Lessons from Mozambique in Scaling Rural Electricity

Lessons from Mozambique in Scaling Rural Electricity

Nigeria’s electricity paralysis has seen over 80 million of Nigerian citizens in 8,000 villages live without access to electricity. Only one out of every five Nigerians, has access to energy from the national grid, according to PWC.

Consider Mozambique, where Fenix International, a subsidiary of energy conglomerate ENGIE, which recently launched operations to unlock access to 200,000 households with affordable solar energy and financial inclusion through a pay as you go mode,l within three years, after successfully connecting 500,000 customers in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Côte D’ Ivoire, Uganda and Zambia.

It has established strategic partnerships with Vodacom and Vodafone MPesa to fix frictions associated with distribution, connectivity and mobile payments which left rural Mozambicans without electricity access despite sitting on one of the world’s largest deposits of natural gas.

Mozambique currently has only 27 percent of households connected to electricity and has set a target to reach 100 percent of its citizens with electricity by 2030 through its Pro Energia initiative.

Fenix will focus on those in the northern part of the country and those who utilize expensive, dangerous and non-environmentally friendly means to generate electricity.  The latest offering of Fenix Power is a mobile telephone solution which allows the provider to know product usage and potential technical issues remotely in real time, utilizing the Internet of Things, to reduce costs by delivering affordable energy to rural customers.

Nigerian solar power providers such as Arnergy whose OEM products have allowed it to deepen electricity provision for individual homes, mini grids, commercial and industrial users, onboarding 20 hospitals and is scaling to reach 35,000 businesses within the next five years with about 20 percent of this from the health sector. The firm offers energy as a service which gives its customers access to electricity on a subscription basis, a lease to own model which has a moratorium of 12 to 48 months, and outright acquisition. It should learn from Fenix to disrupt its competition, and scale up, by collaborating with Airtel, MTN or Glo, to offer energy as a service and  financial inclusion too.

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