For employees at Nigeria’s Quadloop, these old laptops are much more than just electronic waste.
They are a source of light.
The company recycles the lithium batteries inside, as well as other parts such as wires, screws and screens, into solar lanterns.
Quadloop founder Dozie Igweilo says there is a market for locally-produced, affordable electronic in Nigeria – but that many of the components are not available.
“We noticed that yes there is a market for this and if we leverage electronic waste, we are going to cut down the cost of production as well as the cost of sales. That’s when we started building and that’s what brought us to where we are today.’’
Igweilo says many of the customers for the solar units – which sell for $32 each – are small businesses.
In a country that suffers severe power outages, it’s a way for them to stay productive.
One such client in Blessing Samuel.
The hairdresser says she previously had to run her generator at night or postpone unfinished work to the following day.
“It relieves me off the stress of buying fuel and extra expenses.’’
Igweilo says there is a pressing need for cheaper devices in Africa’s most populous country.
As well as small businesses, his target market also includes local community hospitals.
Amid Nigeria’s energy crisis, it’s a way for them to keep the lights on – with the added bonus of helping tackle climate change.