Motopower initiative

Motorola solar recharging station


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UG Uganda


About the project Edit

Motorola has launched an initiative to provide solar recharging stations that can be run by local, entrepreneurial women. Launched in 2009, Motorola's Motopower project has brought 55 solar-powered kiosks to Uganda that offer free mobile phone charging to local consumers. Each kiosk is charged by a 55-watt inverted solar panel and can charge up to 20 phones at a time. The women who run the kiosks, meanwhile, are also equipped to sell handsets and operator SIM cards and to provide repair services. For local people without their own phones, the kiosks effectively function as a local "phone booth" for making occasional calls as well.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The Motopower initiative is the first of its kind to exist for women in Africa. Uganda experiences one of the lowest levels of electricity in Africa. Deploying the kiosks will alleviate the power constraints currently deterring users from staying connected over long periods.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The Motopower initiative aims to bring the power of communication and connectivity to many rural Ugandans who find problems in accessing electricity to charge their mobile phones. The initiative was designed to empower entrepreneurial women by providing them with the foundations to manage their own sustainable businesses. As part of a start-up package, each entrepreneur is given four Motorola handsets and a business skills training course. Nikesh Patel, senior sales director for Motorola Africa's mobile devices business, explains: “Through this program, we are giving women the opportunity to run their own business, learn valuable entrepreneurial skills and generate a positive income.” Of course, besides empowering women and helping Ugandans stay connected, the project will likely increase Motorola's share of the local market as well.

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What is the business model of this project? Edit

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