BBOXX, a next generation utility has launched its new concept called Tomorrow’s Connected Community in the rural village of Sikpé Afidégnon Togo, which will see the entire village, comprising 300 houses and 4,000 people, in the south of the country powered by solar electricity, including, streetlights, households, schools and small shops. The community can also access other utility products and services, such as clean cooking solutions, internet services and water pumps.
The new concept 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 has implemented the concept in Togo alongside EDF Group, an integrated electricity company, which holds a 50 percent stake in BBOXX Togo, under the brand “BBOXX avec EDF”. The concept is run on a micro-grid developed by General Electric to meet higher energy consumption needs, as well as BBOXX’s solar home systems to power households and SMEs. It showcases BBOXX’s complete solution to meet the developing world’s energy challenges.
“Tomorrow’s Connected Community demonstrates our ability to supply electricity and other essential utilities to not only individual households, but to entire communities and businesses,” said Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of BBOXX.
“By working with partners, we can truly deliver a decentralised and digitalised future in the developing world at scale. We have shown what can be possible and we look forward to rolling this “community of the future” out across other locations globally.”
Hamayun noted that the launch demonstrates BBOXX’s commitment to managing rapid urbanisation and meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 to create sustainable cities and communities – in addition to the other 10 out of 17 SDGs to which BBOXX is also contributing.
“This marks an important stride towards our vision of achieving 100% electrification for the first time on the continent and beyond,” Hamayun said.
The Togo launch builds on the success of Tomorrow’s Rural Home, which BBOXX unveiled in Kigali, Rwanda, in November 2018.
Marc Ably-Bidamon, Togo Minister of Mines and Energy while commenting on the launch noted that “the concept of “Tomorrow’s Connected Community” demonstrates further collaboration between the digital economy, technology and energy sectors.
“Thanks to the energy supply provided by the telecom towers, the inhabitants of the village now have access not only to electricity, but also to internet and additional value-added services,” Ably-Bidamon said.
“Our vision and top priority is to provide access to electricity for all by 2030, while using environmentally friendly means. This is why we put a particular emphasis on solar energy. Thanks to the combination of different technology that include solar kits and mini-grids and the extension of the current network, our ambition is to increase the electrification rate of Togo to 50% in 2020, 75% in 2025 and 100% by 2030,” the minister added.
BBOXX Togo has scaled rapidly: from 1,000 households in April 2018 to 12,000 today and has created 260 local jobs and opened 20 shops in five regions. In March 2019, the Government of Togo launched the first government subsidy for customers to spend on solar energy, as part of the Togo Government’s national electrification strategy, which will help to overcome energy poverty.
The EDF Group supports BBOXX development by contributing commercial resources, technological know-how in battery performances, as well as its on-the-ground experience in developing off-grid solutions in several African countries.