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Next generation utility BBOXX has signed a pioneering deal with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which will bring renewable electricity to 2.5 million citizens in the DRC by 2020.

The government’s Energie pour Tous initiative, which puts off-grid solar at the heart of solving the significant energy access issue in the country, has made a significant stride forward with this collaboration.

The government programme aims to support national rural electrification through off-grid solar kits and mini-grids, recognising that traditional grid infrastructure is not a viable solution in rural areas. Read more: DRC welcomes innovative payment model

According to a company statement, under the agreement the government is providing an import tax exemption on the solar equipment. This will reduce the overall price of installing solar energy systems in the country, making it easier to reach the end customer.

BBOXX’s smart solar home systems are remotely monitored using cloud-based technology, this data-driven proactive customer service is ideally suited to the DRC where remote communities are spread across vast locations.

Rolling out solar systems

The roll-out of the solar systems will create 10,000 jobs in the central Africa country as part of this partnership. The solar systems will be distributed through BBOXX’s network, as well as with BBOXX’s distribution partner in Kinshasa, Orange Energie.

Laurent Van Houcke, chief operations officer and co-founder of BBOXX, said, “It is really encouraging to see the government in the DRC recognise off-grid energy solutions as instrumental to providing electricity to its citizens.

“The government has provided the right regulatory framework and tariff policies that has allowed private companies like BBOXX to work effectively in the country’s energy industry for the benefit of its citizens.”

The Minister of Rural Development in DRC, Bitakwira Bihona-Hayi Justin said: “The private sector has a key role to play in the off-grid electrification of the DRC. The DRC has passed a law in 2014 to completely privatise the energy sector to attract private investors.”