By Alois Vinga
OPTIMISTIC business magnet, Strive Masiyiwa sees his Kenyan renewable business, Distributed Power Africa’s (DPA) growth surpassing the other two reputable brands, Econet and Liquid.
He made shortly after DPA sold 50% of its Kenya business to a leading French energy group EDF, which is an influential global brand.
In a recent update, Masiyiwa described the coming on board of EDF as “a historic milestone in many ways”.
“To see such a large global company team up with a small African start-up to develop to 50:50 partners is quite unusual,” he said.
“It shows you what I have been saying for a long time, that the future of energy in Africa is renewable! EDF has more installed solar power than all the power generated by traditional means in the entire African continent.”
Under the partnership cooperation agreement, DPA and EDF will jointly develop Commercial and Industrial (C&I), a hybrid energy solution to the African market.
The collaboration is expected to focus on the development of distributed-energy solutions based on solar panels associated with energy back-up systems such as batteries.
Both companies plan to deploy their solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, which initially includes South Africa, Ivory Coast and Nigeria, with the intention to expand into other key markets.
DPA and EDF also plan to set up power businesses in various African countries with countries like Nigeria and Ivory Coast high on their priority list.
They intend to accelerate the deployment and roll-out of Green Energy across Africa, with EDF acting as a technology partner for DPA’s projects in Africa.
EDF has vast experience in renewable energy. DPA will leverage EDF’s capabilities and utilise these solutions in developing and growing their pipeline in Africa.
The globally acclaimed businessman, Masiyiwa, said the move testified the ambition to transform DPA into a continentally reputable company.
He explained it took more than two years of negotiations with EDF to get this deal done.
“It will one day be bigger than Liquid, or even Econet itself. I know the pathway it will take, because it is a well beaten pathway.
“What new entrepreneurial opportunities will these emerging businesses of ours create for other innovators, entrepreneurs, fast followers and even slow followers across Africa? Countless!” added Masiyiwa.