IFC and FMO helps deliver decentralized solar power to East Africa

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and FMO, the Dutch development bank have invested in Mobisol GmbH, a pay-as-you-go solar energy service company, to deliver renewable energy solutions to off-grid communities in East Africa.

IFC’s equity investment of EUR 5.42 million and EUR 9.2 million from the AEF and MASSIF Dutch government funds managed by FMO brings them into partnership with Investec Asset Management’s African Private Equity Fund and DEG, which have already invested in Mobisol.

The financing will help accelerate Mobisol’s growth in existing markets in Rwanda and Tanzania, and to support its expansion into Kenya.

Solar power for households and small businesses

Mobisol has designed modular solar photovoltaic (PV) home systems, a clean, safe and affordable alternative to fossil fuels for low-income African households.

Designed specifically for the African market, the systems are powerful enough to meet the entire energy needs of an off-grid household, powering lighting, radios, stereos and TVs, and other household appliances such as fridges.

In addition to household use, many small businesses are also generating incremental income from their Mobisol systems by providing mobile phone charging services, running barber shops or village cinemas.

“Our partnership with IFC and FMO, alongside Investec Asset Management marks an important milestone in the growth history of Mobisol,” comments Thomas Gottschalk, Founder and CEO of Mobisol.

Mobisol has already installed over 67,000 solar home systems in Rwanda and Tanzania, giving access to electricity and the use of efficient appliances to over 330,000 consumers.

PV systems are paid over three years via mobile money

The system is paid off by customers over three years via mobile money. This innovative payment approach keeps the cost of an entry-level Mobisol system similar to what the typical customer spends on kerosene, candles, batteries, and mobile phone charging while offering superior value.

“IFC’s investment in Mobisol reflects our commitment to bridging the infrastructure gap and to mitigating climate change by delivering reliable, clean and affordable alternatives to fossil fuels for lower income households in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for East and Southern Africa.

Source: SolarSource