Maria John: Empowered by Solar Energy Financing

Kigoma, Tanzania

Access to reliable and affordable energy is crucial for better health, improved education, and greater economic opportunities. Unfortunately, many Tanzanians still struggle to access such energy. The Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) and its members, such as TANERELA, are stepping up to address this challenge by providing financing for solar energy solutions to those who would not otherwise have access.

Maria John, a small business owner and resident of Kigoma-Nyanzele, is one of the beneficiaries of solar energy financing. Before receiving a loan of 150,000 Tanzanian shillings from TANERELA, Maria relied on kerosene to light her home and cooking area. This incurred high costs and posed health risks due to the smoke emitted.

Maria John is 24 years old, married with two children.

Thanks to the loan, Maria was able to install a wire and a light bulb to light her cooking area using solar energy. This simple upgrade reduced her expenses and gave her more time to sell her products, including tomatoes and vegetables, in her small business, ultimately increasing her income.

Maria stressed the importance of education to enable more people to benefit from solar energy financing. She also highlighted that she is not the only one in her area to have benefited from the loan, as another woman also received support from TANERELA. Maria is grateful for the loan and the opportunity to experience the benefits of solar energy at home.

The loan has improved Maria’s quality of life and empowered her to take her business to the next level. With reliable access to electricity, she can work more efficiently and expand her business activities, contributing to the economic development of her community.

TAMFI and its members are breaking the cycle of poverty by providing Tanzanians with access to clean and affordable solar energy. With more education and awareness of solar energy solutions, more people like Maria can benefit from these financing programs and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

“Access to reliable and affordable energy is essential for promoting sustainable development in Tanzania. TAMFI and its members, such as TANERELA, are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing financing for solar energy solutions to those who would not otherwise have access. Maria John’s story is a testament to the transformative power of solar energy financing, and we are proud to be part of this initiative to create a brighter future for all Tanzanians,” noted TAMFI CEO, Winnie Terry.

She added: “At TAMFI, we believe that access to energy is not a luxury but a fundamental human right. Through our partnership with TANERELA and other members, we are working to make this right a reality for more people in Tanzania. Maria’s experience demonstrates how access to reliable and affordable solar energy can empower individuals and communities, promoting economic development and improving the quality of life. We are committed to continuing our efforts to provide access to clean energy for all Tanzanians.”

*“The success story is a part of the “Energy Access: Building an Innovative Financial Ecosystem for Enterprises and End Users” project implemented by TAMFI and supported by the C.S. Mott Foundation. The project focuses on creating awareness and educating financial institutions and other stakeholders about decentralized renewable energy (DRE) for productive use and its benefits in increasing reliability and reducing costs in production.