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Kenya tops M-KOPA solar panel sales

Safaricom-backed solar products reseller M-KOPA has sold 850,000 panels
Safaricom-backed solar products reseller M-KOPA has sold 850,000 panels in four African markets through its credit-based pay-as-you-go model. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Safaricom-backed solar products reseller M-KOPA has sold 850,000 panels in four African markets through its credit-based pay-as-you-go model.

M-KOPA chief executive Jesse Moore said 80 percent of their sales were made in Kenya, mostly to repeat buyers who moved to upgrade their kits after completing the first purchase.

“We sold our solar kits to 750,000 households via a Sh23.3 billion upfront funding that is regularly repaid via the Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform,” he said.

Speaking in Nairobi when he released the 2019 impact report dubbed, ‘Upgrading Lives’, Mr Moore said beneficiaries had reported huge savings on the money they would use for kerosene and to charge their mobile phones.

M-KOPA in a deal with Naivasha-based manufacturer Solinc East Africa, sources for 15W and 20W solar panels that power M-KOPA’s larger home systems, which include TV, lights, radio and phone charging.

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In the past five years, Mr More said they had also refurbished 55,000 solar systems that were sold as used kits at a much lower price to low-income households.

“In 2018, we restored 80 percent of the e-components returned thereby increasing the affordability of our starter product,” he said.

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