UK Secretary of State for International Development Alok Sharma has visited an off-grid Kenyan household enjoying off-grid solar power designed by UK company Azuri Technologies on the first day of his trade visit aiming to strengthen ties between African countries and Britain.
The UK Minister is currently visiting Africa in the run up to next week’s UK-Africa Investment Summit in London where Azuri will be sharing its African success story.
Azuri is a leading innovator of pay-as-you-go solar home systems, designed to provide off-grid households across Africa with affordable clean energy.
Mr Sharma met 19-year-old Neville Ochieng and his family in Kisumu, Kenya, who have been enjoying solar since his system was installed 10 months ago. Neville is a first-year student at Masinde Muliro University studying a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Statistics. Before solar, Neville was forced to use a kerosene lamp when studying and put up with the adverse effects from harmful fumes.
With solar-powered lighting from Azuri, Neville is able to spend longer on his studies in the evening. He is also able to keep his smartphone charged thanks to the solar system, so Neville can now easily communicate with tutors and classmates.
Mr Sharma tweeted: “I’m in Kenya ahead of the UK-Africa investment summit, where I have just met Nevil & his family. He explained how solar energy provided by UK-based @Azuri_Tech allows him to study for his uni degree.”
Commenting on the Minister’s visit and forthcoming Investment Summit, Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said, “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.”
Azuri has coupled off-grid solar with energy-efficient smart TVs, rechargeable radios, satellite entertainment, internet access and a range of other appliances and services to bring modern digital technology to off-grid households.
Since launching in 2012, Azuri is now one of the leading providers of pay-as-you-go solar power lighting and TV systems, operating in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria. The company has sold over 200,000 systems to date.
More than 5 million households in Africa are now connected to reliable clean energy via small solar home systems (SHS) on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Azuri was ranked 42nd in the Fast Track 100 fastest-growing British companies in 2019 published by The Sunday Times and Hiscox.