NOTS Solar Lamps, an Amsterdam-based company has partnered with the Rwandan government and signed a deal to provide solar power to low-income earner families in Rwanda. The partnership will allow NOTS Solar to invest $70 million in a manufacturing facility for Solar Home System (SHS) for five (5) years.
This first in Africa innovation by NOTS Solar will be accompanied with a microloan credit scheme and a marketing infrastructure. The company will also provide programs that will provide low-income families and rural-based families with electricity which in return enhance opportunities.
NOTS Solar factory will build a ‘Mutimax’ Solar Home System, and sell it at $56 per unit making it affordable for low-income families. The Rwandan government will in return purchase 100,000 units at $5.6 million.
A report by the Rwandan Energy Group revealed that half the population of Rwanda mostly farming families on low incomes, do not have access to stable energy. NOTS Solar intends to bridge this gap by developing and selling 900,000 SHS in Rwanda in the next four years. This strategy will help provide energy to about 4.2 million people.
In 2022 when the company has achieved its Rwanda strategy, they will then manufacture about one million additional units for exports to other African countries per annum.
Families in Rwanda will leverage the microloan credit scheme to effect the outright purchase of NOTS SHS. They will then make 100 fixed, weekly payments. The families will repay $60 in total which already includes interest. The weekly repayments are estimated to cost less than the amount a typical family will spend on Kerosene and mobile phone charging kiosks.
The repayment model leverages digital credit checks and automatic payments. All which is accessed via mobile phones and mobile money accounts. NOTS has currently partnered Airtel Money Rwanda to try this in 3 Rwandan districts.
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