LRTC partners start solar business

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Abdalla Seushi, LRTC Field Officer, demonstrates lights to dealers

On March 5th, 2011, ARTI- TZ conducted training for technicians selected by dealers who are participating in the “mauli kauli” program supported through  Lighting Rural Tanzania (LRTC). The program, which is also supported by the Rural Energy Agency (REA) has so far allowed ARTI-TZ to train seven technicians with three technicians coming from AOK Services and Magic LN Enterprises in Chalinze, two from Abel Shop in Bagamoyo and two from Mroso Shop in Mlandinzi. All the technicians  are working towards certification from ARTI TZ and upon completion of certification will be responsible for service and repairs and connecting solar systems in the houses of their customers.

Jacqueline Michael, LRTC Project Officer, signing the contract with Abel Shop under the "Mauli Kauli" Project

On March 15, 2011, two LRCT partner agents signed distribution contracts with Appropriate Rural Technology Institute Tanzania.  Abel shop and the Magic Ln Enterprises of Bagamoyo and Chalinze towns signed contracts and received the first delivery of Firefly 12 Mobile and 5W Power Packs. The selected dealers will be responsible with the distribution of solar lights to the retailers and the retailers to the final consumers on a credit basis.  Repayment of financing will be done through payments divided in four equal monthly installments. The contracts will last for 8 months before they are reevaluation for extension.

Article by: Jacqueline Michael, LRTC Project Officer

ARTI-TZ Hosts Barefoot Power Training for Tanzania

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ARTI-TZ is now a Barefoot Power certified service centre with four certified service technicians equipped to service all Barefoot products in house.

ARTI-TZ Technicians, Kennedy Mremi and Godson Mghamba, repair receiving Barefoot technical certification

Barefoot Power conducted a three day intensive importer and technician certification training at the from February 28th to March 3rd.

Eliza Hogan, Barefoot Power East and South Africa, opens the training with Jacqueline Micheal, ARTI-TZ Project Officer for Lighting Rural Tanzania

ARTI-TZ hosted the training and helped with planning and facilitation.  The training brought importers of Barefoot products together to coordinate activities within Tanzania.  representatives from ARTI-TZ, Solar Aid, Umeme Jua, Watu na Nuru, Kiwia & Laustsen, L’s Solutions and SEECO/TaTEDO.

The training focused on three primary capacities: product familiarization, technician & service centre certification and marketing strategies.

Sakwa Richard, from Barefoot Power Uganda, demonstrates the 15W home lighting system

Product familiarization was completed on Day 1.  All the participants were introduced to the technologies, explained the functionality and capacity of the systems and encouraged to set up the systems in order to understand the systems.  Emphasis was put on what the system could do and what the system could not do as well as the importance of informing customers on how to properly use the system and maintain the warranty agreement.

Barefoot Power trainers, Sakwa Richard (Uganda) and Paul Maina (Kenya) training Tanzanian technicians

The second day of the training was divided into two core components.  The first being intensive technical training on all barefoot products.  Each organization had technicians trained on trouble shooting, identification of technical faults, repairs and service centre management.

Organization heads discussed marketing strategies and core competencies required to ensure maximum customer service throughout the country.

Guest speakers from the micro-finance and trade finance community spoke during the three day meeting as well.

Hugh Whalen, CEO and Co-founder of Energy in Common (www.eneryincommon.com), spoke on micro-finance loans via internet where profiles of loan seekers requesting loans ranging from 1$ to 1500$ are posted on the Energy in Common website.  Investors from around the world can then view these profiles and decide to invest either fully or partially. When 100% of the investment is raised the loan is granted.

Felista Coutinho of Tujijenge Tanzania speaking on Microfinance

Felistas Coutinho from Tujijenge Tanzania (www.tujijengeafrika.org) also spoke on micro finance opportunities in Tanzania.  Emphasis was put on properly supporting the MFI process through product availability and strong after sales service.

The final day of training allowed importers to discuss areas of collaboration to ensure Barefoot products are available and serviced throughout Tanzania.  Currently service centres are expected to be opened in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Singida and Dodoma.

For more information on Barefoot products, visit our “Products” page.