CAPE TOWN - Solar energy company Fenix International said on Thursday it was establishing its global headquarters in Uganda and moving its engineering and technology development centre from San Francisco to there, becoming one of the first international companies to have its base in the East African country.
In a statement, Fenix International, which is part of global energy group ENGIE, said the new headquarters would cement its role as a major employer in the region and support its ambitious Pan-African expansion plans.
Fenix currently employs over 350 people in Uganda, providing off-grid energy to more than 1 million people. By 2020, it plans to employ 2,000 people, over 500 of whom will be based in Uganda. The Uganda headquarters will support operations in 12 countries around the world, in Eastern, Western and Southern Africa, as well as China and the United States.
As well as moving senior leadership roles to Uganda, Fenix said it would also invest in expanding specialist technology teams with both hardware and software skills. It said the move would also create entry-level roles and jobs for younger people.
Uganda has the world’s youngest population, with 78 percent of the population aged under 30, providing a huge pool of talent to empower Fenix’s growth plans.
The company said Uganda had topped Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s list of most entrepreneurial countries in recent years.
Fenix said it was further investing in the growing ecosystem of talent, entrepreneurs and industry bodies in the region. The company's lease-to-own solar energy offering is used by many customers who are living off-grid to power businesses.
Fenix said it was committed to making a long-term impact in the country and had developed a unique inclusive employee ownership programme to ensure all team members benefitted from the company’s success.
Fenix is a next-generation, end-to-end renewable energy company whose operations include design, manufacturing, sales, financing and customer service. Its flagship product, ReadyPay Power, is an expandable, lease-to-own home solar system.
Lyndsay Handler, Fenix International chief executive said: “Fenix’s approach has always been centred around the customer, and officially moving our headquarters to Uganda means even more of our employees will be close to our end customers.
"We chose Uganda after a considered review and analysis of multiple locations across the continent, including several other countries in the East Africa region."
Handler said Uganda’s inspiring 2030 vision focused around the transformative power of new technologies and business development. "We want to play a major role in Uganda’s thriving business ecosystem. The quality of the country’s universities, the government’s renewed focus on ease of doing business and the support we have received from the government and President Museveni to date, make Uganda a fantastic but often underestimated place to do multinational business. We hope that our move will encourage other global companies to do the same.”
- African News Agency (ANA)