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Azuri and Unilever partner in Kenya to bring pay-as-you-go solar home lighting to millions off-grid

Azuri and Unilever partner in Kenya to bring pay-as-you-go solar home lighting to millions off-grid


Nairobi, Kenya: Azuri Technologies, a leading provider of pay-as-you-go solar home systems and Unilever Kenya, the leading provider of consumer goods in Africa, today announced a partnership to bring solar home solutions to millions more off-grid homes across Kenya.

The announcement comes as Prime Minister Theresa May and UK business leaders, including Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth, arrive in Kenya for a state visit to boost trade ties.

Under the terms of the deal, Azuri’s Quad solar home lighting system will be co-branded with the Unilever Sunlight brand and offered through Unilever’s distribution network, which in Kenya is some 67,000 smallholder traders. The Unilever distribution network will complement Azuri’s existing partners in country of Raj Ushanga House and Mobicom.

Over 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity and many such households are located in regions where provision of grid electricity is prohibitively expensive. Azuri has been helping to address this challenge since 2012, through its innovative solar home solutions, delivering reliable, renewable and distributed power on an affordable pay-as-you-go basis.

The partnership between Azuri and Unilever marks the next step in this journey, expanding the reach of Pay-as-you-Go solar through the widely-recognised and trusted Sunlight brand of washing powder and building on Unilever’s mission to bring high quality sustainable products to Kenyan consumers.

Solar power has been shown to have powerful economic and social benefits. A recent study reports owners of solar home systems on average increased their incomes by US$35 per month. In addition, data shows that children spend more time doing homework in the evenings and to date Azuri has created over 2,000 new jobs though its Kenyan partner companies to sell, support and maintain solar home systems.

“The partnership with Azuri will help deliver life-changing solar technology to off-grid communities and provide Unilever customers and traders with the benefits of modern energy. Solar power is proven to support the local and wider economy and further supports Unilever’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Justin Apsey, Managing Director East Africa at Unilever.

Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth said: “Azuri is delighted to be partnering with Unilever to expand further the reach of solar pay-as-you-go technology. The partnership is fully aligned to both Azuri and Unilever’s mission to a triple bottom line of simultaneously delivering social, environmental and financial returns to customers and investors alike.”

Ahead of the announcement Prime Minister Theresa May commented: “Azuri Technologies’ innovative approach to mobile technology embodies the pioneering spirit of innovation for which Cambridge is globally renowned. I’m delighted that Azuri Technologies is joining me on this visit and they are a fantastic example of the success UK companies can achieve when they think big and forge global partnerships.”

Azuri’s Quad solar home lighting system features Azuri’s award-winning HomeSmart™ technology with artificial intelligence that monitors weather conditions and learns customer usage patterns to adjust output to ensure a full night’s power.

The Azuri Quad solar home lighting system includes a 10W solar panel, four bright LED lights, USB port and connectors for mobile phone charging, rechargeable radio and rechargeable torch.

AzuriTV, the first PayGo solar TV system of its kind to be launched in Africa, features a 24-inch super slim LED TV, over 100 satellite TV channels, four bright LED lights for use inside and outside the home, mobile phone charging, rechargeable radio and rechargeable torch.

In 2018, AzuriTV was named ‘Innovative Technology of the Year’ at the annual Africa Utility Week Industry Awards, honouring pioneering projects and people in the industry. Azuri was also named the 233rd fastest growing company in Europe by the Financial Times and named in Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe.

Note to editors:

  • Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth and Justin Apsey, Managing Director East Africa at Unilever, will available for comment and photos during the Business Summit and Exhibition, being held at Strathmore Business School in Nairobi, 12pm-4pm, Thursday 30 August, as part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s official trade visit to Kenya.
  • Gogla report: Powering Opportunity: The Economic Impact of Off-Grid Solar (https://www.gogla.org/powering-opportunity-the-economic-impact-of-off-grid-solar)
  • Caption: Azuri’s Quad solar home lighting systems will be co-branded with the Unilever Sunlight brand. Image source – Azuri Technologies

About Azuri Technologies Ltd.

Azuri Technologies is a leading commercial provider of PayGo Solar Home Systems to rural off-grid communities. With the widest reach of any provider across East and West Africa, Azuri is leveraging solar and mobile technology to allow users in 12 different countries to access renewable, distributed power on a pay-as-you-go basis. Azuri’s HQ is located in Cambridge, (U.K.), with substantial regional offices in Africa, including our East African HQ in Nairobi and our West African HQ in Lagos. For more information, please visit: www.azuri-technologies.com

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the leading suppliers of food, home and personal care products in Kenya. With about 19,000 employees, Unilever is one of the largest private employers in the region. Working to create a brighter future every day, Unilever helps people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Its portfolio includes most loved locally produced brands, OMO, Sunlight, Royco, Geisha and Vaseline, as well as key world’s renowned brands, like Knorr, Dove, Lux, Axe, among many others.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:

* Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.

* Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.

* Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 50% faster than the rest of the business and delivered more than 60% of the company’s growth in 2016.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 GlobeScan/Sustainability annual survey for the seventh year running. Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com. For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/

Source: azuri-technologies
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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