The announcement came as Prime Minister Theresa May and UK business leaders, including Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth, arrived in Kenya for a state visit to boost trade ties.
Under the terms of the deal, Azuri’s Quad solar home lighting system will be co-branded with the Unilever Sunlight brand and offered through Unilever’s distribution network, which in Kenya is some 67,000 smallholder traders. The Unilever distribution network will complement Azuri’s existing partners in country of Raj Ushanga House and Mobicom.
Azuri’s Quad solar home lighting system features Azuri’s award-winning HomeSmart technology with artificial intelligence that monitors weather conditions and learns customer usage patterns to adjust output to ensure a full night’s power. It also includes a 10W solar panel, four bright LED lights, USB port and connectors for mobile phone charging, rechargeable radio and rechargeable torch. AzuriTV, the first PayGo solar TV system of its kind to be launched in Africa, features a 24-inch super slim LED TV, over 100 satellite TV channels, four bright LED lights for use inside and outside the home, mobile phone charging, rechargeable radio and rechargeable torch.
Over 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity and many such households are located in regions where provision of grid electricity is prohibitively expensive. Azuri has been attempting to help address this situation since 2012, through its solar home solutions, in order to deliver reliable, renewable and distributed power on an affordable pay-as-you-go basis.
The partnership between Azuri and Unilever marks the next step in this process, expanding the reach of Pay-as-you-Go solar through the widely-recognised and trusted Sunlight brand of washing powder and building on Unilever’s mission to bring high quality sustainable products to Kenyan consumers.
Solar power has been shown to have powerful economic and social benefits. A recent study by Gogla found that owners of solar home systems on average increased their incomes by $35 per month. In addition, data shows that children spend more time doing homework in the evenings and to date Azuri has created over 2,000 new jobs though its Kenyan partner companies to sell, support and maintain solar home systems.
“Azuri Technologies’ innovative approach to mobile technology embodies the pioneering spirit of innovation for which Cambridge is globally renowned” said Prime Minister Theresa May, commenting ahead of the announcement. “I’m delighted that Azuri Technologies is joining me on this visit and they are a fantastic example of the success UK companies can achieve when they think big and forge global partnerships.”
Justin Apsey, Managing Director East Africa at Unilever, added that the partnership with Azuri will help deliver life-changing solar technology to off-grid communities and provide Unilever customers and traders with the benefits of modern energy. Solar power is proven to support the local and wider economy and further supports Unilever’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.
In 2018, AzuriTV was named ‘Innovative Technology of the Year’ at the annual Africa Utility Week Industry Awards, honouring pioneering projects and people in the industry. Azuri was also named the 233rd fastest growing company in Europe by the Financial Times and named in Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe.
Image: Azuri’s Quad solar home lighting systems will be co-branded with the Unilever Sunlight brand (Courtesy of Azuri Technologies)
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