The Man Who Dreamt of Keeping Africa’s Lights On
Muazu Adamu is a man with a vision. More than that, he has a solution to the problem of Nigeria’s unreliable electricity supply. But despite the potential of his Power Optimizer, he struggled to get his business off the ground – until he was helped by NESCAFÉ’s Get Started programme.
Muazu Adamu, an entrepreneur from Nigeria, had the dream of lighting up Africa by boosting electricity produced from power generators. He and his business partner Solomon Adokole developed a device known as a Power Optimizer. Their work was driven by the wish to improve the lives of the people in their country.
It was a dream “born from pure necessity,” said Muazu – and the desire to succeed to one day eradicates the unpredictability of power supply which currently plagues Nigeria.
The Power Optimizer works by harvesting energy from a main power generator. It then distributes the power accordingly between high voltages appliances ensuring only the required energy output are used for each device.
The device went into production in 2008 but the business struggled to make an impact. Lack of development funding meant Muazu found it difficult to market the product and finds a balance between supply and demand. He desperately needed further investment.
In 2014 NESCAFÉ invited young Africans to submit entrepreneurial plans which aimed to benefit others in the categories of environment, technology, culture, community or health. More than 10,000 young Africans entered the NESCAFÉ ‘Get Started’ competition with dreams of improving their community and continent. When the competition was judged, Muazu was the winner.
At the time of winning, the Power Optimizer had been in production for seven years. The humble 21-year-old student from Nigeria received a $10,000 prize from NESCAFÉ to invest in the further development of the concept.
Another $10,000 will be used for a mentorship and idea creation training program for Muazu and Solomon. This will allow them to position it as an affordable front-runner in the market. NESCAFÉ will provide support and guidance as they grows their business.
This support and advice put Muazu in a position to approach other investors, who will help ensure the supply of the Power Optimizer to keep up with the increased demand. He was single-minded in his focus to break into the larger market.
Despite the challenges faced by Muazu, he remains true to his vision of mass-producing the product. His ultimate goal for the Power Optimizer is to increase distribution across all of Africa – not only addressing issues with the continent’s power supply, but also helping the people of Africa by offering jobs and enjoying a better quality of life.
Roman Irrure, Business Executive Manager for NESCAFÉ comments: “We were blown away by Muazu’s passion to improve the lives of others. Roughly 60 million Nigerians rely on generators every day to produce their electricity. This leaves nearly 70 per cent of the nation living without any power whatsoever. Muazu’s Power Optimiser, combined with his drive and determination, has already improved life for so many.”
The 2015 edition of the NESCAFÉ Get Started Africa project is in its second phase. Log on to www.getstartedafrica.com to learn more.