Project Seed

Client Projects: Practical Learning Application

Client Projects: Practical Learning Application

2017 WEEK 4

During our time in Dar es Salaam, we worked on two client projects with our colleagues in the Tanzanian Student Consulting Group. These projects were undertaken for SomaApps and ClickPesa, two of the city’s exciting start-ups. It was interesting for us in ISCG to work on diverse projects with such a local flavour.

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Arrival: First Steps

2017 WEEK 1 

‘Business in Africa’ was the title of a conference I attended in UCD a few months ago. Writing from Tanzania’s largest city, the bustling Dar-es-Salaam, I can’t help but feel that I should have scribbled down a few more notes…

I entered final year last September completely ignorant of Project Seed, ISCG’s effort to establish self-sustaining peer consulting groups around the globe. In the months since, I was captured by the initiative but it is only this week, midway through our first workshop with bright, passionate and ambitious local students that I really understood what an extraordinary initiative it is.

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Solar Panels on Safari

By Tara O'Carroll

Imagine living in a country such as Tanzania, which is bigger than the size of Ireland and 85% of the population still lives off-grid and relies on expensive and dangerous kerosene for light.

In Ireland it is fair to say that we are quite removed from some of these issues but here in Tanzania it is a reality and it shapes and has a profound impact on how people conduct their lives on a daily basis.

We got to experience this first hand over the weekend where we visited the majestic National Mikumi park for a safari. Without even planning, we  literally ‘switched off ‘ as there was limited access to electricity and we became attuned with our surroundings. During the day the solar panels would soak up the sunshine rays and electrify the area for a short period during the evening. You would see people eagerly fueling the batteries on their mobiles during the ‘electricity switched on period’ in preparation for the next day.

Zebra Crossing

Zebra Crossing

From previous posts we discussed our project that we are working on with our client ‘RISE’. RISE installs solar home systems in rural areas. We were pleasantly surprised that the area we were staying in, was powered by one of their systems. It was tremendous to see the value that it adds to these communities by acting as an eco-friendly alternative to Kerosene candles.

Apart from immersing ourselves in the rural lifestyle, we were lucky to say as part of this safari trip we encountered lions, elephants, and impala. It was a truly enriching experience to see them in their natural habit. The pictures below will help you envision the precarious wildlife that can be seen in an African safari.

We will keep you posted with our workshops progress and next adventures!

Culture & Food

By Tara O'Carroll

I am mesmerized by the lifestyle over here. From my experience, I would say that the people are extremely warm, kind and happy. In our introductory workshop one of the poignant moments that I recall was asking the students their favourite things to do, and a common recurring theme was ' I like to smile, and see other people smiling', and I think that this sums up quite well the type of exceptional students we are lucky to be working with. As it stands, we are working with over 50 students who are all eager to learn. These students have the cultural insight and the local flare that is needed to solve the project for our client. Our role is to facilitate and mentor the students over these weeks to achieve the goals of the project.


Food here is delicious. Here in some of the pictures below you can see some of the local food we have been eating, and all at a reasonable price! The weather has been rather pleasant over here and it made adjusting to the climate that bit easier. On average the weather is 22 degrees and darkness comes down at 7 in the evening so you would notice that the people here tend to get up early and sleep earlier too.

Travel

By Tara O'Carroll

The first week has been full of action. Despite all the intricacies of travelling, lost baggage, organising workshops, and meeting the client, it has been seamless so far. We are still coming to terms with the culture shock that you are met with on arrival here. I will never forget the initial trip to our hotel with our trustee Tanzanian taxi man Michael, who is dedicated to bringing us to our destinations with our busy schedules. As we travelled through the city, we were surprised by the amount of people selling on the streets. The city on one hand could be described as a stark mixture of industrialised buildings and on the other hand there is adept poverty. From a standout point of view, the poverty in the city is not locationally split, the local poorer areas are punctuated throughout the city.

Meet the Client

By Aisling O'Reilly

During our time in Dar, we will be working with students on a client project for a local SME, called RISE.

Who are RISE?

RISE is a distribution and finance company that works with rural communities to increasing access to sustainable products and services that add value. They are currently at the pilot stage, at the end of which, they will have installed 3,667 Pay As You Go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems (SHS) to rural farmers in Northern and Southern Tanzania.  

Who do RISE help?

Many rural communities in East Africa don't have access to electricity due to the high costs of extending utility infrastructure. Instead, they use kerosene & candles for lighting, wood & charcoal for cooking and entrepreneurs lack access to affordable power. These lamps release large amounts of carbon and are proven to have a negative impact on the lungs and eyesight of long term users. It was not feasible to add the rural farmers to the national electricity grid, so RISE has developed an alternative way to give them the benefits of electricity.

Triple Bottom Line Impact

Economic: The total savings per year of TSH 302,400 (equivalent to $150.2) for some farmers will contribute an additional 50% to their yearly income which illustrates a significant impact to their socioeconomic progression.

Environmental: One RISE SHS provides three lights and phone charging capacity. After the pilot, RISE will be offsetting 3.3 tons of carbon per year from 11,001 LED lamps replacing an equivalent amount of kerosene lamps.

Social: RISE will impact 3,667 families; over 15,000 people will benefit from having access to clean, safe reliable light and phone charging. Each household replaces kerosene lighting with a SHS and has health benefits from improved lighting and reduced black carbon fumes.

Client Project

We will be running two projects with UDSM students to maximise RISE’s impact in rural Tanzania. The first is a geographical growth strategy to help RISE expand organically through and then penetrate more of East Africa. The second is a competitor analysis to give RISE greater insight into their target market.