People in rural Africa are gradually abandoning fire woods, charcoal, and kerosene, for clean fuel options like ethanol and gas. These traditional cooking fuels causes deforestation and air pollution which contributes to global warming.
A typical example of a company encouraging the adoption of clean fuel is KOKO Networks. KOKO Networks is a smart commerce platform that produces and supplies hardware and software solutions in East Africa and India. They built KOKOpoints – multipurpose consumer access point machines that serve as an ATM, e-commerce kiosk and digital media platform.
Their first consumer product is SmartCook, a two-burner stove, and canister with a vapor-tight smart valve for easy transfer of ethanol. A new consumer can order the Smartcook hardware from a KOKO Point and the Smartcook kit containing their stove and canister will be delivered on the next day. Customers have the option of either paying in full or smaller deposits over time.
Consumers top up their KOKO wallet via MPESA mobile money to purchase fuel from any KOKOPoint. When a canister is docked into a KOKOPoint, a chip within the canister recognizes the consumer and requests for the pin code. The customer can choose to fill the entire canister or buy the desired quantity. The KOKOPoint refills the canister while playing targeted interactive video messages.
KOKO partners with Vivo Energy in Kenya to distribute their infrastructure. They have set up Smartcook pickup points across 700 shops in the country. They also launched KOKO Digital Media, which engages customers with interactive videos and in-store radio. Peter and Grant have built a reliable supply chain for agricultural producers and vendors using mobile technology.
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