Pivoting perceptions of poverty: how access to services – not charity – transforms African communities

Pivoting perceptions of poverty: how access to services – not charity – transforms African communities

Thursday 11th May 2023 – Poverty has many definitions, but is widely viewed as a financial metric in today’s wealth-driven society. However, for many families and communities, it is not only a problem of affordability but of accessibility to goods and services that most people take for granted. Limited access to essential utilities like electricity, clean cooking, and the internet significantly impacts the lives of millions of people across Africa, impeding a community’s development and the quality of life of its inhabitants.

Traditional charity models most often focus on addressing financial poverty. These are noble and important but do not, I believe, provide a sustainable, empowering solution to African communities. Charity may provide a short-term fix; however, considerable financial investment is required to achieve a long-term solution for these communities and to hit the 2023 targets set by the United Nations (UN) in their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We are now over halfway through the fifteen-year period allocated to solving the SDGs, but progress has been hampered in the past three years by the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and subsequent spiralling inflation from higher food and energy prices. Given this slowdown in progress, any significant impact on the results can only come from existing companies and organisations.

Investment needs to be channelled into organisations, like Bboxx, that can sustainably scale to meet the SDGs and deliver the affordable products these communities need, whilst also delivering positive environmental change through the use of renewable and leapfrogging technologies. This has positive outcomes for all parties involved.

By providing easy and affordable access to essential products in a commercial manner through its super platform model, Bboxx enables communities to tackle the challenges they face in a long-lasting, self-sustaining, and meaningful way. Providing easy and affordable access to these services can empower and transform lives and create lasting change in underserved communities in a much more sustainable and impactful manner than simply providing financial aid.

As an example, access to electricity and the internet are crucial factors in improving educational and employment outcomes and breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Without reliable electricity, studying after dark becomes a challenge, and the lack of internet access limits opportunities for learning and growth. By giving communities access to these resources, we are helping individuals unlock their full potential and pursue a brighter future.

Or, take clean air. Our ability to breathe unpolluted air in our own homes is critical for health outcomes: smoke from traditional cooking methods such as wood and charcoal can cause respiratory problems and other health issues, placing a heavy burden on families and healthcare infrastructure. Clean cooking appliances, powered by clean-gas LPG, promote healthier living conditions for millions of people and reduce the lost productivity these communities face as a result of avoidable health issues.

And, perhaps most crucially, underserviced (often rural) communities can grow their own businesses because we provide access to transport infrastructure, electricity, the internet, and financial services like loans and flexible payment methods. This leads to economic empowerment and financial independence, allowing even the poorest individuals to gain a foothold and improve their lives and the lives of their families and communities.

Accessibility is key: since these products and services are available on a subscription basis, Bboxx customers have the ability to flex how they pay whether monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly to meet their individual needs.

As a result, we believe that every dollar invested in Bboxx has a more significant impact on tackling poverty in Africa than a dollar donated to charity.

To date we have positively impacted the lives of 3.5 million people by providing access to clean electricity, clean cooking, smart phones and cash loans for African households, businesses and communities. By investing in access to essential services, we are creating a multiplier effect that goes beyond financial poverty, addressing the root causes of deprivation and equipping communities with the tools they need to thrive.

But don’t just take our word for it – you can find testimonials from our customers on our website.

It is time to shift the narrative from one where we merely address financial poverty to one where we empower underserviced communities to drive their own transformation through access to essential services. Companies like Bboxx are paving the way by providing innovative solutions that have the potential to transform lives and promote sustainable development in regions that need it most. We are proud to champion the economic empowerment of Africa, transforming lives and unlocking potential one life-changing service at a time.

Mansoor Hamayun
Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of Bboxx

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About Bboxx

Bboxx is a super platform, transforming lives and unlocking potential by providing access to essential products and services across Africa. 

Bboxx is championing the economic empowerment 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, e-mobility and selected financial products, enabling African consumers to unlock their potential. 

We offer our customers a highly convenient and affordable way to access life-changing solutions, through last mile logistics and data-powered innovative financing methods. Bboxx has built a fully integrated operating system, Bboxx Pulse®, backed by an extensive on-the-ground distribution network, to offer our services on a pay-as-you-go basis to households, businesses and communities. 

Following the successful acquisition of solar energy frontrunner PEG Africa, Bboxx is now positively impacting the lives of more than 3.5 million people in 10 operating markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Bboxx and its group of companies is one of the largest networks in Africa, with over 4,000 staff across Africa and offices in the UK, and Asia.

For more information please contact:
Bboxx / Impact & Influence
Email: bboxx@impactandinfluence.global