Archive for the ‘ Pamoja News ’ Category

Mt. Kenya

The Pamoja Research team from Royal Institute of Technology and Aalto University is actively traveling and getting to know East Africa. Recent report from John, Irena and Federico tells us the story from their trip to Mount Kenya.

Since the early days of planning the trip to East-Africa we were sure that we wanted to go hiking. The first option was Kilimanjaro, but since it seemed to be a lot more expensive, due to the distance from Nairobi and more hiking days. So we ended up choosing the second highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kenya for our destination. The route we took was Sirimon- Point Lenana- Naro Moru.

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International team, global opportunities

Pamoja Team

Since last update the team has been busy at many levels. There are 17 people involved in the project and we are gaining momentum. We have  a team focusing on design and product development. This work is quite fascinating and attracts a lot of interest, in a few months time we will have what we call the Green Plant ready and running – our hybrid renewable energy micro powerplant.

Me and Felix has also been active negotiating and promoting our idea at the Social Entrepreneurship Forum and the Swedish East African Chamber of Commerce. Read more

Launching the website

We are proud to present our new design and start page:

new pamoja website

Thanks to


Trade Mission in the Netherlands

It was an exciting week in Holland this end of November. Davis (our engineer from Uganda) and I (Felix) have been invited to a trade mission hosted by Team Pro in Rotterdam. The whole event was focused on the countries Rwanda and Uganda.

It was a week full of site seeing, match making with potential investors and partners, and company visits. I had never been to Holland before and now I have been traveling to almost every corner of it in one week.:) Davis has been freezing the whole time and I was feeling like in spring time…

Really fruitful contacts have been established during this time and it has a present and future benefit for our project.


The Economist: Energy in the Developing World – Power to the People

The September Issue of the Economist touched upon the matter Pamoja is dealing with. Interestingly, the article starts with something which could be Pamoja’s problem statement:

AROUND 1.5 billion people, or more than a fifth of the world’s population, have no access to electricity, and a billion more have only an unreliable and intermittent supply. Of the people without electricity, 85% live in rural areas or on the fringes of cities. Extending energy grids into these areas is expensive.”

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HUB Helsinki co-hosted event

The initiative to co-create an event with the HUB Helsinki appeared in early spring 2010 when we visited Sami Oinonen for a chat. Well he listened to us telling the Pamoja story and our establishment in East Africa and then he simply opened up his calendar and suggested us to co-host an event on cleantech. We really did not know what to expect from a visit to the proto space of HUB Helsinki, but this sounded like a cool thing.

The planning of the event was a quite long process from thinking only cleantech we started to shift focus towards  sustainable business in Bottom of the Pyramid markets. When we picked up this idea after the summer, this made a lot of sense. The week we had scheduled for the event was full of events touching upon the same subject. There was the TEKES workshop on cleantech business in BoP markets, there was the Mobile Brain Bank event on Mobile Business in Africa, and then Nordic Africa Days in Turku as well.

We simply decided to attend all events and pitch, as well as run our co-hosted event at the HUB. Read more

Pamoja constructs a fixed dome shaped bio digester.

Pamoja, determined to fight the effects of climate change, has entered into partnerships with other organizations that are already involved in the fight. One such organization is Heifer International, an international non-government organization that is involved in improving livelihoods through giving skills and providing projects that can fight poverty.

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Pamoja to launch floating dome shaped bio digester.

After spending almost a year of research, design and great deal of effort from engineers both local and international, Pamoja can proudly say that there is a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel for those, especially farmers and urban people who have a great deal of organic waste and yet spend all their lives in darkness and no cooking energy. This comes after Pamoja Research Engineer, Ashabahabwe Ambrose handed over the research report to the Pamoja management team while at their offices at Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) last Thursday.

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Inspiring times

Time is running fast when you have fun. The Stockholm times so far has been wonderful. One day we work from morning to evening in order to finish business proposals or budget layouts, another day goes by with intense planning or brainstorming combined with tons of emails. One day is not similar to the other one.

Just a week or so ago we were hosting a guest from Denmark. Kresten Buch, Founder of HumanIPO, seed investor and entrepreneur. He paid us a visit at the office for some morning coffee. We had the chance to show him our plans and we got some valuable feedback. Our business model got essential push forward. 

At lunchtime we all headed to Kyrkan, the entreprenuerial hub for social entrepreneurs in Stockholm.It was a lot of fun to visit Kyrkan since a lot familiar faces and friends were present. We had a chat with Arne from Global Focus who shared his thoughts with us and encouraged us to move forward. It was inspiring indeed to discuss crowdsourcing among other topics with him. Hopefully, something concrete comes out of Arne and Kresten meeting each other.

We were also discussing the lack of a meeting place for social entrepreneurs to actually connect with investors – there is even a broader lack of an open-minded meeting place between actors from different fields and entrepreneurs, not to mention a place where academia can meet business people and social innovators!


The new approach? – Pamoja event in Helsinki

Event location in Helsinki

Upcoming Pamoja Event in Helsinki

Together with the HUB Helsinki, PAMOJA is organizing the event “THE NEW APPROACH?” – Sustainable growth for a changing base of the pyramid. We are really proud about the prominent speakers we could arrange for this event. It already caught a lot of interest in Helsinki.

Our project “Sprouts of Sustainability” and its business model serves as a case for discussions at the event. The project is still in stealth mode and we are really excited to present it for the first time to the public at this event. “Sprouts of Sustainability” is an integrated model that brings renewable energy to rural areas, while exciting new business opportunities for local entrepreneurs. We will explain it more in detail later.


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