Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


African Studies Lunchtime Seminar: Development planning and performance targets

16 March 2017, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm

African Studies Lunchtime Seminar: Development planning and performance targets

The case of energy access and solar home systems users in Rwanda

Event Information

Open to



Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Seminar Room 20, First Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

The final Spring Term seminar in the UCL African Studies Lunchtime Seminar Series welcomes Iwona Bisaga from the UCL Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience.

There are over 1 billion people lacking access to modern energy sources worldwide and over 600 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Solar energy has emerged as a viable option for those living off the grid and has provided millions with clean, reliable and affordable energy in the last decade. Iwona Bisaga's research focuses on the users of Solar Home Systems (SHSs) in Rwanda, where currently only approximately 25% of the total population have access to the electricity network, leaving some 9 million people in the dark or having to rely on kerosene lamps, candles or expensive batteries. In her talk, Iwona will present her on-going research which looks at the needs and aspirations of SHSs users, as well as questions around in-household energy use dynamics. She will discuss early findings from the fieldwork she conducted in the course of 2016 showing the importance of accessing energy for improved lifestyles, health and productivity, and the very interesting concept of energy targets, locally known as 'imihigo', which households adopt in their yearly household improvement targets and which are influenced by the centralised system of Rwanda's performance targets adopted at all levels of administration.

The seminars will be held every other Thursday during term time from 12.30 to 2 pm in IAS Seminar Room 20 on the first floor of South Wing.

This new series is convened by the African Studies Research Centre and the Institute of Advanced Studies:

  • Dr Matt Davies
  • Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach
  • Professor Megan Vaughan

All welcome.

African Studies Logo