Trade visit to highlight how UK and Nigeria trade partnerships are changing lives and livelihoods
Nigeria: Azuri Technologies, a leading provider of pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid consumers, is among Prime Minister Theresa May’s business delegation visiting Nigeria today with the aim of strengthen business relations between the two countries. The visit will also showcase success stories such as that of the clean energy tech firm Azuri which has developed successful trade partnerships in Nigeria and has been working with the Nigerian Government to deliver solar power to off-gird households.
Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth is among the select group of UK business leaders who are meeting with government officials and trade ambassadors from South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya this week to further the UK’s position as a trading partner.
The PM and business leaders travel today from Cape Town to Abuja, Britain’s second largest trading partner in Africa, for talks with President Muhammadu Buhari. The delegation then heads to Lagos for another series of official engagements.
“The visit from the Prime Minister highlights both the existing relationships between British companies and countries in Africa and the opportunities for the future. Africa has some of the fastest growing economies in the world and British businesses are ideally placed to support this growth and improve the lives of millions of consumers,” commented Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth.
Azuri entered the solar market in Africa in 2012 and is now one of the leading providers of pay-as-you-go solar power lighting and TV systems, working in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria.
In Nigeria, Azuri solar power was been installed in some 20,000 off-grid households in the North of the country in 2017 as part of the Government’s “Beyond the Grid” initiative and further commercial installations are underway in 2018.
Vera Nwanze, Head of Azuri’s West Africa Headquarters in Lagos, will join the UK Prime Minister’s delegation to share Azuri’s success story of working with local partner companies in Nigeria and how these partnerships forged by Azuri are creating local employment opportunities in the solar industry as well as addressing key challenges around energy access and the benefits that brings.
With over 600 million people in Africa having no access to electricity and many such households located in regions where the cost of rolling out grid electricity would be prohibitively expensive, the Cambridge-based company has been selling its innovative solar home solutions, delivering reliable, renewable and distributed power on an affordable pay-as-you-go basis.
Across West and East Africa, Azuri is working with major local partner companies to bring solar power at scale to off-grid households, including the provision of seamless solar powered satellite TV providing over 50 channels.
In addition to providing power, to date Azuri has created over 5,000 new jobs via partner companies to sell, support and maintain solar home systems.
Solar power has been shown to have powerful economic and social benefits. Latest data shows solar households on average increased their income by US$35 per month. In addition, children in solar-powered homes were able to study for up to 90 minutes longer in the evenings, compared to households with conventional fuel lamps.
In 2018, Azuri was named the 233rd fastest growing company in Europe by Financial Times and Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe.
Azuri’s solar TV, the first solar home television on the market, continues to collect be industry accolades, the most recently being the ‘Innovative Technology of the Year’ award at the annual Africa Utility Week Industry Awards. Azuri also won an Edison Award for its innovation and excellence.