Khantṧa Energy makes global inroads

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Associate director of Khantṧa Energy Koaile Monaheng

By Neo Kolane

A Mandela Rhodes Scholarship alumnus Koaile Monaheng is one of the five finalists shortlisted for the Äänit Prize, which awards up to M1 394 400 in support of African ventures that deliver or have the potential to deliver positive social impact for some of Africa’s most marginalised people.

The finalists run projects in areas ranging from early childhood development to medical technology and renewable energy. Finalists come from Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The Äänit Prize is a complementary offering to the Mandela Rhodes Foundation’s scholarship and leadership programme. It emphasises the foundations and commitment to empowering scholars with the resources they need to apply their leadership talents in their countries and on the continent.

In an interview with theReporter, Monaheng who is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development explained that he was selected after a lot of interviews to  be one of the finalists. His company is Khantṧa Energy where he is an associate director.

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Khantṧa Energy is a Lesotho based social enterprise that provides mobile solar power and solar installations to rural communities around Lesotho.

Also operating in the highlands areas of Roma, Thaba-Tseka, Qacha’s Nek and Mokhotlong.

“Khantṧa Energy basically connected with the villagers and we were able to get a real sense of the type of realities and conditions that they live under and lighting became sort of a privilege for them.

“The company saw that energy and light is something that they struggle with, it speaks of a broader problem of energy availability on the African continent.

“About 620 million Africans are still without electricity so when one thinks of Lesotho and rural supply electricity, it does not benefit 1.2 million people; that is 25 percent of our population which means half of our population is in dire need of electrification.

“The idea is even symbolic means light up and that was it; how do we light up Lesotho’s future, what do we think when we think of electricity,” Monaheng explained.

Khantša Energy is ‘lighting up Lesotho’s future’ by providing affordable and accessible renewable energy solutions, envisioning a system that transforms energy access to ownership in placing it directly in the hands of rural households.

Monaheng revealed that Khantša Energy began by installing solar systems at six health centres in remote districts and has expanded to households and schools, with 36 successful household installations to date.

Families are able to pay off their solar systems through the PayAsYouGo model, making it affordable for households to own clean energy and access it.

Having ventured into Global Climate Change Governance at Postgraduate, Monaheng explained that Khantša Energy’s solution will allow the people of Lesotho to leapfrog the need for grid electricity, reducing reliance on imported energy generated from fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

He explained that this is important as the climate crisis disproportionately threatens the lives and livelihoods of Basotho who are largely dependent on rain-fed agriculture.

“If I win I will basically help Lesotho take that first step, I can help Lesotho change the lives.

“I think of it in three pillar, indigenous, environmental education and commercialising renewable energy. I think about helping vulnerable populations and uplifting communities for energy access.

“I will use indigenous knowledge and research to assist even the Lesotho government to achieve the target for electricity access and lead forth the need to put grid supply energy for free in mountainous places because its known that the terrain does not allow for it,” Monaheng disclosed.

For more information on Khantša Energy, Monaheng can be reached on +27 76 209 9465.