KAMPALA – Ugandans can now afford to light up their homes with reliable solar energy courtesy of Simba Telecom Uganda and d.light.
The leading telecommunications company and a global leader in solar-powered solutions on Monday married into a partnership agreement to distribute solar solutions across Uganda.
Under the partnership, Simba will expand its product offerings to include d.light’s high-quality solar-powered products, including solar home systems, solar lanterns, and portable solar chargers. These products will be available at Simba Telecom Uganda’s retail stores nationwide, making them more accessible to customers across the country.
Dr. Patrick Bitature, Simba Group Chairman who also doubles as UMEME Board Chairma re-echoed the need for solar noting that UMEME today covers about 14 million people in Uganda and is prospected to reach only 50% of the population.
Uganda’s population today is estimated at over 45 million people and Bitature says the rest can only be served by solar connectivity especially those in hard-to-reach areas.
He noted that the partnership aligns with Simba Group’s commitment to complement the government to power every house in the country and provide innovative products and services that meet the needs of Ugandans.
“We are excited to partner with d.light to provide our customers access to affordable and reliable solar solutions. This partnership aligns with our commitment as Simba Group to power every house in the country and provide innovative products and services that meet the needs of our customers.”
Simba boss noted that much as people are now more aware than ever before about climate change, many people are now cutting down trees because they need energy (charcoal and firewood) which calls for the utilization of clean energy.
“We shall not only do light, we shall find all kinds of energy sources at affordable rates so we can have more and more people transformed,” he said.
In Uganda, he says a good number of people have been lifted from under the poverty line which used to be a dollar, now two, which makes it more affordable for such solutions than paying for YAKA.
Ugandans will access affordable solar products on a pay-as-you-go basis for up to 1 and a half years. The PayGo Solution (Kibanja Mpola) is a revolutionary approach to purchasing solar products, allowing customers to make affordable payments over time. This system removes the barrier to entry for many customers who may not be able to afford a one-time fee for a solar product.
Bitature said “Our biggest challenge in Africa has been access to credit. If you look at America, 90% of everything is on credit which is what we are trying to introduce in Africa and Uganda in particular to ensure affordability, accessibility and reliability.”
d.light Group CEO Nick Imuda said that their primary aim is to build around access to renewable and affordability to ensure that the poor can afford the technology in a very clear manner.
“I guarantee you that our goal will remain the same to be as affordable as possible and to reach the poorest of the poor.”
He added, “We believe that access to clean energy is a basic human right and that everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from the advantages of solar energy. The partnership with Simba Telecom enables us to bring our solar solutions to more people across Uganda. Customers will enjoy the benefits of solar energy without worrying about the upfront costs subsequently improving their lives and contributing to economic development.”
Across the world, governments strongly advocate for the promotion of solar energy alongside the main electricity grid. Solar energy is renewable, abundant, and accessible to most people, especially in rural areas where access to the main electricity grid is limited.
The partnership is part of d.light’s mission to empower people without access to reliable electricity with affordable, high-quality solar-powered solutions. The partnership will enable d.light to reach more customers and help them improve their quality of life by providing access to clean energy.
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