Africa's quiet solar revolution

The continent skipped land lines for mobile phones. Now a new generation of start-ups is trying to bring sun power to rural Africa – and leapfrog the fossil fuel era. 

By , Contributor

Courtesy of Mathieu Young/Off-Grid Electric

By Tanzanian standards, Nosim Noah is not poor. A tall, handsome woman with the angular features of her fellow Masai tribe members, Ms. Noah makes a good living selling women’s and children’s clothes in the markets of this northern Tanzanian city. The four-bedroom brick house she shares with her parents and three children outside town has many modern comforts: mosquito screens on the windows and doors, a gas cookstove, and, most important, a faucet with running water in the back of the yard, next to a stall with a working toilet.