Azuri Technologies in partnership with First Bank launched the sale of a solar-powered satellite television in Nigeria. Unlike regular TV sets, the TV has satellite reception embedded in it. The firm’s CEO, Simon Bransfield-Garth, was in Lagos and shed more light on the company’s operations in the country, as well as reasons behind its partnership with First Bank.
How it works
Customers would be able to make payments for their solar televisions through First Bank’s FirstMonie agent network, or from their mobile phones. After payments have been completed, all power generated is free of charge.
Operations in Nigeria
The company has been in Nigeria for about two years, and started an operation to deploy 20,000 lighting systems in the Northern part of Nigeria. The project was completed ahead of schedule, and the systems are currently in operation.
Synergies for both firms
Bransfield-Garth also highlighted the synergies both commpanies benefit from the partnership.
Within Nigeria, we all know that there are challenges. Rural consumers are difficult to reach, because they are a long way away from conventional electricity. Mobile money has also been slow to take off in Nigeria.
The partnership comprises co-branding and co-marketing, and importantly, a commitment to both companies to bring technology to consumers. It brings three things: energy inclusion, technology inclusion and financial inclusion.
Economic Impact of lighting systems
The CEO also highlighted how households in rural communities benefit from owning a solar lighting system and TV.
One of the pieces of research we have been doing is to look at the economic impact of providing solar home systems. There is a lot of data that shows lighting systems have an economic impact on household income. In part, that’s because people don’t have to pay for candles, kerosene and phone charging fees.
But actually, people put it to productive use. They keep their stores open late at night. They do agricultural processing in the evening, so they can be first to market. They charge their smart phones, so they can build out supply chains.
Owning a TV as well
Owning a TV also seems to have a similar effect.
Surprisingly, having a TV also has a positive impact on household income. When we rolled out TV, we didn’t really think there was going to be income enhancement. Surprisingly, we see between 10 and 35% increase in household income, in the first year the house gets a TV. You may think that’s odd. The reason is two things and it comes down to these: information and aspiration.
From the information point of view, individuals can access a whole range of services which provide help with how they run their lives. In East Africa, we have a partnership with shamba shape up, an agricultural programme on television, According to research data, Some 40% of viewers have improved their agricultural practices, as a result of things they see on TV.
It also changes aspirations. People say to me, “How does watching a Nollywood movie make you better off?” It does because it changes your perception. If you live in a village, it’s very difficult to have a view on the outside world. It’s very difficult to know about Uber, or that there is a website where you can check prices, and you’re not ripped off. Having access enables people to be part of that wider community.