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Lighting Africa is World Bank Group’s answer to the challenge of increasing energy access for the over 600 million Africans living without grid electricity. By working with private companies and mobilizing private sector investment, Lighting Africa supports the off-grid electric market’s development in Sub-Saharan Africa—a BRAVE mission of immense magnitude, and one that CHIEF is proud to support.

Which is precisely why we’re excited to announce that our work with Lighting Africa took home “Best in Show” at the W3 Awards in the General Website-Nonprofit category. Open to agencies large and small, the awards honor creativity on the web and recognize the changemakers behind the year’s most eye-catching and innovative websites, videos and marketing programs.

A visual feast for the eyes, we knew our redesign and development of lightingafrica.org was truly something special. From initial conversations with stakeholders, to honing in on a design direction that captured the concept of light, the CHIEF team understood that our work wasn’t just a cacophony of tech, design and UX expertise—but a mission-focused creative expedition.

Lighting Africa W3 chief

Our team never lost sight of this important endeavor, and the lives Lighting Africa touches through their work. We used this as a guiding principle in our visual and user experience design, as well as our mobile-first approach to development.

After learning about the W3 award, the project team had this to say about the engagement:

“Working with the World Bank Group on Lighting Africa was really great because they worked closely with us throughout the development process. Feedback from them was critical in making intelligent decisions, from a development perspective. It made my job a whole lot easier knowing how vested they were in not only the WHAT but also the HOW. This project was especially fun BECAUSE of their dedication to their mission. They are earnestly engaged in creating more accessibility to lighting and energy products for millions living across Sub-Saharan Africa.” - Erika Lewis, Web Developer

“It was great to work with a client with such an incredible mission. For this project, I was able to play with the concept of light, showing real people using the products in everyday life. It really helped show the positive impact solar lighting has on their daily lives. The project also posed a unique design challenge, in that we wanted to use bright/bold visuals but also had to keep in mind the connection speeds of remote audiences and optimize the site to load as quickly as possible on mobile.” Steve Fultz, Associate Director

“I loved that we were able to make a bold statement for a great cause! It was great learning about off-grid lighting and the steps the World Bank is taking to make lighting products more accessible in Africa. I definitely felt like we had a true partnership throughout the process, and learned a ton working on this project.” - Emily Fackrell, Senior Project Manager

We’re excited to see our work with Lighting Africa light up the W3 Awards, and to be able to bring more attention to their quest to increase energy access on the continent. In fact, since the launch of the redesigned website, lightingafrica.org has seen a significant uptick in engagement on their site. Online audiences are spending more time on the site and exploring content more deeply—allowing Lighting Africa to make meaningful connections and rally the support they need to make an accelerated impact.

Our partnership has proven so effective, that the World Bank has brought the CHIEF team on to implement site enhancements and perform ongoing web maintenance to ensure Lighting Africa’s website continues to make a splash with audiences here and abroad.  


To learn more about our work with Lighting Africa read a piece from the project’s lead designer, Steve Fultz.