Henri Nyakarundi invented the-solar-powered cart that can charge 80 cell phones at once, CNN reports.
Born to refugee parents from Rwanda, he grew up in Burundi until civil war again forced the family to move on. Relocating to the US, Nyakarundi studied computer science at Georgia State University and by 19 had founded his first start up.
It has received numerous energy innovation awards and grants from the likes of Microsoft.
"My vision is to create at least 50,000 to 100,000 micro businesses across Africa," Nyakarundi told CNN.
His company, African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED), operates under a micro-franchising system that leases the kiosks to agents.
Micro franchisees earn money from mobile charging and selling add-ons such as mobile credit, government certificates and prepaid electricity.
There are currently 25 kiosks operating in Rwanda, many in rural areas where the population is dependent on cell phones to communicate and send money.
But after four years of carefully testing his business model, Nyakarundi said he is now ready to seriously scale up. He plans to have between 600 and 800 kiosks in place by the next two years.
To run them, Nyakarundi says he looks for people who desperately lack employment opportunities.
The agents make just a $100 down payment followed by $200 in installments to lease their kiosk from ARED. From that, the company says existing vendors are making between 30,000 to 85,000 Rwandan francs ($38-$107) a month -- enough to pay rent and feed a family.