Mapping Market Expansion for Off-Grid Companies in Southern Africa

An African seamstress working under a bright light
With solar-powered light, a seamstress can continue working after dark and increase her income. Photo Credit: ENGIE Energy Access Mozambique

Reaching the Right Customers

In rural areas of Southern Africa, where relatively few people have access to electricity, it is often challenging for SHS companies to reach new customers in order to expand their market footprint. Most SHS companies employ local sales agents to sell their systems house-to-house. Some visits are more successful than others, and some areas generate more sales than others. Unsuccessful trips can be frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. Identifying the areas with the greatest opportunities for SHS is essential to promoting company success and bringing power to those who need it most.

A female Africa Yellow sales agent
Sales agents are vital in expanding companies’ reach and sales
An African man installing a solar panel on a roof
A SHS agent installing a solar panel for a rural household in Malawi

Mapping the Route to Market

By mapping the physical locations of infrastructure, such as transmission lines, households, and businesses, geospatial tools can help identify where the electricity grid will likely extend and where off-grid technology, such as household solar panels, could be more economical.


  • Helps identify high potential geographic markets in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia
  • Enables customization of criteria to identify specific target markets
  • Supports the development of robust RTM strategies
Output maps from the geospatial tool for Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi
Example output maps from the geospatial tool

Impact and Outlook

In June 2022, Power Africa hosted a webinar to share the RTM tool more broadly with Southern Africa’s energy sector. The webinar featured three panelists from three SHS companies who discussed their experiences and successes using the tool.

SHS enable longer work and study hours, boosting efficiency and output in rural communities



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Power Africa

Power Africa

A U.S. Government-led partnership that seeks to add 30,000 MW and 60 million electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 >