In Kenya, 80% of the population has no access to electricity, but nearly 90% of people own a mobile phone. Now, this massive mobile phone penetration is helping solve the electricity problem, because anyone with mobile phone service, can buy solar energy by the hour! Plus, it’s all done without an Internet connection, a bank account, or a mobile phone plan, thanks to two complementary innovations. It’s simple: you start with M-Pesa, which lets you transfer and receive money using a mobile phone. Then you add M-Kopa, which supplies kits that include a solar panel, a wall-mounted control box, three lamps and of course, a mobile phone charger! An ingenious, affordable and non-polluting solution for families, who will finally have easy access to something other than kerosene when they want to turn on the lights.
M-Pesa is used by nearly 18 million Kenyans
The equivalent of 18% of Kenya’s GDP transits via M-Pesa’s services