Capturing crisis: Solar power and humanitarian energy markets in Africa

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Goudebou refugee camp in northern Burkina Faso has emerged as a testing ground for international efforts to find market-based solutions to the delivery of basic energy services in humanitarian contexts. This article follows energy researchers, humanitarian practitioners and entrepreneurs as they work to capture a market for energy here by mapping consumer demand, generating evidence that can prove the willingness of refugees to pay and securing contracts for the supply of solar powered technologies. Their efforts reveal the moral and material logics of humanitarian interventions in the field of energy, and point to the continued significance of ‘crisis’ for the making of Africa's energy politics, subjects and futures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-124
Number of pages20
JournalCambridge Journal of Anthropology
Issue number2
Early online date1 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • crisis
  • light
  • solar
  • energy
  • humanitarianism
  • capture


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