According to the “Lighting Africa” report, over 17 million people in rural areas in Mali and Cameroon (9m and 8m respectively) do not have access to electricity.
Antenna selects the technologies most appropriate for real needs as expressed at grassroots level. “Solar Home Systems” solar kits enable clean /environmentally-friendly lighting for homes, with several lamps, plus access to information through charging of mobile phones. The integrated “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYG) system allows the equipment to be purchased by instalments.
By working with local partners, community groups and cooperatives, we can offer a holistic approach to the distribution of solar kits to the most isolated communities.
WHAT WE DO
RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS
- High quality lighting, a better return on investment and less electrical waste: a two-year guarantee and a lifetime of up to ten years (compared to a few weeks/months for kits of mediocre quality)
- Loan payments managed by local groups: avoiding dependence on banks
- Community micro-leasing with low interest rates
- Payment by instalments makes the technology affordable.
- Technology loans are based on acceptance of mutual liability by members of a group.
- The interest is paid to the community after the cost of the technology has been covered
DIRECT COLLABORATION WITH THE COMMUNITY
- The payment plan is drawn up based on the groups’ meetings and income
- The offer of solar kits is adapted to local needs
- Relationships are built on trust to last over the long term
DIRECT JOB CREATION IN VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES
- Antenna trains local partners (identification of new partners, business management, communication)
- Antenna supports local partners until they are financially independent
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MODEL
For example, the secretary of a peasant farmers’ association in the Koutiala region in Mali attends an awareness-raising session on solar energy. She then asks her members whether they are their interested in acquiring a solar kit. If there is significant enthusiasm, she undertakes to act as guarantor and to be the focal point for distribution. When the kits are delivered and installed in homes, she receives payments for them from the members, a little at a time, at each meeting of the association. She passes the money on to our partner using her mobile phone (“mobile-money”) until the kits are fully paid for.
In Mali, we are working with 25 associations, four of which are women-only
- Over 300 solar kits have been distributed
- 1,900 beneficiaries
In Cameroon, we are working with 55 cacao producers’ cooperatives
- Over 200 solar kits have been distributed
- 750 beneficiaries