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Solar firm M-Kopa lays off 450 staff to cut costs

M-Kopa co-founder and CEO Jesee Moore. FILE PHOTO | NMG
M-Kopa co-founder and CEO Jesee Moore. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s mobile phone-based solar kit reseller M-Kopa Solar fired 450 workers in its subsidiaries in four countries to ease operational costs and boost profitability.

M-Kopa co-founder and CEO Jesee Moore said the firm was in a better position to meet its targets and expand solar connections to the next one million customers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania offices.

“This was done to reduce fixed costs and keep us on the path to profitability which resulted in job reductions across offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and UK, reducing our global headcount by 18 per cent,” he said.

Mr Moore spoke as he ushered in Sh1.7 billion in new funding from the UK government’s private investment arm CDC Group (Sh700 million) and Sh1 billion from Canada’s new development finance institution, FinDev.

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“CDC is committed to supporting the off-grid solar industry in Africa and we are increasing our investment in M-Kopa by a further Sh700 million.

“Canada’s new development finance institution, FinDev are investing long-term capital in the company,” said CDC chief executive Nick O’Donohoe.

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