At TOTAL, we believe that to be a truly global energy company, you must be able to address the needs of 1.3 billion people worldwide that do not have access to electricity. It’s in this regard that TOTAL introduced the Total Access to Energy program, which acts as a project incubator to develop innovative, economically viable solutions to improve access to energy for low-income communities. To serve these communities, TOTAL decided to offer a range of solar lamps that are both less expensive and brighter than more commonly used lighting sources.
“In Uganda, 88% of the population is not connected to the public electricity grid and yet lack of access to energy is a major obstacle to development.” said Ms Ada Eze, the Managing Director of Total Uganda Limited, during the project launch held at Sheraton Hotel on June 20, 2013.
“To enable off-grid, low-income communities to meet some of their most basic everyday needs, Total Uganda has introduced Awango by Total, a line of innovative, reliable solar lighting and phone charging solutions. We believe that the Awango product line will improve lives by enabling these communities to get extra hours of light to continue with their income generating activities which would normally end by nightfall. It will also help them reduce the need for pricey oil/kerosene for lighting, “said Ms. Eze.
Initially, Total was relying on its network of trained service employees to inform and educate customers about solar energy and how to use the lamps. However, the company is now teaming up with partners such as cooperatives and NGO’s working in far off locations to bring the products even closer to people.
“We understand finances can be an issue so our aim is to innovate by creating last-mile distribution networks by teaming up with reliable partners such as SACCOS, Microfinance Institutions, NGO’s with community outreaches, colleges and schools, to offer the products on a feasible payment platform that is suited to the conditions in which they will be used and yet still be affordable,” said Mrs. Ahlem Friga-Noy, the Corporate Affairs Manager at Total Exploration and Production in Uganda.
Launched worldwide in January 2011, the project is an innovative business Model with an ambitious target of bettering the lives of millions of people across the world by combining profitability with benefits for the local community. The Awango by Total range includes top quality, cost effective, solar products from portable solar lamps to modular kits. The lamps provide up to 12 hours of lighting when fully charged and some ranges can also be used to charge mobile phones.
In 2012 the project was launched in 4 new countries (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Haiti and Cambodia) and in 2013, it will be rolled out in at least 6 new countries including Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Bangladesh.
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