Lighting Afghanistan, IFC’s energy access platform, has launched a number of market building
activities in Parwan province of Afghanistan, to promote the sale and distribution of
Omnivoltaic quality verified solar lighting systems through its leading distributor ETC. Lighting
Afghanistan has facilitated linkages with the First Micro Finance Bank (FMFB) and the
Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), both promoting the sale and
financing of solar solutions through a number of their branches.
The collaboration with Microfinance providers (MFPs) began with a focus on building the supply
chain for quality verified solar products. Kiosks were set up next to the first two branches
where loan facilities are available for low-income buyers. The Lighting Afghanistan team also
provided training to brand ambassadors hired with the help of partnering institutions to further
communicate with people about distinct features of products such as durability, quality, and
warranty. As part of the program, training sessions were also provided to loan officers of the
respective institutions. The primary goal of these training sessions was to familiarize the loan
officers of product features and educate them on the value proposition of quality verified solar
systems for end-users.
The collaborating partners are working tirelessly to make it a successful consumer education
program. FMFB has been active on a number of fronts, with logistical preparations, stock
warehousing, and overall facilitation. FINCA is committed to build on its experience and
presence to facilitate the promotion of solar lighting products in Parwan. IFC’s partner in this
venture is European Technology Company (ETC) which has already entered into an agreement
with several MFIs to supply quality verified solar products to Afghanistan market.