MTN partners with Fenix International to launch off-grid solar in Zambia

Mobile Money Payments.WEB(Image source: Fenix International)

MTN, Africa’s largest telecoms company, is extending its partnership with energy and financial services firm Fenix International to launch pay-to-own solar home systems in Zambia 

Approximately 15 million Zambians live without access to the electrical grid, representing 80 per cent of the total population and 95 per cent of rural residents.

With US$3mn coming from from the Swedish Embassy and US$750,000 from USAID, Fenix expects to reach 850,000 rural Zambians by 2020.

The ReadyPay Power solution, manufactured and designed by Fenix International has already had an impact in Uganda, providing affordable power for around 120,000 people in just 12 months.

Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International, said, “More than 90 per cent of rural Zambians lack access to electricity and have no options other than dangerous candles and kerosene lanterns to light their homes. This is the harsh reality of the situation which we are working to change. Our solar home systems not only provide light and energy, but our unique Fenix credit score makes upgrades and additional life-changing products accessible to committed customers as their needs and incomes grow. Ten years from now, we hope to eliminate the use of candles and be an important part of our customers’ lives across Zambia.”

How it works

ReadyPay Power is an expandable solar home system designed to provide power to households and small businesses that the grid has failed to reach. Customers make instalments of as little as $0.20 per day via MTN Mobile Money until they have paid in full. Fenix uses these continuous micro-payments to generate a credit score, enabling customers to access additional system upgrades or financial services.

Wane Ngambi, head of Mobile Financial Services, MTN Zambia, added, “My colleagues in Uganda have been blown away by the growth they’ve witnessed with the ReadyPay system.

 “In the past, MTN was focused on voice, and then data. We’ve been working on unlocking the potential of MTN Mobile Money for many rural consumers who have gone without access to basic financial services for far too long.

 “The transformative relationship between MTN Mobile Money and off-grid energy has been an exceptional revelation. MTN Mobile Money now sits at the heart of many households, who use these simple and secure services daily to light up their lives. For us, this is all part of the mission to create mobile solutions which make a difference.”

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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