Wednesday 28th July 2021 – Bboxx, a next generation utility, is partnering via a first-of-a-kind joint venture with Geocoton Advens Group as part of Bboxx’s market entry into Burkina Faso. This is the first step in a long-term strategic partnership that will see the two companies in the future expand clean energy into other countries.
The Burkina Faso government has ambitious plans to ramp up energy access, with electrification rates currently at 18%, falling to 5% for the rural population1. Through this partnership, Bboxx and Geocoton Advens Group aim to positively impact the lives of 2 million people in Burkina Faso through access to clean, reliable and affordable energy. They will employ more than 500 people locally, spurring economic development and local opportunities.
Bboxx will be implementing its tried and tested model, having brought tech-enabled off-grid energy to countries including Rwanda, Kenya, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its comprehensive management platform Bboxx Pulse® enables it to scale energy access to places previously considered too difficult or expensive to reach via traditional grid infrastructure.
The Geocoton Advens Group has been established in Burkina Faso, as in other countries of West and Central Africa, for more than 70 years. It has enabled the development of cotton cultivation by small village farmers, its industrial transformation and its export. It is also very active in the valuation of cotton by-products. It draws on its local expertise and its network of more than 350,000 cotton producers, who have substantial energy needs.
Together they’re targeting energy provision in this established cotton farming market, the wider value chain and distribution networks within these communities, and the broader Burkina Faso population. This comes as instability and insecurity in East and Northeast Burkina Faso is having a big impact on people’s livelihoods2. Bboxx will still be able to provide vital energy access in these areas due to Geocoton Advens Group’s operations in this area, enabling people to generate an income. Despite the pandemic, demand for energy – an essential need – has been strong.
As well as its Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems (SHS), Bboxx will look to introduce additional services in the future like PAYG LPG clean cooking services and solar-powered water pumps for farmers. SHS are more affordable than alternative polluting options. Customers only pay for what they use, which is important for a country where 43% of the population live on less than $1.90 a day3.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx, commented: “While energy access rates in Burkina Faso are very low, the potential to positively impact people’s lives for the better through clean energy is immense. Forging strategic partnerships is core to how we bring together the financing and momentum required to provide millions of people with much-needed clean energy. This market entry is the first of many, and we’ve got an exciting pipeline of activity ahead of us on our mission to transform lives through access to energy.
“As we gear up to COP26, we cannot let our foot off the gas if we are to make meaningful progress on meeting UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 – clean energy for all. Now is the time for even more collaboration, innovation and action. Across the globe, the ‘build back better’ agenda has taken centre stage – but to truly accelerate greener and fairer economic development, we need to bring people out of energy poverty.”
Karim Ait Talb, COO of Geocoton Advens Group said: “The Geocoton Advens Group is delighted to diversify with its partner Bboxx in the provision of solar energy. This aligns with our desire to improve the living conditions of village cotton producers. Providing renewable energy to the rural population is a major challenge, so it is important we take advantage of the technological progress by Bboxx. Bboxx’s innovative technology and proven approach to expanding access to clean energy is something we’re excited to be a part of – and we have been impressed with their progress to date across Africa.
“Together we will help to tackle the challenges faced by many in Burkina Faso. We will help to provide millions of people with energy needed to create greater economic opportunities for farmers and the population of Burkina Faso. We are also looking forward to expanding our partnership with Bboxx into other countries.”
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1 Burkina Faso electrification rates, World Bank
2 Sahel Crisis: Humanitarian Needs and Requirements Overview (April 2021), Relief Web
3Burkina Faso Poverty & Equity Brief, World Bank
Bboxx is a next generation utility, transforming lives and unlocking potential through access to energy. Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries. It is scaling through forging strategic partnerships and its innovative technology Bboxx Pulse®, a comprehensive management platform using IoT technology. Through affordable, reliable, and clean utility provision, Bboxx is bringing people into the digital economy, creating new markets, and enabling economic development in off-grid communities and those living without a reliable grid connection. The company is positively impacting the lives of nearly 2 million people with its products and services in over 27 markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
So far, Bboxx has deployed more than 500,000 solar home systems. Bboxx has over 1000 staff across nine offices including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Togo, with its head office in the UK and its manufacturing operations in China. In 2019, Bboxx was the winner of the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Energy category – testament to the way the company is making a meaningful difference to people’s lives around the world. You can find further information about Bboxx on its website at – https://www.bboxx.com/
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About Geocoton Advens Group
As a fully-integrated operator, the ADVENS Group operates “from the soil to the consumer”. Through GEOCOTON, (former DAGRIS and CFDT) and its subsidiaries, the Group operates across the entire cotton industry from production to marketing, going through processing, logistics and transportation; it has a fully-independent structure across the whole chain. Nowadays, GEOCOTON is operating in more than 15 countries, mainly in Central and West Africa.
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