In areas of the world lacking reliable grid power, access to information can also be spotty. Now, residents of Kenya can keep tabs on world news and entertainment with solar-powered digital flat screen TVs from M-KOPA Solar. The company launched a payment program earlier this year to help its customers do something they never dreamed of: own a TV. After two years of payments, they can own the flat screen as well as the solar power system that runs it, so they can enjoy hours of TV-watching without a monthly bill.
M-KOPA is a pay-as-you-go solar provider based in Kenya. Based on survey results from the Kenya Audience Research Foundation 2015, the company realized that many of its customers don’t have access to TV on a daily basis. Sixty-nine percent of Kenya’s adult population either don’t have electricity or cannot afford a TV set. A solar-powered flat screen is the perfect solution to help close the gap. Customers can make payments from their mobile phones and, after two years, they own the solar power system and the TV, so they can continue watching news and programming without further costs.
In order to broaden the reach of the program, M-KOPA leaned on its existing relationship with mobile provider Safaricom, which began in 2010. M-KOPA’s residential solar power systems, along with the solar-powered TVs, will be sold through Safaricom retail stores. This arrangement makes it possible to connect millions of people to sustainable solar power in areas underserved by (or not connected to) the grid, in addition to putting TVs in the homes of people who likely never thought they could afford one.
“Owning a TV is life-changing for our off-grid customers,” M-KOPA CEO Jesse Moore said in a statement. “Many of them have traditionally had to pay to watch in a café or bar, or missed out on news and current events because they could not afford to be connected to information. We are now going beyond the grid to offer TV to homes all over Kenya. It’s great for the family to be able to watch together in the comfort and safety of their home.”
Via Disrupt Africa
Images via M-KOPA Solar