Ghanaian Solar Firm Continues West African Expansion With Mali Launch

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
solar energy firm
Ghanaian solar firm Peg Africa, which operates in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, has launched its pay-as-you-go services in Mali. Image supplied by Peg Africa

Ghana-based pay-as-you-go solar company Peg Africa has entered Mali, its fourth West African market, and plans to continue expanding across the region.

The company already operates in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, according to a press release.

Peg Africa says it uses pay-as-you-go technology and low-cost mobile payment systems to supply clean energy to underserved users in West Africa who could not previously afford electricity.

Peg Africa claims that half of its 450,000 customers earn less than $3 per day. On average, Malians earns around $97 per month after tax, which works out to slightly more than $3 per day.

The average person in Peg Africa’s four markets spends 30 percent of their income on polluting fuels such as kerosene, candles, and batteries.

Peg Africa promotes clean solar energy home systems which cost around $2 per week after an initial down payment of around $10 for a system that includes lighting, a phone charger and an optional radio. Additional options include TV.

Founded in 2013 by Hugh Whalan and Nate Heller, Peg Africa serves 450,000 daily users in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal through 550 commission-based sales agents.

The solar energy firm’s pay-as-you-go financing model also helps users to build a credit score, Ventureburn reports.

Only 34.8 percent of Mali’s 20 million people have access to electricity and that number decreases in rural areas to around 20 percent. About 75 percent of the population — 15 million people — live in Mali’s rural areas.

Peg Africa is planning to continue its West African expansion in 2021. The company’s strategy going forward is to open new markets every 12-to-18 months, according to CEO Whalan.

Peg Africa has raised $30 million in investment this year, including a $25 million Series C funding round in March 2019, bringing its total funding to $56.5 million, Crunchbase reports.

In September 2019, Peg Africa announced a $5 million investment from ElecriFi, an electrification financing initiative funded by the European Union.

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In the last few years, pay-as-you-go solar companies in Africa have raised significant amounts to fund expansion.

Peg Africa claims to be a market leader in West Africa. Kenya-based M-Kopa Solar raised $161.8 million over 11 funding rounds, Crunchbase reports.