Home » Washikala Malango: From refugee to visionary entrepreneur transforming energy in DRC

Washikala Malango: From refugee to visionary entrepreneur transforming energy in DRC

by Omokolade Ajayi
Washikala Malango

From fleeing his home village during the Congolese civil war to becoming a visionary entrepreneur transforming energy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Washikala Malango’s journey is an inspiring tale of resilience, determination, and triumph.

Growing up in a refugee camp in Tanzania, Malango’s potential was noticed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a UN agency dedicated to helping and safeguarding refugees. They granted him scholarships to attend the prestigious University of Dar es Salaam, which was a critical milestone in his path to becoming a thriving entrepreneur.

Malango’s passion for entrepreneurship has been a constant driving force throughout his career

From 2007 to 2015, Malango channeled his passion for entrepreneurship passion into the establishment and leadership of the Entrepreneurship and Development Initiative, a program focused on fostering youth entrepreneurship in East and Central Africa.

Through the initiative, Malango and his team provided training in entrepreneurship and leadership, offered business mentoring services, and helped entrepreneurs access financing opportunities.

In 2015, as a Mandela Washington Fellow, he contributed to the expansion of SolarCity’s GivePower program in developing countries. He also played a crucial role in developing investment proposals that secured funding to provide solar power to health centers in rural areas of the DRC.

Today, Malango is one of the key figures in the Congolese business landscape, particularly as co-founder and co-director of the Altech Group, a leading provider of clean and affordable energy in the DRC.

Under Washikala Malango, Altech is focused on powering under-electrified communities

To address the DRC’s energy deficit, which affects 90 percent of Congolese people who lack access to electricity, Altech is dedicated to creating business models that meet the energy requirements of communities without access to grid power.

Under Washikala Malango’s leadership, Altech has emerged as the DRC’s leading provider of clean energy products and services. The firm has created more than 4,000 jobs, sold over 300,000 products, and impacted the lives of more than 1.5 million people.

Malango’s diverse experience has influenced his approach to offering affordable and eco-friendly energy solutions to numerous off-grid households in Congo. Additionally, his managerial and leadership skills have contributed to Altech’s notable achievements since its establishment nearly 10 years ago.

With $18 million in the bank, Altech is targeting 900,000 individuals in under-electrified communities

Earlier this year, Altech Group, led by Washikala Malango, secured $18 million in debt financing and grants to improve the accessibility of energy across the country and strengthen its position in the market.

The funding was provided by the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund (EEGF) Triple Jump and Rabobank, a leading Dutch multinational banking and financial services firm.

Thanks to the financing, Altech plans to expand its operations by opening more than 30 new sales outlets in rural areas where there is little competition. Additionally, the company will distribute 180,000 solar products to provide clean and reliable energy to approximately 900,000 people.

The funding will also allow Altech to extend modern, reliable, and cost-effective solar solutions to underprivileged households in Congo, creating numerous green job opportunities for the country’s youth.

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