NAIROBI– Solar energy investment and partnerships between African and British companies will be a top item of discussion when British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives here Thursday with a British business delegation on an official visit to Kenya.

The Prime Minister will be joined by a business delegation made up of 29 representatives from businesses in the United kingdom in the first visit by a British Prime Minister in the last 30 years.

According to Simon Bransfield-Garth, the chief executive officer of Azuri Technologies, who will be part of the delegation, the business delegation visiting Nairobi will include solar innovation companies seeking to secure local partnerships to create transformative change through local opportunities in the solar energy industry.

The visit highlights both the existing relationships between British companies and countries in Africa and the opportunities for the future. Africa has some of the fastest growing economies in the world and British businesses are ideally placed to support this growth and improve the lives of millions of consumers, including through power generation, he added.

Azuri Technologies has been a leading provider of pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid consumers based in the UK and across East Africa, working with major local partner companies to bring solar power at scale to off-grid households, including the provision of seamless solar-powered satellite TV providing more than 50 satellite channels.

In addition to providing power, to date Azuri has created over 5,000 new jobs via partner companies to sell, support and maintain solar home systems, said Bransfield-Garth.

With more than 600 million people in Africa still having no access to electricity and many located in regions where the cost of rolling out grid electricity is prohibitively expensive, Azuri has been selling its innovative solar home solutions, delivering reliable, renewable and distributed power on an affordable pay-as-you-go basis.

Solar power has been shown to have powerful economic and social benefits. Studies show solar households on average increased their income by 35 US dollars per month while children in solar-powered homes were able to study for up to 90 minutes longer in the evenings, compared with households with conventional fuel lamps.