Home » Ugandan tycoon Patrick Bitature’s Simba Telecom ventures into East Africa’s booming solar energy market

Ugandan tycoon Patrick Bitature’s Simba Telecom ventures into East Africa’s booming solar energy market

by Omokolade Ajayi
Patrick Bitature

Simba Telecom, an esteemed telecommunications enterprise led by Ugandan businessman Patrick Bitature, has recently announced a strategic alliance with d.light, with a focus on tapping into the rapidly expanding solar energy sector of East Africa.

Under this agreement, Simba Telecom, which ranks as the largest distributor of airtime in East Africa, will expand its product portfolio to include d.light’s high-quality solar-powered solutions, such as solar home systems, lanterns, and portable chargers, as it seeks to distribute solar products across Uganda.

These solar-powered products, which include solar home systems, solar lanterns, and portable solar chargers, will now be available at Simba Telecom Uganda’s retail stores nationwide, making them more accessible to customers throughout the country.

The partnership with d.light, a pioneering manufacturer of affordable and reliable solar products, is expected to help Simba Telecom achieve its goals of expanding its reach and deepening its offerings in the region’s fast-growing solar energy market.

The partnership, according to Bitature, the chairman of Simba Group, reflects the group’s commitment to empowering people without access to reliable electricity with affordable, innovative products and services, as well as their dedication to supporting the government’s efforts to power every house in the country. 

“We are excited to partner with d.light to provide our customers access to affordable and reliable solar solutions. This partnership aligns with our commitment as Simba Group to power every house in the country and provide innovative products and services that meet the needs of our customers,” he said.

Bitature pointed out that with Uganda’s population currently estimated at over 45 million people and Umeme, the country’s largest energy distributor, only providing electricity to about 14 million people in the country, there is a significant gap that can only be filled with solar connectivity. 

He emphasized that the partnership with d.light will enable Ugandans to access affordable solar products on a pay-as-you-go basis for up to 1.5 years, removing the financial barrier to entry for many customers who may not be able to afford a one-time fee for a solar product.

East Africa’s solar energy market is rapidly expanding, attracting the attention of notable investors

Bitature is not the only entrepreneur to explore the East African solar energy industry this year, as the sector continues to expand at a rapid pace, attracting the interest of renowned investors.

Amongst the new investors who have made significant investments in the region’s solar energy market are Arnaud Lagesse, CEO of the Mauritius-based conglomerate IBL Group, and his siblings.

Recently, they led a consortium that acquired an undisclosed stake in Equator Energy Limited, a Kenyan solar power company. The partnership includes STOA S.A. and aligns with IBL’s strategy to implement solutions based on renewable energy, energy savings, and waste recycling.

Equator Energy’s fully integrated renewable energy systems offer a range of options, from grid-connected systems to solar-diesel hybrids and fully autonomous off-grid systems. The company manages roughly 35 megawatts of solar installations across six countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Gambia, and South Sudan.

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