Energy Access As Essential Service, Unlocking Tools to Combat COVID-19

Power is an essential weapon in the fight against COVID-19.

Without energy access ventilators and oxygen machines cannot run and there is no refrigeration for medication or testing. Quite simply, hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities cannot operate without reliable power.

Furthermore, a country’s workforce cannot be set up to work remotely, markets shut down and critical businesses can’t operate. Schools cannot be in session and there is an extremely limited ability to store food. Work from home measures will not be effective as there is a diminished ability to consistently live and work at home while staying connected with information and news.

As we have seen around the world – from China to Europe and now on to the U.S. — the key for fighting the trajectory of this deadly disease is to isolate the population, work remotely and shut down public life as we know it. While this may seem drastic, it is the only way countries have been able to effectively begin to flatten the curve of infections.

And, this cannot work without reliable energy.

Five of the most populous countries in the African subregion –Nigeria, Ethiopia, Congo, Tanzania and Kenya — have acute gaps in electricity access. The grid across those countries is not solving the access to reliable energy and will not be able to do so any time soon. As such, reliable and consistent distributed renewable energy can help in this desperate time of crisis, but only if society moves quickly.

Across the continent, ZOLA Electric is working alongside governments and partners such as Total, DPA and others. ZOLA products are configured to meet any power need – most critically at this time, for hospitals, clinics and for cold storage for food and medicine.

For ZOLA to be effective, two things must happen. First, ZOLA’s work must be deemed an essential service across the countries in which it operates. If it cannot do this, it simply cannot work and bring energy access to communities. Once an essential service, ZOLA is ready to mobilize its supply chain, expand its commercial operations and activate its network of almost 2,000 trained professionals across Africa.

And above all, begin to help hundreds of thousands of people, quickly, safely and efficiently.

Second, ZOLA needs fast access to capital from development institutions, international organizations and multinational corporations, alike. This capital will allow ZOLA to mobilize – unlocking and scaling production. Countries simply do not have time to waste.

With capital and a license to operate, we have a chance to change the direction of this disease and save many lives. What we do in the coming days will determine the course of history.

Find out more about ZOLA Electric, its work and its products, by visiting and following them on all social media platforms @ZOLAelectric.