Liberia: Mercy Corps, MTN Launch Paygo Solar System

press release

To enable customers meet their payment obligations for solar home systems, Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian organization and MTN Liberia have launched mobile money payment mechanism for such customers.

The PayGo solar Mobile Money Payment, which was recently launched will give customers the chance, particularly those in rural Liberia to pay for their solar energy systems (ranging from US$60 to $125) using a dedicated mobile money platform.

According to a press release, Pay as you go (PayGo) enables households to buy quality solar systems and pay in installments instead of outright upfront payment. So far, partner private sector distributors have installed over 1,100 pay as you go systems, improving the lives of rural dwellers, particularly children of school-going age.

The service will allow customers to easily and conveniently make monthly repayment amounts on a 30-day circle. This initiative was made possible under the EU funded light Up Liberia program.

Kwasi Gyeabour, Mercy Corps Country Director, who spoke at the ceremony, expressed heartfelt congratulations to the European Union (EU) and Lonestar Cell MTN family for the successful launch of the long-awaited platform.

Mr. Gyeabour said, "Today, we are happy to launch this milestone initiative to help customers in rural Liberia to make easy payment of their product. We want to use this occasion to thank the efforts of the European Union-funded Light Up Liberia program that is being implemented by Mercy Corps.

Making remarks, Ioannis Tzartzas, Team leader-Infrastructure, and Social Sectors, European Union delegation to Liberia, "we are very happy with the achievements of the ongoing Light Up Liberia (LUL) project. This project has proven that pay as you go is possible in Liberia and it would be a shining business model for off-grid electricity in Liberia."

For his part Emmanuel Aziebor, the Light Up Liberia Program Manager said, "this novel initiative has proven consumer interest and the commercial viability of the pay as you go model in Liberia. This has opened the market for solar system manufacturers to start looking at Liberia as a viable market; and falls within the mission of Mercy Corps to promote sustainable access to clean, affordable modern energy services for the rural poor in Liberia."

Under the initiative, according to Aziebor, Mercy Corps Liberia, through its private sector solar distributors, has made available pay-as-you-go solar home systems which can provide energy for six to eight hours of emission-free lighting and enough power to charge mobile phones, play MP3 and radio.

Prince Chesson, Lonestar Cell MTN Mobile Money Manager, said, "Lonestar Cell MTN understands that digital innovations have the power to transform lives. Our partnership with Mercy Corps will ensure that customers who need it the most can access electricity affordably.

Everyone deserves the benefit of modern, connected life. That's why we connect people with technology to empower and transform their lives."

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