Ignite Power hits a major milestone in its Extreme Affordability Program

Ignite Power is pleased to announce it has successfully reached the first milestone in its Pro-Poor Extreme Affordability Program, connecting 5,000 Ubdehe 1 households to clean, safe and sustainable power. These households are added to the hundreds of thousands of people throughout Rwanda (and over 1 million across Africa) attaining electricity through solar home systems distributed and financed by the Company. The Pro-Poor Extreme Affordability Program, which was launched by Ignite Power four months ago, before the COVID-19 out-break, established affordability records by allowing families living in the most rural, remote villages to enjoy solar home systems for less than $1 (Rwf 860) per month. In collaboration with REG, EnDev, and Urwego Bank, the Pro-Poor Program was designed to address households which could not pay the Company’s already low monthly installments.

"The great success of the Pro-Poor Program in such a short period of time proves the need for affordable and sustainable energy solutions," says Arthur Houston, Managing Director of Ignite Power Rwanda. "With the support of our partners, we achieved great success and created a huge impact during a very challenging time. This is thanks to the uncompromising support of REG and the Development Partners, who understood immediately the importance of home electricity during the COVID-19 lockdown and backed the operations since the beginning”. According to Ron Weiss, CEO of REG: "Electricity is a basic human necessity. Together with off-grid companies we are driving toward the target of reaching 100% coverage in Rwanda by 2024. Now, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, it is even more important. Home electricity allows cellphone charging, listening to the radio, or learning after dark, meaning people avoid crowded kiosks and stores. The price of Rwf 860 per month makes solar power universally available in the country”. According to Claire Nelson, Rwanda Power Africa Lead: “Power Africa works with our partners to connect people living in rural communities throughout Rwanda to reliable electricity. We work every day to identify and support viable energy solutions to connect those who are hardest to reach and need it the most. We are proud to have supported the Pro-Poor Results-Based Financing Program in Rwanda since its inception and are encouraged by its early successes". Ignite Power expresses great satisfaction with the high installation rate (5,000 in the first two months before the COVID-19 lockdown). "The high percentage of payments proves, once again, that affordability is a key element if we want to achieve nation-scale impact," Houston says. “Together with our partners, we are now ready to expand operations even further and connect hundreds of thousands of people to safe, affordable, and sustainable electricity. We will continue to work hard, even in the most challenging times, until we reach our goal: connecting everyone, regardless of their location".

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