Visiting WeSolve in Tanzania
The DMDP Secretariat has visited the WeSolve project in Tanzania. Solar Sister Tanzania has a network of 3000 female sales agents selling solar products in rural areas. Through the WeSolve project, Solar Sister is partnering with BRAC and BRAC Microfinance and the partners have spent a lot of time developing and refining a microfinance loan product especially suited to the renewable energy products sold by Solar Sister. It was a pleasure for the DMDP Secretariat to meet stakeholders and learn that the uptake of the loan product and sale of solar products is going well, ensuring better income for the female sales agents and as the same time as ensuring access to clean energy for the customers. The partnership has now started discussing how to scale the project in new regions.
The customers of Solar Sister experience immediate value of the products they buy. As an example, solar lighting replaces candles and kerosene, which gives significant savings in day-to-day costs of kerosene and candles. Furthermore, the use of solar lamps also improves the health in the homes. Solar Sister has also embarked on selling products for productive use of energy such as sun-powered egg-hatchery units, mobile phone charging units and hair trimmers. These new products give the customers the means to improve their own income through start-up of small businesses. The project is committed to further track and document these impacts. Thank you very much to the partners involved for a very interesting and inspiring visit!