Kumudzi Kuwale Limited, situated in Nkhotakota in Malawi, aims at providing affordable light to marginalized rural Malawians by building 300 solar charging stations in rural villages by 2021.
For less than 1,5USD per month, rural Malawians get unlimited access to light through Kumudzi Kuwale’s charging station concept. The concept has proven to offer attractive, affordable light to rural Malawians, as well as being a sustainable business model for the company.
The company’s mission is simple: provide sustainable energy for everyone. The “No one should be left in the dark” project aims at providing affordable light to the marginalized, rural population of Malawi. The company aims at building charging stations in more than 300 rural villages the coming two years, providing light to an estimated 150,000 rural Malawians. The rapid scale-up of the charging station concept is made possible through funding from EEP Africa, Grønn-Hagen Bjørke Malawi Foundation, and Nkhotakota Youth Organization.
By building charging stations in rural villages far from the national Malawian electricity grid, Kumudzi Kuwale provides unlimited charging of small light beacons for 1000MWK per month (less than 1,5USD) to villagers who would otherwise not be able to access affordable, renewable light. The light beacons cost less per month, lasts longer, and shines brighter than the current light source of most villagers (kerosene, firewood, or torches), and has proven to be an attractive service for villagers, as well as a sustainable business model for Kumudzi Kuwale.
Apart from providing marginalized people with affordable light, Kumudzi Kuwale’s rural charging stations offer additional economic and social benefits to both villagers and the larger Malawian community. Each charging station employs operators to take care of day-to-day business on the station, empowering them through a stable income. In future, Kumudzi Kuwale also wants to offer charging station operators training and technical skills on how to do maintenance on solar charging equipment, as well as on basic business practices, in order to make the stations more independent in the long-run. The size of the project also means that Kumudzi Kuwale needs to take on additional staff both in their headquarters and in the field – further providing employment and stability to the local community.
Kumudzi Kuwale Limited is a Malawian for-profit social enterprise, headquartered in Nkhotakota, Central Malawi. The company specializes in solar electricity installations and solar engineering. To achieve its mission of providing sustainable energy for everyone, the company has established three separate business units; shops selling solar equipment to private households (Nkhotakota and Kasungu), solar installations providing electricity to commercial and government functions, and rural charging stations for people not otherwise able to access affordable renewable energy solutions.