Solarkiosk forms JV to roll out solar rural malls in rural east Africa
Architectural impression on the setup of THE PULSE Hubs. Image by Solarkiosk Solutions GmbH.
Berlin-based Solarkiosk Solutions GmbH on Friday announced a joint venture with renewables development and engineering firm East African Power Ltd to build and operate solar-powered business centres, called The Pulse, in rural communities in Rwanda and the African Great Lakes region.
The partners initially plan to establish 69 The Pulse centres in Rwanda. A pilot facility is being deployed in the country's Eastern Province. It will involve a 10 kW off-grid solar system and productive-use appliances which will enable 10 local entrepreneurs and international solution providers to service the Ruhunda community.
Solarkiosk explained that these centres will bring together local services such as a hairdresser, cinema, restaurant, retail store, as well as innovative products related to clean water, cold storage, e-mobility, clean cooking, crop management and trade.
Solarkiosk chief executive Thomas Rieger said Solarkiosk has successfully tested the solar rural mall concept in four African countries.
East African Power chief executive Dan Klinck said that combining Solarkiosk’s experience in last-mile distribution and retail with East African Power’s expertise in community-centered energy development, the venture “will realise the full potential of energy access while fixing the economics of distributing to last-mile, Bottom-of-the-Pyramid markets.”