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Edgar Hardy

African Inventors

January, 2011
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A Congolese (Congo-Brazzaville) inventor living in France, Edgar Hardy has developed a solar lamp he has named Mona, which means "to see" in Lingala. This inventor has studied at the Ecole Centrale de Paris, and it is in partnership with the latter that he has developed the Mona lamp as an entrepreneur. Indeed, Edgar Hardy is heading Solar21, his own company.

As a child, he had to go under the streetlights of the main roads to read and study because he did not have electricity at home. Even today, a very small percentage of Africans have regular access to electricity. Edgar Hardy, by developing his solar lamp, would like to offer an alternate solution that is more convenient than the petrol lamp or the candle for those who lack power.

The Mona lamp provides area lighting ranging from 15 to 25 m²; thus convenient for both home and business premises. Mona uses new LED (light emitting diodes) technologies and photovoltaic panels (solar panels) that allow a high inner light intensity. One of its peculiarities is that it can be used as a desk or wall lamp. It is also equipped with a USB output and a power plug to charge a mobile phone, weighs 800g and has the following dimensions: 25 cm x 17 cm x 5.5 cm.

Mona has a range comprised between 5h and 9h depending on the mode used (High or Low) when the 2.3v (2.800 mA) batteries are used. This range is comprised between 3.5h and 6h when solar panels are used, after the lamp has been charged for about 6 hours in full sunlight. The 1 watt LED Power has a lifespan of 17 years.

Edgar Hardy received the support of the Agence Régionale de l’Innovation de Haute Normandie (Regional Innovation Agency of Upper Normandy) to design and develop the Mona lamp. The Lamp is currently referenced by the Nature & Découverte shops that will commercialize it in France, Belgium and Switzerland at a price ranging between 50 and 60 euros, which is unaffordable for most Africans living in Africa, not to mention that this price should include customs duties and taxes in addition to the value added tax (VAT). To enable Africans and the rest of the world without power to acquire the Mona lamp, Edgar Hardy thinks of another form of distribution: corporate sponsorship.

The Mona Lamp has been awarded the INNOVATION et FUTUR prize from the Upper Normandy region, in France; which proves the innovative nature of Edgar Hardy’s invention.

With the solar lamp, Edgar Hardy shows, once again, that put in ideal conditions for research and technological development, Africans can appropriately innovate and contribute to the development of their continent. Can we still seriously doubt it!

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To find out more: www.solar21.fr

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