Michael Davis, the Head of Rural Distribution and Agriculture at M-Kopa Solar. Photo Credit: Michael Davis

Rural Pulse: Policy Makers Demand vs Rural Needs

On Rural Pulse, we spoke with Michael Davis, the Head of Rural Distribution and Agriculture at M-Kopa Solar, a company that provides solar powered energy to rural areas and off-grid customers across East Africa –Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Davis is currently in Tanzania, helping to scale up M-Kopa’s newest market. So far M-Kopa has powered over 500,000 households and believes that more than 2 million people are currently enjoying its services.

Rural Reporters recently had a chat with Davis and we asked him what are the best practice to policy implementation in Africa. Here is his response…


A lot of time, policies for rural areas in Africa are influenced by money that comes from donors – outside sources – and that distorts the outcome of those policies. A lot of policy approaches are influenced by donor money which comes in and you inherently begin to design the outcome based on the desire of the donor as opposed to the best interest of people on the ground.

For instance, if you are providing a service based on people’s demand and if the person who is paying your bills is not on the ground; your business model or activity changes based on the person paying your bills [the donor]. So, people [development workers] are accountable to those in the outside source [donors] as opposed to being accountable to people on the ground.

Products or solutions should be made based on the demands of rural people and not what some organisation or policy makers think is best for them.


What do you think? Please join the conversation in the comment section.

Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and Ventures-Africa.com. She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

Subscribe to our mailing list