press release

Welight wires over 10,000 people to cleaner, more affordable electricity.

Welight wires over 10,000 people to cleaner, more affordable electricity.

Antananarivo, July 15th 2020 WeLight has surpassed the threshold of powering 2,000 households across the 22 villages it operates in. The ultimate goal: to give over 50,000 people access to reliable and affordable electricity in rural areas across Madagascar and the rest of Africa.

WELIGHT GIVES OVER 10,000 PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY

WeLight´s innovative and inclusive energy solutions have allowed it to give over 2,000 households across Madagascar access to clean and affordable electricity. Now an industry leader in rural electrification, WeLight had already surpassed the 2,000 powered-household mark last March and has now reached a new phase in its mission. Thanks to innovative energy solutions tailormade for even the most isolated rural communities, over 10,000 people already enjoy access to clean and reliable electricity, is already having a noticeable socio-economic impact on these populations.
WeLight presently operates in 22 villages across Madagascar through projects launched in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Hydrocarbons (MEH), the Agence de Développement et de l´Electrification Rurale (ADER) and the Office de Régulation de l´Électricité (ORE). Determined to address this challenge across the rest of Africa, WeLight now aims to power roughly 200 villages in Subsaharan Africa by 2022.

RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: A PRIORITY CHALLENGE FOR WELIGHT

WeLight leverages its international expertise and ability to deploy innovative technologies to serve economically-vulnerable communities and have a significant economic and social impact. We support isolated populations by buoying entrepreneurship and encourage the emancipation of women by giving them value-creating roles in their communities. By helping local farmers, entrepreneurs and micro-industrialists develop their economic capacity, WeLight proudly supports the economic development of rural communities.
The energy operator also improves communal standard of living by powering social services such as schools, health centres and municipal facilities. A study of the populations that have been served so far clearly demonstrates the positive impact of these projects. Villages now receive an average of 9 hours of additional electricity per day. Likewise, on average, young people have an additional 1.4 hours a day to study. With improved street lighting, 72% of women report feeling much safer within their own community.

“Before I had access to electricity, I would travel for four hours once per week to get fuel, and the taxi would cost me 8,000 ariary. I no longer need to, and to top that, I have increased my crop yield and quadrupled my revenue.” Emma Claudine RAHOLIARIMALALA –Farmer, Fialofa

 

ABOUT WELIGHT

WeLight is a joint-venture between three major players in African development uniting accelerate energy inclusion in Africa: Axian, a diversified African group specialized in telecoms which benefits from a very strong anchoring on the continent, Sagemcom, a French company and European leader in the market for wireless and micro-network technology in Africa, and Norfund, the Norwegian government´s development bank. WeLight provides reliable, accessible and clean energy to isolated rural communities in Madagascar and sub-Saharan Africa by deploying innovative technologies in e-money, energy and electrical-distribution.

ABOUT AXIAN
WeLight is an Axian group subsidiary. Born in Madagascar 150 years ago, Axian is a diversified group that operates in 5 industries with high growth potential: real estate, telecoms, financial services, energy and innovation. With over 4,900 employees in the Indian Ocean and Africa, we are an engaged partner in the economic transformation of developing countries. We systematically ensure the lasting and positive impact of our activities on the daily lives of the greatest number of Africans. In line with our conviction that energy is a basic human necessity, Axian supports WeLight in its mission to provide access to reliable, affordable and sustainable solutions.

ABOUT SAGEMCOM

WeLight is a Sagemcom subsidiary. Sagemcom is a French company, and the European leader in the market for wireless-terminal technology (decoders, Internet boxes, electric meters, etc.). In 2017, Sagemcom had 4,000 employees in more than 50 countries. Sagemcom is also a privileged partner of the Axian group in several large-scale projects across several companies. Most notably, Sagemcom works with TowerCo of Madagascar (TOM) to optimize their telecom infrastructure and increase the mobile network´s coverage nationwide.

ABOUT NORFUND
Norfund – the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries – is the Norwegian government’s main instrument for strengthening the private sector in developing countries. Its mission is to create jobs and improve people´s daily lives by investing in companies that promote clean and sustainable development. Norfund does this by providing equity, risk capital and loans to companies in countries around sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America. With over $ 2.6 billion in assets under management (AUM), Norfund invests in four main sectors: clean energy, financial institutions, green infrastructure and scalable businesses.

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