SolarWorks! officially launched, on 24th of November, its inclusive solar services for off grid customers in Mozambique. The event marked the opening of the company’s first shop, warehouse and head office. The launch was attended by representatives of the national and local governments and various development organisations.
SolarWorks! is the first solar company in Mozambique to provide pay as you go (PAYG) plans, encouraging customers to utilise mobile money. Although there is massive potential for mobile money in the country, at present diffusion remains low, and tends to be centred around major cities. It is hoped that SolarWorks! and other companies that service peri-urban and rural customers, can help to accelerate uptake.
In Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania similar business models have proven to be very successful in providing solar solutions to rural areas. Mozambique has long waited for such businesses to start providing these services in Mozambique, and Solar-Works! is now the first company to do this, with more than 150 families connected within its first month of business. There is still a long way to go, with some 18 million people nationwide living off-grid. While SolarWorks! is currently the only PAYG solar provider, DFID’s large rural electrification programme BRILHO, hopes to encourage other private players to enter the Mozambican market in the coming years.
SolarWorks! is cooperating with both private companies, governmental bodies and NGOs in this initial phase of market development. One of the key foundations of the company is building local capacity, and as such Solar-Works! has started their own training academy, focusing primarily on customer service and technical knowledge. Starting from their branch office in Matola, Solar-Works! aims to have dozens of sales outlets throughout Mozambique, employing hundreds of people in the coming year.