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Tanzania: Equity Bank to Accelerate Use of Solar Power

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EQUITY Bank Tanzania has said it wants to accelerate the installation of solar power devices to households that are off-grid through the issuance of affordable loans.

The bank, penned an agreement with Zola Electric on Wednesday, targeted to double the number of households reached by the off-grid firm in the next two to three months.

Equity Managing Director Robert Kiboti told reporters that they targeted to double Zola’s 160,000 households number in a short span by issuing special loans to accelerate their economic wellbeing.

“We want to reach as many off-grid households as possible… using both Equity and Zola branches and agents,” Mr Kiboti said.

Zola, one of the oldest solar device supplying firms to off-grid customers, has reached out to 160,000 families in almost a decade ago.

Mr Kiboti said they would use their 14 branches in Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Dodoma and Unguja and its 4,000 agents countrywide to reach those in need of solar devices.

The devices will be made available through affordable loans of between 0.3m/- and 2m/- with about 16 per cent interest rates.

A loan product designed to offer customers the comfort of acquiring Zola devices which will be based on both rural and urban clientele.

“The target market is for salaried customers, micro individuals and savings groups. The product is exclusively for purchase of Zola devices,” Mr Kiboti said.

What a customer needs is to have an Equity Bank account and vetting would be conducted based on know-your-customer requirements and a quotation from Zola. This follows by screening, appraisal and approval done at the bank and Zola will install a solar system.