South Australia’s power prices
Off the east coast of Africa, Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO) has made another attempt to make electricity payments convenient for the island's inhabitants.

Last week, the state-owned power utility, ZECO officially launched an electricity payment system dubbed Tukuza, which allows its customers to make payments for electricity directly via their mobile phones.

It is reported that the electricity company had previously introduced the service, however the system did not succeed and the utility had to rethink the model used.

According to local media, Tukuza has been created by a partnership between mobile telecom operator, Zantel and ZECO, allowing power consumers to settle their bills from their mobile phones on Zantel’s EzyPesa platform.

Newly upgraded ZECO electricity payment system

Speaking at the launch, ZECO’s managing director, Hassan Ali Mbarouk, said their partnership with Zantel is an important milestone that enables people in the Islands to get a hassle free service.

Mbarouk said: “Now our customers will be able to purchase electricity and reconnect their supply instantly. This is by using their EzyPesa accounts on their mobile phones, from anywhere and anytime, thereby saving time spent in queues.”

Zantel chief executive officer, Benoit Janin, commented: “We made a commitment to the people of Zanzibar to revamp the Tukuza service. We are confident that with the investment that has gone into the upgrade, the service will have no more problems or shortcomings.”

Electricity coming to the villagers

In bids to improve access to electricity for Island residents, in Q1 this year, Juma Makungu Juma minister of lands, water, energy and environment, announced government’s plans of connecting villagers to the national grid.

Juma stated that the ministry was on track with the plans to implement the project but experiencing delays due to lack of funds.

“We are on track to have our goal achieved; shortage of funds is to blame for the delays, but we will implement the programme gradually,” he said.

He further noted that “the charges for connecting electricity are affordable because the government subsidises almost every service.”