By Vania Matola – FSDMoç Investment Analyst
In partnership with Epsilon Energia Solar and SolarWorks! FSDMoç is promoting access to energy to low-income households through Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) technology.
The PAYGO technology combines a solar home system (SHS) with the mobile money platform. The solar companies are offering a 3, 6, 12 and 18 months payment plans to rural communities in Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala and Manica provinces allowing them to gain access to solar energy and the benefits of increased safety, added study time, extended business hours.
Solar household kits are not only bringing light to communities, but support income generating activities. By being financially included and using digital financial services to acquire life changing assets, rural communities can create opportunities for themselves to supplement their monthly incomes.
Here is the story of one such rural entrepreneur, Atália Samuel Mahumana, a 43 years old woman, mother of 5 children who lives at Timakene, a neighborhood in Manhiça located 15 Km from the national electric grid. Atália is harnessing solar power for a wide range of benefits.
“The PAYGO model provides safe method of payment via M-pesa. I’m in better position to invest in appliances of my choice, save time avoiding walking by foot to procure oil or charge my mobile”- shared Mrs. Mahumane.
Atália was able to entice members of her community to purchase the solar kits by explaining how solar power could enable longer working hours. By using SHS to power her own house, Atália also was able to power her own business and inspire other women within her community.
Atália’s income comes from small food retail business and from raisin chicken. She decided to use solar system in 2017 once she understood the benefits of PAYGO payment plans provided by SolarWorks!
Since her husband is working in South Africa, she asked for his permission to purchase the solar kit. Despite Atália’s financial contribution, she requested approval from her husband before planning to use the SHS. Today Atália is more confident as she is earning more income. A change that allowed her to support her business and be financially independent.
The PAYGO model will open access to other financial services, as well as goods and services, and economic opportunities. FSDMoç will continue to forge and deepen partnerships that will drive broader systemic change and benefit women in Mozambique.