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Solarkiosk Solutions and Eastern African Power Jointly Develop Solar-Powered Multi-Service Centers in Rwanda

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Solarkiosk Solutions and Eastern African Power Jointly Develop Solar-Powered Multi-Service Centers in Rwanda

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The Rwandese subsidiary of German company Solarkiosk Solutions (SKS) and Kigali-based energy provider East African Power (EAP) have announced a joint venture to deploy a network of solar-powered multi-service centers throughout the rural communities in Rwanda. The green center initiative named ‘The Pulse’ will develop a countrywide network of solar-powered shopping malls for business, productivity, and leisure. 

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‘The Pulse’ centers will utilize extensive expertise of SKS in running rural retail and productive-use businesses, along with EAP’s longtime experience in renewable energy development and operations. The solar-powered malls offer a delightful experience to under-served clients while addressing profitability issues of last-mile markets in rural Africa for local businesses & entrepreneurs, small-holder farmers, and NGOs. 

Each ‘The Pulse’ center will provide local services like hairdressers, cinemas, and retail stores, as well as innovative products in clean water, cold storage for crop management, e-mobility, clean cooking, and trade among others. According to SKS, the centers are scalable due to their modular designs and will become the anchor load of decentralized mini-grids as the local communities adopt power organically.

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A first pilot ‘The Pulse’ center is currently being implemented in the Eastern Province, where a 10 kW solar mini-grid and custom-made productive-use appliances will empower 10 local entrepreneurs and international solution providers serving the Ruhunda community. SKS and EAP will jointly establish 69 such centers across the country and these will be managed through the proprietary ERP system and local operators. 

Thomas Rieger, CEO of Solarkiosk, said that they have successfully tested the solar rural mall concept in four African countries. Based on encouraging survey data and the blueprints established thereupon, the company believes that ‘The Pulse’ will be successful throughout Africa, uplifting the lives of remote rural “off-the-grid” populations.

Dan Klinck, CEO of East African Power, said, the company’s track record in community-centered energy development along with Solarkiosk’s expertise in last-mile distribution & retail will help ‘The Pulse’ centers in realizing the full potential of energy access while fixing the economics of distributing to bottom-of-the-pyramid markets. The centers will demonstrate the platform effect of demand densification and supply chain formalization, along with the amalgamation of productive-use solutions.

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