PEG Africa, West Africa’s largest and fastest growing independent provider of distributed energy, has plans to pilot solar fridges and freezers in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.
Over 150 million people in West Africa do not have access to basic electricity. This has a massive and expensive impact on households and traders wanting to keep food and produce fresh, as they either need to purchase ice daily, which is expensive, or let their food go to waste. The market opportunity in solar powered refrigeration is therefore very large.
PEG Africa sees a particular opportunity for solar powered refrigeration in fishing communities. Without refrigeration, fish need to be dried to stop them from rotting, but dried fish are worth only half what fresh fish can fetch in the market. Therefore refrigeration can double fishing incomes by extending the shelf life of their catch, allowing them to sell more fresh fish to a wider market.
PEG will be testing various solar-powered fridge and freezer products under its unique “Pay As You Go” financing system to ensure cold storage is available to the fish processors and other businesses such as local restaurants in rural communities. The initiative will focus particularly on female fish traders to provide them with the means to set up small businesses to provide them with economic empowerment and inclusion opportunities. PEG’s asset financing model works by asking customers to pay a small deposit to secure the product with the balance repayable in affordable monthly sums over a period of typically 18 months.
Commenting on the initiative, PEG Africa co-founder and CEO Hugh Whalan said “The focus on cooling solutions will enhance incomes for rural communities. We also are excited about the potential use of cooling for vaccines, and that we can play a meaningful role in this in the future. PEG aims to be at the forefront of providing its customers and communities with the ability to refrigerate and freeze key products. We hope that after a successful pilot period we will be able to make these life-changing products available to a large number of underserved rural customers.”
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About PEG Africa
PEG is a leading pay-as-you-go financing company in West Africa, operating in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Mali. PEG provides credit for useful and productive assets to underserved customers, and by doing this, we help customers to gain ownership of assets that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Importantly, as customers pay off their loan to PEG, we start to understand their credit history, which is a valuable tool we can then use to provide for additional loans for products and services. PEG has over 500 full time staff, over 600 commission-based sales agents, and has earned many prestigious awards including the International Ashden Award (UK) for Innovative Financing, Inclusive Fintech 50, and being named by London Stock Exchange as one of the Fast Growing Companies in Africa. More recently PEG was recognised as an Energy Access Champion for West Africa, and won awards in Ghana for ‘Small Business of the year’, and ‘Off-Grid Energy Supplier of the year’. More information can be found at www.pegafrica.com.