ARED – Solar Powered Charging Kiosk Enabling Rwanda’s Off Grid Mobile Users Stay Connected
Statistics has it that at least 45% of Rwandese households have at least one mobile phone, but nationally only about 16% of the households have connection to the national power grid. So naturally, lack of electricity connectivity is a major challenge to people being connected to families, friends and business associates. African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) seeks to solve this by supplying solar power for recharging mobile phone to the household through Mobile Charging Kiosks.
ARED was founded back in 2012 with a mission of supplying off-grid rural and urban areas in Rwanda with stable and reliable energy solutions. ARED does this by employing innovative technologies such as the Mobile Solar Cell Charger (MSCC) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).
ARED’s Mobile Charging Kiosk has greatly increased the Rwandese people’s ability to communicate with families, friends and business associates despite the fact that they live off grid. Another advantage of the solar power technology is that, it enables the locals to get energy in the most environmental friendly way possible. Dubbed the ARED’s Mobile Solar Kiosk (MSK), the kiosk has a professional and contemporary appearance that naturally draws people’s attention and has an impressive record of delivering quality service.
The MSK utility is highly mobile and can be easily set up on a daily basis in anticipation of high traffic areas. Unlike their competitors who are restricted to setting up shop near regions with grid power outlet, the MSK kiosk can roam about regardless of the grid connectivity. ARED opens its flagship MSK daily in the middle of the Nyabugogo market in Kigali. Taking its services directly to the customers in the high traffic regions as opposed to having the customers come out of their places of residence and work in search for means to recharge their phones.
The MSK is equipped with two 40-watt solar panels that are retractable, a large battery that stores power when it’s dark and a hand crank for manual charging when solar charging is not possible. Fitted with all terrain tires, the MSK structure is engineered to withstand rough roads, and has a provision to haul it onto a bicycle thus enabling long distance transportation easily. As much as MSK supplies solar-power charging for off-grid mobile users, it also presents a business opportunity for entrepreneurship. Especially for start-ups entrepreneurs with little to no capital to establish their own brick and mortar shops. By simply having a low budget start-up capital, Rwandese can join the MSK franchising business and start earning an income by charging other people’s mobile phones.
ARED intends to expand their outreach beyond Rwanda and cover the entire East African communities living off-grid through a franchisee arrangement. ARED also provides comprehensive trainings, full technical support and a franchise agreement that benefits the franchisee. If you are interested in partnering up with ARED and become a franchisee in your country follow this link.