Monday, May 5, 2014

German solar company opens training facility

By Zephania Ubwani, The Citizen Reporter

Arusha. Mobisol, the Germany-based provider of solar electrification, on Saturday launched a training facility here for its agents and technical staff in Tanzania.

The inauguration ceremony of Mobisol Akademie, a Tanzania-wide training institution took place at the firm’s premises at Nane Nane grounds in Njiro in the city.

Mobisol Tanzania managing director Allan Demello, said the facility has been created in order to train and equip their technicians and sales agents with optimal knowledge and tools to effectively service Mobisol’s customers and represent Mobisol as a leader in the sustainable energy industry in Tanzania.

“The training is based on high international standards of marketing and technical education and is carried out by carefully selected and trained local teaching staff,” he said.

Already the German company has a Mobisol Akademie in Nyamata, Rwanda, he explained, adding that the purpose of setting up training units was not only to ensure solar energy is fully promoted, but that the quality of the company’s products and services were guaranteed.

The inauguration was attended by the project manager from Mobisol Akademie headquarters in Germany, Dr Janina Messerschmidt, who said;

“We have set up a training facility that guarantees the highest standards of education in terms of marketing, customer communication, IT, solar electronics installations and general knowledge of solar equipment and the benefits of sustainable electrification.”

Mr Demello, for his part, added that this year alone the company will provide solar power to more than 10,000 homes in Arusha, Manyara, Mwanza and Kilimanjaro regions.

“In order to meet the increasing demand in our high-tech products while guaranteeing the highest standard of service possible, we need a growing number of well-educated service personnel - and the Mobisol Akademie will ensure exactly this,” he pointed out.

The company started its solar home systems (SHS) programme last year and until last February over 2,300 clients were getting electricity through solar energy gadgets installed in their homes.

The progamme was initiated by the company in collaboration with Kakute Limited, an Arusha-based technology awareness and distribution company and aimed to provide efficient solar energy in homes.

Mobisol Tanzania Limited, which is a subsidiary of a German solar energy giant, Mobisol GmbH, started operations in the country in 2010 until the middle of last year when it embarked on full-scale operations through which it installed solar power systems in households in Arusha and its environs.

Each system costs about Sh. 500,000 and Sh. 2.4 million.Those whose homes are fitted with the gadgets have to pay a downward payment of 10 to 15 per cent the cost of the system. The SHS owners enjoy an extended warranty of three years for the battery and solar controller.

“Mobisol customers are overwhelmingly satisfied with the many ways reliable solar energy has improved their lives. Families can now illuminate their homes”, Mr. Demello explained, adding that the company has opened a regional hub in Moshi and has extened its operations to Rwanda.

The company’s Head of Customer Service Ms Terry Odiko said repayment of the credit is made using mobile banking services,specifically M-Pesa and Airtel Money and added that the firm’s solar gadgets were in four different sizes,ranging from 30,80 and 120 to 200 Watts.

“Mobisol also offers a ‘Business Out of a Box’ feature which enables entrepreneurial customers to set-up income generating activities such as barber shops and cphone charging stations”, she said.