The Chief Executive Officer of Philips Africa, JJ van Dongen has told citifmonline that he is optimistic that the company’s ‘Community Light Centres’ project will go a long way to transform education and healthcare provision in Ghana.

Speaking during the Accra stop of the company’s fourth consecutive pan-African Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow, JJ van Dongen noted: “In terms of light centres where we announced earlier this year 100 light centres; now these are areas of about 1000 square meters where we use solar lighting impact sports, market places and children's education. 26 of those centres will be based here in Ghana.”

The Community Light Centres is an initiative being undertaken in partnership with the KNVB and the Football for Water Sanitation and Hygiene program and will see the creation of areas of light for rural communities which live without electricity using efficient solar powered LED lighting.

A Philips Light Center is an area of 1000m2, or the size of a small soccer pitch is to be used for sport and other important activities such as healthcare clinics, education and evening classes, social events and commercial activities. A Light Center extends the day by enabling communal life after dark. It creates a safe area and supports sanitation programs.

The Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow showcases innovations and initiatives in lighting and Healthcare that creates a meaningful impact on people’s lives in Africa. The 2013 version covers 12,000 kilometers crossing 17 countries and 18 cities across the continent. During the roadshow, the Philips team engages in a dialogue with customers, governments, NGOs and media on the key challenges facing Africa today.

The roadshow also highlights the benefits of Philips’ LED lighting and solar solutions which offer energy efficient, cost effective and reliable on- and off-grid illumination. Philips will be promoting its new solar powered LED Street and Area lighting solutions.

With the aim of helping the county achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5 focusing on the improvement of maternal health and reducing child mortality, JJ van Dongen noted that the company had also made significant investments.

Over 100 clinical professionals, he pointed out had been trained in Ghana in various healthcare areas.

“Besides training a hundred healthcare professionals; nurses, midwives, in terms of latest practice in terms of healthcare, we have made the announcement of one million lives impacted by 2020. We are working with the Ministry of Health in ten centres to improve mother-child mortality.”

“Ghana is our hub for our West Africa business so we operate out of Ghana. We have been here for 60 years and have been operating with the Ministries of Health as well as Ministries of Energy in the past and more than 100 hospitals in Ghana are serviced by Philips engineers in terms of medical equipment,” he noted. More information about the program is available on the web site at


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