In East Africa, Mobisol Rwanda, a solar energy equipment vendor, has launched a campaign dubbed “Walking Christmas Tree”, which seeks to teach communities in the remote areas about the benefits of using solar energy.
Launching the campaign, the company’s sales and marketing manager, Ben Okello, told local media the New Times that the end goal of the drive is to reduce poverty in rural areas.
Okello said: “We want Rwandans in rural communities to understand the benefits of solar energy, particularly how it can help improve their quality of life and economic opportunities.”
Solar energy forms part of energy mix
At present, it is reported that approximately 25% of the country’s population is connected to electricity with the government targeting to increase access to 70% by 2020.
Previously, Jean-Bosco Mugiraneza, the chief executive of Rwanda Energy Group stated that to achieve the set target government is working on both on-grid and off-grid solutions to achieve the target.
This target will be divided into 48% on-grid and 22% off-grid.
Currently, hydropower is said to account for 97.37MW of the country’s total installed capacity, thermal stands at 51.7MW, methane accounts for 3.6MW, while 8.75MW is produced from solar energy.
Meanwhile, Mobisol offers a ‘rent-to-own’ equipment supply model, providing customers with solar home systems ranging between 100W and 200W for which customers make small payments via mobile money over a period of three years.
Energy improve educational opportunities
Okello said one of the company’s objectives is to enable children in rural areas, where there is no power to use the clean energy during the night, as well as access information via radio, TV and the Internet, media reported.
“This will empower them to increase their educational opportunities. Besides helping to conserve the environment, renewable energy creates an opportunity for people to start income-generating activities to improve their economic wellbeing,” he said.