How UK innovation is changing lives in sub-Saharan Africa
Cambridge tech firm, Azuri Technologies, a provider of pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid consumers, will join Prime Minister, Theresa May and a British business delegation on a trade mission to Africa to strengthen business relations between African countries and the United Kingdom.
Azuri CEO, Simon Bransfield-Garth will join the select group of UK business leaders travelling to the continent to meet with government officials and trade ambassadors from South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya over a week-long tour to further the UK’s position as a trading partner.
“The visit from the Prime Minister highlights both the existing relationships between British companies and countries in Africa and the opportunities for the future. Africa has some of the fastest growing economies in the world and British businesses are ideally placed to support this growth and improve the lives of millions of consumers,” commented Azuri CEO, Simon Bransfield-Garth.
Azuri entered the solar market in Africa in 2012 and is now a provider of pay-as-you-go solar power lighting and TV systems, working in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria.
With over 600 million people in Africa having no access to electricity and many such households located in regions where the cost of rolling out grid electricity would be prohibitively expensive, the Cambridge-based company has been selling its innovative solar home solutions, delivering reliable, renewable and distributed power on an affordable pay-as-you-go basis.
In Nigeria, Azuri solar power was been installed in some 20,000 off-grid households in the North of the country in 2017 as part of the Government’s 'Beyond the Grid' initiative and further commercial installations are underway in 2018.
Across East Africa, Azuri is working with major local partner companies to bring solar power at scale to off-grid households, including the provision of seamless solar powered satellite TV providing over 50 channels.
In addition to providing power, to date Azuri has created over 5,000 new jobs via partner companies to sell, support and maintain solar home systems.
Solar power has been shown to have powerful economic and social benefits. Latest data shows solar households on average increased their income by $35 per month. In addition, children in solar-powered homes were able to study for up to 90 minutes longer in the evenings, compared to households with conventional fuel lamps.
In 2018, Azuri was named the 233rd fastest growing company in Europe by Financial Times and Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe.
Azuri’s solar TV, the first solar home television on the market, continues to collect be industry accolades, the most recently being the ‘Innovative Technology of the Year’ award at the annual Africa Utility Week Industry Awards. Azuri also won an Edison Award for its innovation and excellence.