Tesla Batteries Are Keeping Zimbabwe’s Economy Running

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

By Antony Sguazzin

Zimbabweans are relying on Tesla Inc. to help them pay their bills.

Amid power outages of as long as 18 hours a day, Econet Wireless Ltd., Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile-phone operator, is turning to the Palo Alto, California-based automaker and storable-energy company for batteries that can keep its base stations running. The southern African country faces chronic shortages of physical cash, so almost all transactions are done digitally, and many via mobile phones.

“Telecommunications have become the lifeblood of the economy,” said Norman Moyo, the chief executive officer of Distributed Power Africa, which installs the batteries for Econet. “If the telecom network is down in Zimbabwe, you can’t do any transactions.”

Photo courtesy of Kay McGowan / USAID.

Source: Bloomberg (link opens in a new window)

Technology, Telecommunications