Rwanda’s Short Messaging Service Media and Electrogaz Utility Company were honored at the East African Power Industry Convention for their application of mobile phone technology in electricity bill payment and distribution.
The two companies demonstrated to representatives of power generation and distribution companies how technology can improve efficiency and customer service as EAPIC celebrated its 10th anniversary.
SMS Media has developed an offering known as Cash Power that allows for prepaid electricity purchases via mobile phone airtime, while Electrogaz was recognized as the first power company to use mobile phone technology to distribute electricity through its SMS Utility Payment Solution.
SMS Media is working on a Web interface and point-of-sale distribution of Cash Power, which will make purchasing electricity less expensive and more convenient, said Jeff Gasana, SMS Media general manager.
Meanwhile, the Rwandan government is examining ways to support IT companies as they seek financing, expertise and market share, said Nkubito Bakuramatsa, director general of the Rwanda Information Technology Authority.
EAPIC draws membership from Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzanian and Uganda. It is the leading power event in East Africa, where high-level decision makers discuss issues dealing with the expansion of the power industry.