Update! WakaWaka gaining ground in Rwanda
It is our pleasure to provide you with an update on the fantastic progress and successes achieved by the Virtual Grid, WakaWaka's groundbreaking pay-as-you-go solar pilot project in Rwanda.
Rwanda, land of a thousand hills
Rwanda is a mountainous country where only 23% of households have access to light and power. Many families resort to the use of kerosene lanterns, candles or inefficient and expensive battery-powered torches, which come at a high cost to human health and pocketbook, and the environment. Even though Rwanda is rapidly developing, many live too remotely to be connected to the grid. WakaWaka and the abundant power of solar light and energy can help these families.
Affordable solar power
Most rural households in Rwanda cannot afford the upfront costs of a regular WakaWaka Power. Our Virtual Grid consists of prepaid WakaWakas that are activated by weekly scratch card payments. This means low upfront costs and affordable solar power. At the end of the leasing period, the WakaWaka is fully paid for and given to its new owner.
Our Virtual Grid pilot was carried out in three districts: Rulindo, Gicumbi and Kamonyi. Following a number of successful roadshows and market demonstrations, we are now working with over 40 dealers who have sold a total of 2,500 Virtual Grid units and 25,0000 scratch cards as of June.
WakaWaka team in Rwanda
Our local team provides a fantastic mix of youth and experience in a number of capacities, including finance, marketing and IT. Our sales team supports resellers and cooperatives in Rwanda's most remote areas. Together, we focus our collective energies on bringing light and power to rural Rwanda.
To improve our distributors’ sales, we are providing them access to marketing support. In addition, in May we launched a new promotion based on sales of WakaWakas and scratchcards. Productive dealers were given special WakaWaka signposts, and our best dealers received a WakaWaka paint job for their shop!
Community health workers
We are now also working with community health workers, who are responsible for providing healthcare services and distributing medicine in rural areas. Community health workers generally function as midwives and can respond to emergencies. Access to a fully-charged mobile phones is crucial, particularly when they are traveling to very remote areas where light and power may be nonexistent.
Supporting local distributors
In addition to marketing activities, our sales team supports dealers who, in turn, serve our loyal customers who activate their pay-as-you-go WakaWakas on a weekly basis. At local markets WakaWaka dealers are now working together with youth sellers, many of whom were formerly unemployed. Youth sellers have proven to be excellent vendors on market days.
The impact we make in Rwanda
The WakaWaka Virtual Grid benefits individuals, families and communities in Rwanda. Households are given access to affordable light and power. This enables users to work or study at night.