Waste papers recycling to useful products' and support it with a comment and vote

June 3, 2019 18:28

It's a beautiful day to vote, since it's a a new week, plus i will vote for your idea, kindly vote mine on your next activation. if you vote mine, kidly drrop a comment and ill make sure to vote you too. Thank you.

May 29, 2019 07:33


Happy International Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Your project idea is amazing :)

We're so excited to have been nominated under the youth best ideas competition category. Kindly show your support by reading commenting and voting for us at

Thank you,
Natasha Sichula