One of the women Champions who attended the African Investment Forum Mrs. Ifeyinwa Ikeonu who is the CEO of EcoSolar; a developer of small solar systems and infrastructure projects with a focus on Ghana and West Africa, had a pitching session during the forum.
During her session, she specified that she decided to take the leap of faith from policy regulations in the energy sector and delve into business in the private sector where she can contribute her quota in increasing energy access to the hard to reach communities such as the local and urban communities by offering energy services to these localities.
She added that she recognizes financing is a major hurdle in providing these services as the people in the villages may not be able to afford them, but that her model is to find ways to work with these communities to provide the services. In her words, ‘We want to find ways of structuring innovative financing options that will enable them have access to the solar home systems.
She stressed that for instance, the deployment cost of a 200 watts system can be as much as $600 which the average farmer cannot afford but they are working on ways to provide packages and payment plans for the services giving the people in these communities who are interested the leverage to pay overtime. She added that there is a services agreement for those who are unable to afford the equipment to have the systems installed and they only pay for the services.
She concluded that her company tries to add value not only by providing the solar systems but by creating jobs and hopefully in the nearest future, they would have about 95,000 houses across the country that have these Solar system in their homes.