22 July 2021
Last mile distributors play a critical role in providing access to energy and other life-changing services to unserved customers in sub-Saharan Africa and digitalisation is key to enabling these companies to operate efficiently on a larger scale. Covid-19 has made this digital transition more urgent after restrictions were imposed on the physical movement of agents and assets. However, last mile distributors (LMDs) and digital service providers (DSPs) currently often struggle to understand and service each other’s requirements.
To address these challenges, Energy Catalyst and Global Distributors Collective have joined forces to produce a unique report which translates the respective needs of LMDs and DSPs for their mutual benefit in order to accelerate the digitalisation of the sector. Digital transformation to support last mile distribution: overcoming barriers together focuses on building bridges between the two sectors in five particular areas:
- industry visibility
- digital readiness
- financing IT
- software interoperability
- replicability across countries
This report comprises a significant and relevant new resource for last mile distributors in particular as it offers practical guidance to companies looking for digital products that can help them scale. It also proposes longer-term solutions that can help the two sectors work more effectively together to deliver energy access to more consumers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Accelerating digitalisation in last mile distribution is just one of the ways through which Energy Catalyst seeks to promote the innovation needed to end energy poverty. The programme has already generated a wealth of knowledge, and this research is the first publication in our upcoming series of reports, blogs and think pieces, all aimed at transmitting valuable insights from inside the programme to technology innovators and SMEs in the energy access sector.