Bboxx customers in Togo receive first ever government subsidy for solar payments in Africa
London, United Kingdom – 1 March 2019 – From today, Bboxx customers in Togo will receive a subsidy to spend on solar energy – in what is the first government subsidy for the purpose of solar energy payments in Africa.
Dubbed the “CIZO Cheque”, households with BBOXX solar home systems will be granted a monthly subsidy of 2,000 FCFA (c.4$) over a three-year period. Bboxx’s solar home systems are available to customers via mobile money on a pay-as-you-go basis. This subsidy will encourage people to opt for clean solar energy as opposed to kerosene – contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goal 7*.
Bboxx is a next generation utility transforming lives through affordable utility provision. The company has been operating in Togo since December 2017, after being awarded a tender to install 300,000 solar home systems by 2022 across the country, largely in rural areas. In 2018, Bboxx and EDF entered a partnership with EDF holding a 50% stake in Bboxx’s Togo operations, operating as the brand “Bboxx avec EDF” in Togo – accelerating investment and deployment of off-grid electricity.
Less than a fifth of Togo’s rural population has access to electricity, which is a major stumbling block to economic development. The “CIZO Cheque” will first focus on 11 regions in Togo with the lowest electrification rates, and this forms part of the Togo Government’s national electrification strategy, the “CIZO” initiative – which means lighting up in the local “Guin” language.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx commented: “This pioneering initiative is a major stride forward in tackling a key obstacle to achieving universal electrification in Africa – this being that many customers are still living in poverty. Overcoming energy poverty is the first step in overcoming poverty as a whole – as access to electricity brings people into the digital economy and fosters financial inclusion.
“This innovative solar subsidy is a key component along the path to achieving 100% electrification at scale, and will have a positive knock-on effect to the wider Togolese economy. Access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity has transformational benefits for individuals, communities and SMEs as electricity provides the basic pre-requisite for access to all other modern amenities.”
Marc Ably-Bidamon, Togo Minister of Energy commented: “Access to electricity is a basic need and the Government of Togo is committed to achieving 100% access for all by 2030, by ensuring that no one is left behind. The CIZO Cheque will provide Togolese rural households with access to high quality solar home systems at an affordable price.”
“In the context of achieving Paris Agreement, we believe that access to clean electricity for all is an effective way to fight global warming. With private sector partnerships, good regulation and public policy, we are confident that we will achieve our goal by 2030.”
Notes to editors
*The UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
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