Tigo & Azuri Technologies partner to Bring PayGo Solar to Rural Tanzania

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Anne Mueni and Jane Ndunge of St. Mary's Tala Primary School use solar powered light to have an evening group discussionTigo Tanzania and PayGo solar expert Azuri Technologies have partnered to bring pay-as-you-go solar energy and mobile payment services to rural households in Tanzania to over 100,000 rural off-grid consumers in the next 2 years.

The solar power service will use Tigo Pesa to allow users to pay for their weekly top-ups. Azuri Technologies is the manufacture of the solar systems while Lotus Africa will distribute and service the solar home systems.

According to Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri, “We are delighted to be working with both Tigo and Lotus Africa. This partnership joins together expertise in home solar and mobile network services with an established and reliable route to rural households.”

The World Bank estimates the electrification rate in Tanzania to be 14%, but records as little as 3% across the rural population. In contrast, mobile network coverage is thriving; according to GSMA Intelligence, Tanzania has recorded 62% SIM penetration as of the last quarter of 2014.

The home solar systems will provide enough clean and reliable power for daily home lighting and mobile phone charging and a Tigo Pesa partnership will have them unlocked for use by the weekly purchase of top-up credit, typically costing less than the kerosene and phone charging fees it replaces.

“This initiative further portrays Tigo as an innovation leader and ideally positions the company to bring digital services to the market,” said Cecile Tiano, the Interim General Manager of Tigo. “With daily access to energy, our customers can benefit from 24/7 connectivity, and with it, the advantage of a mobile payment service whenever they need it.”

Kenya’s M-Kopa Solar uses the same system and aims to take affordable solar power to homes in East Africa.

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