BrightLife: Increasing Access to Smartphones in Africa
In Uganda, where nearly 60 percent of the population lives without access to electricity, FINCA International’s BrightLife program is increasing access to solar and clean energy alternatives. Additionally, BrightLife offers innovative financing and pricing structures to enable more people at lower income levels to obtain these life-changing products. Recently, in addition to the solar lighting and clean cookstoves it already offers, BrightLife expanded its product line and is now offering smartphones in Africa.
BrightLife’s Smartphone Offerings
In June of 2022, BrightLife added two smartphone models to its product line. Each model features a 6+ inch screen, a quality camera, GPS, fingerprint sensor and more. However, what has set BrightLife’s product apart from many competitors is the flexible payment options. Taking the strategy they use for their solar and cookstove products, BrightLife’s smartphone customers also have the option to finance their phone and pay at a pace they are comfortable with through a pay-as-you-go payment plan. This enables more people to afford a smartphone despite not having a lump sum to pay for it outright.
Shortly after launching their smartphones, BrightLife also added another unique offering to its repertoire. Recognizing that their existing cookstove products have the capability to charge phones, BrightLife created a “bundle” that offers a new smartphone and cookstove together at a discounted rate. Purchasing this bundle ensures that a customer living without access to electricity will still have a reliable way to charge their phone, in addition to all of the added benefits that come with a clean cookstove.
How Smartphones in Africa Contribute to the Fight Against Poverty
It’s no surprise that mobile phones play a large role in the fight against poverty. A phone can increase communication between family members, improve access to jobs, open up new business opportunities, and provide access to other essential resources. And smartphones can open up even more opportunity through increased access to the internet and information, as well as various useful apps and programs that aren’t available on regular basic feature phones. With BrightLife now offering smartphones to customers, they have the potential to reach even more people with their life-changing products.