Objectives

A green growth, a sustainable development

SophiA, Sustainable Off-grid solutions for Pharmacies and Hospitals in Africa, enables African countries to pursue sustainable pathways of development through a low-carbon, climate resilient and green growth trajectory, leapfrogging fossil fuels and high global warming potential refrigerant technologies. This project allows for sustainable energy supplies and water free of bacteria and viruses for rural and remote health facilities in Africa. This tailored approach allows for both easy implementation and the ability to preserve the existing infrastructures.

Rural areas in Africa lack access to health care, schools, clean water and infrastructure, which leads to a higher number of illness and poverty compared to urbanized regions. Medical health care must cope with the poor electricity and water supply in the remote and rural areas of Africa. SophiA systems will be manufactured in Africa and will provide for the first-time innovative solutions based on climate-friendly natural refrigerants to cover cooling demand for three different temperature ranges (-70°C with ethane, -30°C with CO2 and +5°C with propane).

Technologies

An agile and respectful approach

Using various green technologies, SophiA will develop and manufacture locally innovative, modular, affordable and efficient solar powered systems for providing:

Safe, clean drinking water and distilled water for medical purposes
Hot water and steam production for thermal requirements of the hospitals
Cooling of surgical or intensive care units
Cooling of medicines and food at +5°C
Low temperature storage of blood plasma at -30 °C
Ultra-low temperature storage of sensitive medication (E.g. some Covid-19 vaccines) at -70°C
Emergency electricity supply for surgical and intensive care units

Where?

Four pilot locations

The systems will be tested and demonstrated at four rural hospitals in remote regions throughout the African continent covering the major geographical regions and different climatic conditions in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Malawi and Uganda.

Based on the results from four field tests, a version will remain available for demonstrations and a training guidebook will enable local companies to build SophiA on site and continue to develop local value-chains in different African countries creating numerous jobs. In addition to supporting this supply chain, SophiA will have the opportunity to strengthen partnerships between universities, the private sector, farmers and policymakers for the solar activity programme and will provide impetus for further collaboration in the future.

Capacity-building and appropriate financing solutions will be ensured by the involvement of private and public European and African organisations. The SME-partners from Europe and Africa will have the opportunity to generate growth by entering new market segments.

Who is behind the SophiA project?

A Europe/Africa partnership

The SophiA project is funded by the European Commission – Horizon 2020 in support of the European Green Deal under topic LC-GD-2-3-2020. It is coordinated by Hochschule Karlsruhe (HKA) and has a duration of 4 years.

The SophiA consortium consists of 13 partners from three European and four African countries.