Following Theresa May’s visit to Kenya last week, Azuri has signed a crucial distribution agreement with Unilever in order to deliver pay-as-you-go solar solutions to households in Kenya that are not connected to the national electricity grid. Azuri’s CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth was part of the business leaders in May’s delegation. Under the terms of the deal, Azuri’s Quad solar home system will be co-branded with the Unilever Sunlight brand and offered through Unilever’s distribution network, which consists of some 67,000 smallholder traders in Kenya. The Unilever distribution network will complement Azuri’s existing partners in country, Raj Ushanga House and Mobicom.
According to a Gogla Report, 120 million people have shifted from toxic kerosene lamps, candles and diesel generators used by billions of users in Africa and Asia to clean off-grid solutions since 2010. This is also one of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. Nearly 60% of off-grid solar owners undertake more economic activity within just three months of using a solar home system as they work longer, start businesses or get a new job.
Justin Apsey, Managing Director East Africa at Unilever commented that, ““The partnership with Azuri will help deliver life-changing solar technology to off-grid communities and provide Unilever customers and traders with the benefits of modern energy. Solar power is proven to support the local and wider economy and further supports Unilever’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,”
From research conducted as part of preparation for the project, it was found that owners of solar-powered homes usually experience an increase in their incomes as well as a positively impact in the living conditions in the family enabling children to spend more time studying and completing their homework. As a result of this, Azuri has already created 2,000 jobs for Kenyans involved in selling, supporting and maintaining these solar-based systems.
Ahead of the announcement Prime Minister Theresa May commented: “Azuri Technologies’ innovative approach to mobile technology embodies the pioneering spirit of innovation for which Cambridge is globally renowned. I’m delighted that Azuri Technologies is joining me on this visit and they are a fantastic example of the success UK companies can achieve when they think big and forge global partnerships.”
The Azuri package which is called the QUad Home Solar Lighting System, includes a 10W solar panel, four bright LED lights, USB port and connectors for mobile phone charging, rechargeable radio and a rechargeable torch. Aruri’s solutions are available in five African countries spanning Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Nigeria.