Monday, May 7, 2012
If Ghana was a word it would be...
If I was to choose one word to describe Ghana it would be one that conveyed the contradictions and the contrasts. It would show how far the country has come and how far there is still to go. And because I am choosing the word, I would let it show my bias that the heart and strength of this country lies with its women and I would let my word be tied to them.
And my word would be BioLite.
It's not really a poetic word is it? You'll probably be even less impressed when I tell you that BioLite is actually the name of a camp stove; an award winning stove, but a stove nonetheless.
What makes this stove unique is that it is a wood-powered stove that will also charge mobile phones and LED lights off the grid. It also uses half the wood of a normal fire and puts out 90% less smoke. While the smaller portable camping model will be available for sale this year, a larger HomeStove is being trialled in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.
For me this product says so much about Ghana. This is a country where a family can be faced with the twin challenges of where to charge their mobile phone and how to find a safe, sustainable way to cook a meal. It is a country where people with iPads go home to houses without running water, and where you see BMWs navigating potholes.
And it's a country where innovative people and products pass through, day-in-day-out. And for every minute you spend admiring the ingenuity of a product like BioLite, you spend another minute wondering why we still need them.
photo credit: luigi diamanti