“ I am not a scientist or an engineer. But I saw a problem and wanted to solve it.
The technology we developed is simple but the application is changing lives."
Tendekayi Katsiga realized that hearing impaired people in rural Africa who were handed out hearing aids by various NGOs could not sustain its use as batteries were scarcely available and expensive. Katsiga's simple solution was solar-powered hearing aids -- designed and manufactured by deaf people for deaf people.
Tendekayi Katsiga, an entrepreneur from Zimbabwe featured in the report, whose Botswana-based company,Deaftronics, developed a solar-powered battery for hearing aids. The Solar Ear's rechargeable battery costs the same as a standard battery — it just lasts for two to three years instead of a week.
"People would rather buy bread than batteries,” Katsiga says in the report, explaining the lose-lose decision families in the developing world face when it comes to a standard hearing aid, one that leaves children with hearing impairments at a devastating disadvantage.
Since the product was developed in 2002, the company has distributed 10,000 of the devices throughout the African continent, according to UNICEF, and the technology is spreading to Brazil and Jordan.
"The technology we developed is simple but the application is changing lives."