Valuing the African Genius

Anastase Tabaro

Anastase Tabaro is a self-taught Rwandan who has built a small hydro-electric dam which supplies electricity to the inhabitants of the Ngororero village. He has no technical training and did not attend school. However, he has conceived and built this electric generator which is powered by the Tiliba River. He spent a lot of time doing research on how to generate electricity so that he could earn a living by selling it to the villagers in a region where nobody had electricity before.

The Rwandan government decided to support this project and installed utility poles to supply electricity to about 700 homes in his village and neighbouring villages.

The involvement of the Rwandan government is noteworthy because this is the first step toward the recognition of local inventors who can effectively respond to the immediate needs of populations at unbeatable costs in the market. However, it would be more effective to help such inventors move from arty-crafty systems to at least semi-industrial power generation units. Indeed, the concept and the technology developed by the inventor can be improved and replicated in other areas that are not connected to the national grid.

The stroke of genius of Anastase Tabaro is to have been able to understand, without reading books, that he needed a turbine that would use the river's current to spin the rotor of the generator which produces electricity. This is proof that intelligence is not necessarily correlated to pure academic training and that even so called "illiterates" are gifted with common sense and technical skills.

Source: Spiegel.de (Der Spiegel)

Energy - Power Menu

Profile reviewed: January 4, 2017

First publication: December 2009