At the end of 2023, d.light, a provider of solar products and affordable finance for low-income households, announced its involvement in significant grant-funded initiatives in Uganda. These initiatives, backed by the Ugandan Government, aim to expand access to clean, affordable solar energy for homes, businesses, and public institutions in off-grid areas.
d.light, which operates in Kenya and Uganda, offers a variety of solar-powered appliances and systems, including solar home systems, clean cookstoves, solar lanterns, TVs, and smartphones. Established in Uganda in 2016, d.light’s presence in the country is marked by its office in Kampala and a team of over 120 staff members nationwide.
The company is set to utilize grants totaling USD$148M to subsidize the prices of its products and offer credit financing to low-income customers. This move is part of a results-based funding arrangement with the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company (UECCC), an entity owned by the Ugandan government and tasked with coordinating renewable energy investments in the nation.
Among the key initiatives is the Ugandan Government’s own Electricity Access Scale Up Project (EASP), funded by the World Bank. Additionally, d.light is participating in a separate program aimed at assisting refugees in Uganda and their host communities with subsidized solar products and affordable personal finance. This program is a collaborative effort, supported by international agencies such as the German Government’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the Netherlands Government through Energising Development (EnDev).
In a country where electrification rates are among the lowest globally, as noted by USAID, and where an estimated 58 percent of the population (over 18 million Ugandans) live without electricity, according to the World Resources Institute, these initiatives are critical. d.light’s CEO, Nick Imudia, emphasized the importance of reliable and affordable electricity for economic and social development, particularly in countries like Uganda. He highlighted that off-grid solar products are a practical solution for daily energy needs in such regions.
Imudia further stated, “d.light has been present in Uganda for seven years and has an established network of distributors and agents across the country. Our knowledge, experience, and resources on the ground there make us an ideal partner to work towards the Government’s objective of increasing access to energy for households, businesses, and public institutions.” This partnership signifies a significant step towards alleviating energy poverty and enhancing the quality of life for millions in Uganda.