This Initiative is a Private Sector Energised India-US-Africa Sustainable Initiative

Ram Mohan is the Managing Director and Founder of ComAfrique and the initiatior of the ComAfrique Initiative. He is also the Honorary Consul General of India in The Gambia.

Dr Kushant Uppal, founder & CEO of InteliZon is a US Citizen, Educated at the Indian Institute of Technology ( Madras) in Chennai, India and thereafter at the University of Southern California - where he settled down for 20 years returning to India to create InteliZon and Intelligent solutions for Rural Lighting.

How ONE Dalasi ( 0.04US$) per Day CAN give you Light for Life

Read through our Blog pages to find out more......

Developing Sustainability in Villages - A Unique Initiative

Sustainability with Village participation ... driven by Entrepreneurship and Partnership. We can change the world we live in - in our own small way.

Governments should generate and bring light to all corners of the Country. Many development agencies insist that off-grid solar lights should be paid for and not given free. However Our UNIQUE Initiative strives to get the Private Sector / NGOs / or Governments to provide the instruments of Light to remote Villagers and thereafter let the Villagers sustain it by paying for the usage of light. We believe that just selling Solar Lights to Villagers is not the right way. If you want to make it truly sustainable, deliver the means to them and let them pay to sustain it. This is a better form of development.

How does providing sustainable light enhance Food Security?

Villagers who live in darkness, use daylight for income generation. With Light, they are able to enhance their incomes or productivity at night. Children are able to study at night and Education is the driving force behind development. Thus Light is the source of all development.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2013, 110+ villages and counting

5th May, 2013
I firstly must apologise for the lack of updates here.
We have been terribly active and most posts have been on Twitter (@ComfariqueIntel ) and on Facebook ( as well as on our web page (  and thus would request readers and followers to please check the above for updates and pictures.
I promise to update this blog as well as often as possible.

Im sitting in Ziguinchor on my way back from Bissau on a Cashew trip. While I pursue my business, a dedicated team from the Initiative is implementing our 90th village (90 out of 140 villahes) being implemented for the London School of Economics project " Effective Intervention" in Guinea Bissaus Quinara & Tombali regions.

We have completed 26 villages in The Gambia too and have two more villages to implement. One for the Rotary Club of Quilon, Kerala and in a unique programme, to ensure that two villages supported by the Annecy Sisters in Basse, The Gambia, will be brought under the Initiative, thanks to a sponsorship by MSC Shipping Company. Ms. Mette Oerslund has very benevolently agreed to this sponsorship. The Sisters of Annecy, MSC and we are excited as this is the farthest and remotest region of The Gambia.

While Rakib and Famara have done far more remote regions in Guinea Bissau, this will be a challenge in The Gambia.

Will continue to write here and will provide links between the various social networking sites for this Initiative heavily weighed with Corporate and Social Responsibility character.

Ram Mohan
Ziguinchor, 5th June, 2013

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

innovation - ZONbulb from InteliZON - a Vision of the Future of Lighting

ZONbulb - An Innovation in Rural and Urban Lighting

For many years, everyone who brought new lighting products to rural areas, designed them on the traditional "lantern".  CFL and LED, solar lights - in the form of a Lantern and this always struck me as strange. Why would you want to move forward looking backward?  The InteliZON range of products have always looked forward. From the ZonLight TASK Light range to the ZonHome range of home lights followed by Zon Street - the products have always been modern.  InteliZons motto "Creating a world of smarter energy" comes clear. Simple yet innovative and forward looking products. And now after extensive research, comes the ZONbulb.

The Worlds first and most innovative Grid/Solar chargeable Li-ion battery backed up bulb that fits into your existing urban light socket OR can be used in rural areas as a solar light - waiting for the future to catch up with them. And definitely NOT reminding them of the darkness and rudimentary lantern, but showing them the way - the future of all lighting. Environmentally friendly and yet modern.
Capable of being used anywhere. 
The image of a Touareg or a Masai villager leaving his Lantern behind and holding a ZONbulb is too vivid an image of development to ignore.
Let India & Africa take the rest of the world to InteliZONs world of smarter energy.
Ram Mohan
The Gambia
January 25th, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Albreda & Juffereh Villages Implemented - 27th December, 2010

The Villages of Albreda and Juffereh were implemented under the Initiative on 27th December, 2011.
Under the Sponsorship of the U S Embassy Banjul (a sum of GMD 117,600 from the US Ambassadors Self Help Fund)  as well as a part Sponsorship by INTELIZON themselves, the ComAfrique-InteliZon Initiative team carried out the Implementation providing a total of 187 Solar ZonLights ( 117 Sponsored by the US Embassy and 70 Sponsored by InteliZon).

While the inspiration to bring the Initiative to Juffereh and Albreda was due to efforts initially from Tashawna Bethea and the former Ambassador Barry Wells, full credit to current Ambassador White, Deputy Cynthia Gregg and Mr Zacchary Bailey, Political Attache of the US Embassy Banjul who accompanied  Mr Janko Fofana  and even spent the night at Juffereh during the Implementation. Mr Famara Dampha of ComAfrique conducted the handing over ceremony of the ZonLights to the Village ZonLight Committees of the two villages.  Mrs Bailey accompanied the team to witness basic sustainable lights coming to the home of Roots & Kunta Kinteh.

This brings the Total number of villages sponsored to 11 since we commenced in end 2009.

A total of  900 Lights affecting the lives of 4,500 rural folk in a sustainable manner is the achievement of the Initiative to date as this Initiative now goes Africa wide.

Watch this space for more NEWS

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

US Embassy Sponsors ZonLights in Juffereh & Albreda

Under the US Ambassadors Self Help Scheme, the villagers of Juffereh & Albreda will be beneficiaries of the ComAfrique-Intelizon Initiative. The implementation will be undertaken shortly.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


The drums and the dancing did not stop till late at Night at Bujhiling Village in THe Gambia, nominated by President Jammeh after TRUST Bank offered to Sponsor the Village under the ComAfrique-InteliZon Initiative..
The Implementation of the ComAfrique-InteliZon Initiative on the 27th of October with Famara Dampha of ComAfrique and representatives of TRUST Bank being welcomed with fervour at sunset.  They now have Light - and thats not all. THey have a FUND that is village owned and village run. 72 Lights were distributed to the thrilled recipients. Each will contribute between 1GMD to 3 GMD per Day for their lights and telephone charging lights. This fund will be used to replace batteries and the lights themself.  Sustainability in Development.
Pictures and Comments will be posted soon.
Ram Mohan

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lighting Africa Conference SENEGAL October 2010

ComAfrique along with its Senegal partner TATA Africa Senegal - participated in the LIGHTING AFRICA Conference held at the Radisson Blu in Dakar, Senegal on the 6th / 7th of October, 2010.

While the initial reaction to the initiative was lukewarm, especially under that the impression that the ComAfrique Initiative was just giving lights away free, the response from World Bank officials and organizers changed for the better when they understood that we believe that light should be delivered to the nooks and corners of the world - especially in Africa where governments are unable to do so.  Thus Initiatives such as ours, which deliver the means to have light, yet insist that the villagers pay for the light and not the instruments, takes sustainability to a new meaning.

We continue to believe that while Off Grid Simple Solar Instruments of Light, should be made accessible to all corners of Africa, in a commercial manner, when it comes to providing basic light for rural Africa, the governments and development agencies have a role to play. and if this role is shared by the corporate and private sector, it should be welcomed.
ComAfrique, along with InteliZon are getting their already successful ZonLights and ZonHomes tested by Lighting Africa, and will look forward to a beneficial partnership, where we can add value to Lighting Africa s program.

Banjul, 16th October, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trust Bank Sponsors a Village

In response to ComAfriques request, Trust Bank Managing Director, Mr Pa Njie along with his team have graciously offered to sponsor a village under the ComAfrique Initiative.  The Office of the President have nominated the village of Bujhilling in the Foni District of The Gambia.

Watch this space as ComAfrique implement the Initiative in Bujhilling.

This is Village Number 10 -
10th October, 2010

Cashew Business provides another Sponsor

Cashews and Sustainable Light

In a move towards farmers gaining access to sustainable lighting, ComAfrique have come up with yet another sponsor - a benevolent one who choses to remain known as an associate of ComAfrique.

ComAfrique have suggested that the President nominate a village in The Gambia and are thus waiting for this nomination.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mr Hari Krishnan Nair - CEO Western India Cashew - Visits Taibathu

An email from Mr HariKrishnan Nair, CEO of Western India Cashew Company - a partner and Sponsor of the ComAfrique-InteliZon Initiative visited Taibathu Village.  His visit coincided with the onset of the Monsoons - a very good sign as suggested by the Alkalo of Taibathu. Read his account in his own words - in an emaoil sent to us :-...

Hi Ram,

Thank you for the chance..

From: Hari Krishnan Nair []
Sent: 19 July 2010 18:47
Subject: Waca Waca Africa

I've just got back from a hectic trip to West Africa - Guinea Bissau and the Gambia. A major highlight was a visit to Taibatou Village in the Western South Bank of the Gambia.

The Gambia is an English speaking enclave on both banks of the Gambia river opening out to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by French-speaking Senegal on 3 sides. Taibatou is a dirt-road ride off the main road from Banjul to Sanyang. The village has 80 houses, tin-roofed and plastered-mud walled, in 26 compounds. The people are all farmers, growing cashews also, among other crops - maize, cassava, etc. The children do go to school; there is an Elementary School, and the chieftain spoke surprisingly good English in a
very soft voice. Many of the others also spoke Arabic.

My company had sponsored Solar lighting for the village and I wanted to actually visit them and see the Project. The sponsored lights belong to the Village Committee and are given out to families on a contributory basis - the house-holds each pay 1-3 Dalasis (4-12 USC) per day to the Committee, which becomes a fund to replace the batteries in 2 years and augment the lights, so that it is sustainable. This expenditure is less than half the cost of candles - 5 Dalasis per room per night. Two or three lights are common property and light up the street in front of the Chief's house where the villagers have their meetings.

This project is implemented by ComAfrique Ltd., owned by Mr. Ram Mohan, the Hon. Counsel of India in the Gambia, who had started off in business more than a decade ago, supplying cashews to us.

The rugged solar lights "Zonlight" are made in India, and use the newest technologies: LED lights, Lithium cells and compact solar panels to provide 9-12 hours of light with 3-4 hours of charging. ComAfrique uses local people to scout the villages and implement the projects, keeping costs much lower than when done by
ex-pats. The cost of sponsoring lights for a village is $2,500 to $4,000, depending on the size of the village. If any of you is interested, please visit, or let me know. I'll also be putting up some photos on Face-book over the next two days.

It was raining when we landed up at the village at about 11 am. The Village committee was waiting for us and we spent some time in the chief's house. He told me about the difference it had made to them - they can go out in the dark if there is any threat; the children can study longer at night without hurting their eyes; the families can cook and do other chores; no threat of fires from candles... it's been one month and their lives have changed. More people kept coming as the rain abated, and they wanted to shake my hand. The
two teens (boy and girl) who maintain the collection accounts brought out their register and proudly showed me their collection - no delinquencies.

The chieftain made a small speech of thanks with tears in his and everybody else's eyes. It's a special feeling.


Thursday, July 1, 2010


In an unfortunate but understandable set back, the Village of Sitanunku have backed out and have opted for their mentor Mr Marcel Hendricks to directly fund a Solar Water Pump rather than sponsor Lights and work on the Loan based on the ComAfrique ZonLight Initiative.  While the majority apparently were united in exhibiting their self sustanability and independence on water and light, a few villagers on the committee commented that since the EcoHotel project of Mr Marcel Hendricks would anyway be responsible for providing Light and water to the region, they opted out and preffered to take cash from him rather than implement their own water and light with the ComAfrique Initiative. 
However, Trust Bank that had so magnanimously agreed to give the villagers a loan for their Solar Water Project bsed on our Initiative, they have since suggested that they would like to sponsor a village with ZonLights and we await further communication with them.