Solar-panel distributor M-Kopa is making inroads in Africa with a laptop-size kit that can provide lighting at less than half the cost of kerosene lanterns. About 230,000 people in Kenya have signed up with the company, which keeps costs to consumers low by providing its products on an installment plan.
FedEx Express is in the process of acquiring Africa's Supaswift package delivery service, which will expand FedEx's reach in southern Africa. Once the acquisition receives regulatory approval, FedEx will take over Supaswift's business in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.
More than 200,000 members of a trade union for poor, self-employed women in rural India will be provided with energy-efficient cookstoves and solar lanterns over the next three years in what is being billed as one of the world's largest clean-energy projects. Lars Thunell, head of International Finance Corp., which will guarantee loans from local banks to the women, said the initiative will "help low-income households increase savings and cut expenses for firewood, kerosene and electricity."