Bboxx partners with major telecommunications operator Orange to connect 150,000 people in DRC to an innovative mini-grid model

Bboxx partners with major telecommunications operator Orange to connect 150,000 people in DRC to an innovative mini-grid model

Bboxx, a super platform providing access to essential products and services, and Orange, a major telecommunications operator, have partnered to launch a new connected community through an ABC model (Anchor Business Community). The mini-grid project helps to accelerate the provision of clean energy access for households across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), transforming lives and unlocking potential for all.

Less than 10% of the population in the DRC has access to electricity currently, making it the country with the largest number of people without access in Africa after Nigeria.

Today’s official opening ceremony for the mini-grid site in Bukavu, in the presence of Théo NGUABIDJE KASI – Governor of Sud Kivu, Laurent Van Houcke – Cofounder of Bboxx & MD Bboxx Capital, Akim Musimwa – Regional Director of Orange DRC, and Idesbald Chinamula – Managing Direct of ANSER, marks the beginning of this new partnership, and the project forms part of Bboxx’s wider Connected Community program.

Together with GoShop, the largest solar EPC company in the DRC, Bboxx has created a joint venture company to build a hybrid mini-grid plant to supply energy to Orange’s telecoms infrastructure. 85% of the energy will be generated through solar panels, connecting the local community around the telecom tower to clean energy solutions and services.

Bboxx aims to connect more than 600 households in Bukavu by the end of 2022, and is working with the rural energy agency to get into a subsidy program that will enable low-income customers to have access to basic energy supply.

Bboxx will also be partnering with Orange Energie to integrate Orange’s Smart Metering platform and Bboxx Pulse®, Bboxx’s proprietary fully integrated operating system. The merger of these technologies will enable the close monitoring of the mini-grids performance and the remote management of customers, including collecting and managing payments through PAYG (pay-as-you-go) solutions.

Using this innovative and cost-effective ABC model, Bboxx plans to launch 24 additional mini-grid projects with Orange across the DRC over the coming months, electrifying 150,000 people by 2024 and directly addressing the electrification challenge in the country.

This partnership is the first of many within Bboxx’s Connected Community programme, which will see the potential delivery of 750 mini-grids and 1 million customers across Africa within the next 5 years.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx, said: “We are incredibly proud to have provided more than 2.5 million people with access to clean energy and other products to date. These kinds of partnerships are vital towards connecting more customers across Africa to essential modern utilities, transforming even more lives and ultimately unlocking more potential. Reaching the UN’s SDG7, clean energy for all, and SDG8, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all, remains central to our mission at Bboxx. We, therefore, look forward to launching additional mini-grid projects in the future, each of which will take us a step closer to reaching these fundamental goals.”

Akim Musimwa, Reginal Director of Grand-KIVU Orange DRC, said: “Orange wants to be much more than a telecom operator in the DRC. The company wants to be a provider of essential services to the population. The development of solutions enabling, as many people as possible to have access to essential daily goods such as sustainable and clean energy, is a strong message towards our company’s ambition. With this project, we are first thinking of the positive impact it will have on the local community with the children being able to do their homework in the evening, the small and medium businesses which will gain in efficiency thanks to having access to a sustainable energy supply for their activities.”

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About Bboxx

Bboxx is a super platform, transforming lives and unlocking potential by providing access to essential products and services. Bboxx has built a fully integrated operating system Bboxx Pulse®, backed by an extensive on-the-ground network to provide goods, services and utilities across Africa. We offer African households, businesses and communities a highly convenient and affordable way to access life-changing solutions, through data-powered logistics and innovative financing methods.

Bboxx is championing the economic development of Africa, accelerating the transition to the digital economy and creating new markets. We are connecting both underserved rural communities and aspiring urban ones with services including clean energy, clean cooking, smartphones, and cash loans, enabling African consumers to unlock their potential. Bboxx is positively impacting the lives of more than 2.5 million people in 11 markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Bboxx has over 3,000 staff across eight countries in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Togo, with its headquarters in the UK and its manufacturing in Asia.

About Bboxx Tomorrow’s Connected Community

Bboxx launched its new concept called Tomorrow’s Connected Community in Togo on 24th April 2019. It brings Bboxx’s mission to life by transforming lives and unlocking the economic potential of entire communities in developing countries through access to energy.

Bboxx Tomorrow’s Connected Community runs on a micro-grid developed by a company-partner to meet higher energy consumption needs, as well as Bboxx’s solar home systems to power households and SMEs. It showcases our complete solution to meet the developing world’s energy challenges. All of the services operate through Bboxx Pulse®, the company’s fully integrated operating system, which manages customer service and product maintenance using data and predictive analytics.

About Orange

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 42.5 billion euros in 2021 and 137,000 employees worldwide on 31 March 2022, including 76,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 278 million customers worldwide on 31 March 2022, including 232 million mobile customers and 24 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 26 countries. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies under the brand Orange Business Services. In December 2019, the Group presented its new « Engage 2025 » strategic plan, which, guided by social and environmental accountability, aims to reinvent its operator model. While accelerating in growth areas and placing data and AI at the heart of its innovation model, the Group will be an attractive and responsible employer, adapted to emerging professions.

Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN). For more information on the internet and on your mobile: www.orange.com, www.orange-business.com or to follow on Twitter: @orangegrouppr.

About GoShop

Founded in Goma in 1980 by Dominique Otjacques, GoShop originally specialized in electromechanical services. Over the years, the family business decided to invest almost entirely in the energy sector by distributing renowned brands of solar products and solutions (Victron Energy, BYD, Fronius, and many others).

For four decades, GoShop has positioned itself as a leader in energy autonomy and efficiency in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company, which has more than 150 professional technicians, continues to innovate by offering its customers a wide range of energy solutions that meet a wide variety of needs and fields of application: Solar mini-grids providing electricity, drinking water and internet (Pay as you go); solar street lights, solar water pumps, hydroelectric applications, etc.

More than just a distributor, we are above all a system integrator of autonomous energy solutions. We supply both companies with high energy requirements and individuals looking for simple and sustainable solutions for their homes in cities or remote areas. For more information about GoShop, please visit goshop.cd

For more information please contact:
Bboxx / Instinctif Partners
Email: bboxx@instinctif.com
Phone: +44 (0) 7457 2064

Contact Orange RDC
Mr Kadis Mbuyi
Phone: +243848421920