Press release: BBOXX Unveils Its Vision for the “Community of the Future” for the Developing World
Friday, April 26, 2019
BBOXX, a next generation utility, launches its new concept called Tomorrow’s Connected Community in Togo today.
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.
Tomorrow’s Connected Community is being rolled out in the rural village of Sikpé Afidégnon in Togo, following its inauguration by the H.E. President Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Republic of Togo.
The entire village comprised of 300 houses and 4,000 people in the south of the country is to be 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.
BBOXX has implemented the concept in Togo alongside EDF, which holds a 50% stake in BBOXX Togo, under the brand “BBOXX avec EDF”. BBOXX and EDF are also engaged with additional innovative international and local partners to make this Togo project a reality.
It 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. All of the services operate through BBOXX Pulse, the company’s comprehensive digital management platform, which manages customer service and product maintenance using data and predictive analytics.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of BBOXX commented: “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. 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.
“This launch equally demonstrates our 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.”
The launch builds on the success of Tomorrow’s Rural Home, which BBOXX unveiled in Kigali, Rwanda, in November 2018. Tomorrow’s Connected Community now takes BBOXX’s vision several steps further – scaling from the Home to this Community, leapfrogging the need for traditional large grid infrastructure.
Cina Lawson, Togo Minister of Postal Affairs and Digital Economy commented: “The vision of His Excellency the President of Togo is to make technological innovation the cornerstone of development. In Sikpé, we are powering a mobile tower with clean and low-cost energy. As a result, inhabitants now have access to electricity to improve their everyday lives and to boost economic activity. By harnessing the Internet of Things, this project will be managed automatically and remotely, offering an excellent quality of service to the community. This demonstrates the crucial role played by technological innovation in economic development.”
Marc Ably-Bidamon, Togo Minister of Mines and Energy commented: “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.
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.”
This launch coincides with BBOXX providing energy to a milestone 12,000 households and positively impacting 60,000 customers in Togo. BBOXX has operated in Togo since December 2017, after being awarded a Togo Government tender to install solar home systems across the country. In 2018, an investment from BEAM, the investment platform created by Bamboo Capital Partners to deliver energy services that will transform lives in emerging markets, further accelerated the growth of BBOXX Togo.
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 addition, 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.
Valerie Levkov, EDF Senior Vice-President in charge of Africa, commented: “We are proud to be actively involved with BBOXX Togo to deliver innovative, CO2-free and life-changing electricity solutions. Mini-grids such as the one we inaugurated today represent a major achievement in accelerating access to electricity in Africa. We do believe it is replicable not only in Togo but more broadly across Africa and we are looking forward to further developing similar solutions elsewhere.”
Photo courtesy of organization.