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Last week, FINCOOP, Malawi’s largest financial cooperative, signed an agreement with our African social enterprise SunnyMoney, who distribute solar products to people in the rural areas of Malawi, Zambia and Uganda.

Fincoop has a large membership in Malawi, reaching remote parts of the country and SunnyMoney hopes to reach that market where Fincoop has many teachers as its members.

The agreement formalises the relationship that SunnyMoney has built with that Fincoop,  who retail solar products, like lamps and phone chargers, to its members who pay by instalments from their savings accounts.

Fincoop’s General Manager, McMillan Nankhonya (pictured) said the agreement will enhance the business partnership of the two companies while helping teachers access finance for solar products.

Sunny Money’s National Sales Coordinator, Brave Mhonie (in the orange T-shirt) is hoping to reach remote parts of the country with environmentally friendly solar products as a way of helping the country achieve clean and green energy targets.

However, he appealed to the authorities to remove Value Added Tax on solar products in order to make the products affordable to the low income earners.

“Of course the government is doing a lot as seen in the removal of duty on all solar imports but if they can remove VAT as well the prices will also be lower, allowing lower income earners to afford solar products,” he said.

At SolarAid we love this story, it’s the perfect example of the kind of partnerships we want to see more of… The ONLY thing holding back solar from lighting up the whole of Africa is access to capital, and that’s what FINCOOP are providing. If only some of our UK banks could use their significant balance sheets to do more of the same we’d be able to scale up our time-proven model and light up Africa once and for all.