Energise Africa, an initiative by U.K. based online investment platform Ethex, is partnering with Azuri Technologies to give solar panels and access to electricity to low-income families in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania.
Azuri Technologies, also headquartered in the U.K., builds solar products for Sub-Saharan communities. The company has provided products to 12 countries, helping provide energy to more than 750,000 Africans.
Energise Africa and Azuri Technologies’ partnership works to curb some of the struggles associated with living with a lack of electricity, including access to the internet, education, and improving one’s quality of life.
According to a 2018 Brookings report, 588 million people in sub-Saharan Africa did not have access to electricity in 2016. The report said that 71 percent of residents in urban African communities have electricity. For rural communities, only 23 percent of people had power.
In America, singer Akon has also made a name for himself for his efforts in bringing electricity to off-grid, African communities as well. The initiative, Akon Lighting Africa, launched in 2014 to bring solar power to some of Africa’s rural communities.
Energise Africa and Azuri Technologies’ are crowdsourcing funding for their £2.5 million ($3.25 million) goal. In 2018, when the partnership was first announced, the organizations raised £1.7 million ($2.2 million) from U.K. investors. The funding was used to build products that later helped 100,000 Africa’s rural populations.
In the latest wave of the initiative, investors can contribute as little as £50 (about $65) through Energise Africa’s website.
“Azuri is delighted to extend our partnership with Energise Africa and their community of UK-based retail investors to finance off-grid solar projects,” Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said. “With this innovative financing, thousands more households will be able to access modern solar energy for the first time.”