– UK, Cambridge – Azuri Technologies is pleased to announce and welcome Alan Harper as Chairman. Alan will guide Azuri in its expansion of operations to provide pay-as-you-go solar home systems, and its strategic positioning alongside Africa’s burgeoning mobile communications industry.

Alan Harper is a Non-Executive Director at MTN, and is a leading figure in the mobile network industry for both the UK and Africa. Alan co-founded Eaton Towers in 2008, a leading telecom tower company and held the position of Chief Executive Officer until early 2015. Operational since 2010, Eaton Towers has established over 5,000 towers across seven African countries, and serves major mobile operators such as Airtel, MTN, Orange, Tigo, Vodacom and Vodafone. Prior to founding Eaton Towers, Alan spent 12 years at Vodafone Group PLC in various roles including MD of Vodafone Ltd and as the Group Strategy Director, focussing notably on growth in emerging markets.

Alan’s expertise in growing and leading businesses operating exclusively in Africa makes for a perfect fit with Azuri. With the mobile network increasingly used not only for communications but also for data, banking and other essential services, many have likened the way distributed PayGo energy is able to serve off-grid regions to the way mobile phones leapfrogged landlines to deliver universal access. Similarly, the challenges of distributed power – including project finance, distribution and customer awareness – closely mirror those faced by mobile phone companies at the turn of the century.

Azuri’s family of PayGo solar home systems provides reliable and affordable energy to keep the end consumer connected, through access to power for light, phones, radios, TVs and Internet connected devices. In partnership with mobile operators, Azuri is both using and helping to support the uptake of mobile money in rural communities and represents an effective strategic partnership opportunity for participants in Africa’s mobile network industry. Azuri announced in February 2015 a scale partnership involving Tigo in Tanzania to deliver power to 100,000 households and aims to build strategic partnerships with MNOs across the 11 countries where the Azuri service is provided.

Alan Harper noted, “I am pleased to join the Board of Azuri as its Chairman and look forward to working with the management on its strategic development and business operations. Bringing electricity via Pay As You Go solar to the 600 million people in Africa without any grid connection is a significant business opportunity which can also dramatically improve millions of lives.”

Simon Bransfield-Garth, Azuri’s CEO commented, “We are delighted and proud to welcome Alan to Azuri. Alan’s deep experience and involvement throughout sub Saharan Africa, both with mobile operators and other service providers is particularly relevant to Azuri’s expansion strategy and I look forward to working closely with him as we continue Azuri’s growth.”

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