Solar energy providers Munyax Eco and WidEnergy have just received investments from the Opes-LCEF fund. The funding will enable the two companies, based in Rwanda and Zambia respectively, to cope with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The funds received by Munyax Eco from Opes-LCEF will help finance its stocks and the expansion of its product lines. The Kigali, Rwanda-based start-up installs solar water heaters, as well as off-grid solar systems and solar street lights. The company launched in 2013 is expanding its services in Rwanda and claims 1,200 customers, mainly in the solar water heater segment.
“Disruptions in the supply chain have doubled transport costs and delayed new orders by several weeks. While the company faces further restrictions in 2021, Munyax is able to secure new orders and stabilise its operations,” says Opes-LCEF.
Like Munyax, WidEnergy will rely on Opes-LCEF’s funding to revive its business after a long period of difficulty due to the global health crisis. The Opes-LCEF investment will also allow WidEnergy to expand its distribution network. WidEnergy operates mainly in remote areas of Zambia, where it distributes solar-powered lamps and other appliances.
A Restart East Africa initiative
In addition, the company has set up Women in Energy Hubs (WeHubs), with the support of the Energy and Environment Partnership Trust Fund (EEP Africa). The WeHub is a solar-powered container that generates electricity for productive use and serves as a distribution centre for other essential products and services, including solar home systems. Each WeHub is run in partnership with a ‘woman energy entrepreneur’. In this way, WidEnergy aims to actively involve women in its entire value chain.
The Opes-LCEF fund financed the two solar energy providers as part of “Restart East Africa”. This emergency fund in response to Covid-19 supports innovative businesses and organisations that have been affected by the pandemic. The fund also finances companies that have proposed innovative solutions in response to Covid-19. Restart East Africa funding takes the form of zero-interest loans for East African businesses in sectors such as clean energy, sustainable agriculture, mobility and transport, education and vocational training. The Opes-LCEF initiative is supported by the DOEN and Good Energies foundations.
Jean Marie Takouleu