• Kees Kibinda

Africa's First Solar Powered 4X4

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

Students from Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology have invented Africa's first home grown solar powered 4X4 vehicle.

We all know that Africa is a very poor continent. The minerals that are found there are worthless. Gold, copper, iron, lead, nickel, platinum, oil, diamonds and emeralds. You name it! But we are a very poor continent.

And let’s not forget about the sun. So much sun! Some people even speculate that the reason why we have had all those conflicts on the continent over the years is because of the sun. Every time someone would come outside of their mud hut, they’ll look up at the sky and see that light ball is there glimmering down on the person who then gets upset by this heat, this intense heat! He then goes on to attack his neighbour because this bloody sun is driving him insane due to the fact that it is always glaring and always present. So annoying!

And thus, in Ghana, a group of people said: no more, no more being irritated, annoyed or teased by the sun. Instead, let us use it to our advantage. Which caused them to make a vehicle that runs on solar energy.

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in partnership with the Technical University of Munic, has constructed a solar powered 4X4 vehicle. The environmentally friendly car, meant to carry passengers and goods, was inaugurated by His Royal Highness, the Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II at the 51st congregation of the KNUST in Kumasi.

Now I know what you are thinking: you expect His Royal Highness to come dressed in traditional clothing to the event but alas, he was wearing a British style suit.

Professor Kwasi Obiri Danso, Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, said that the invention was the university’s response to living up to its core mandate of spearheading development of innovative technologies. The solar powered vehicle, he said, was still being tested and tried over some period. With the hope of fine tuning it to bring it to standard.

Upon completion, the vehicle could become the very first 4X4 that runs on solar energy to be manufactured on African soil. Professor Obiri Danso has furthermore hinted that the university’s College of Engineering has invented many more things in recent times. For example; they created an open space fire detector. The first thing that comes to mind when envisioning this is some Zulu warrior standing in a field on the look out and when he sees it he shouts: fire, fire, watch out everyone, there’s a fire (I jest of course)!

They have also invented traffic lights that work on solar energy. Which is terrific because the current traffic lights on the African continent are broken.

They have also made drones. And all these inventions are to help the nation in furthering its development processes.

Both the professor as well as His Royal Highness have stressed the importance of getting adequate funding from the government and/or interested parties to spearhead projects such as these. Such projects will help further advance the economy of Ghana and indeed that of the continent at large. Let us face it; a solar powered 4X4 will work well in any part of Africa.

All joking aside, I would like to congratulate the students that created these inventions and the 4X4 in particular and I hope that more projects and inventions are to be expected in the near future.

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