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Global telecommunications operator, Orange, has announced that it is moving forward in the deployment of its electrification programme for rural zones by launching the service in Burkina Faso.

The telecoms company has pledged to contribute to the challenge of electrifying Africa in countries within its footprint.

To this end the company previously partnered with ENGIE to deploy its services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Madagascar recently.

Commenting on the announcement, Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, said: “Orange wants to be much more than a telecoms operator in Africa. We want to be a provider of essential services for our customers. The development of solutions that allow as many people as possible to access everyday essentials such as sustainable energy is a strong message in this direction.”

Offered in the form of a kit including a solar panel, a battery and accessories (LED lightbulbs, kit to recharge several telephones, a radio and/or television), the equipment is provided by partners (BBOXX in the Democratic Republic of Congo, D Light in Madagascar and Niwa in Burkina Faso) selected by Orange for the quality of their products and their ability to respond to a massive demand.

The solar kits can light up a whole house, charge the household’s mobile phones, and power a radio or even a television, the company underlined. Read more: Rural electrification projects for Africa

“All you need to do is install a solar panel on the roof and a control unit in the house. Users also benefit from a full guarantee from Orange, which covers the entire installation, maintenance and repairs, in conjunction with technical partners,” the company stated.

Services paid for via mobile money

Several packages exist to suit the pace of meach household’s life with daily, weekly or quarterly subscriptions.

The monthly subscriptions start at $15 for example in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Payments are made via Orange Money, making it possible to automatically grant or re-establish the service remotely for the requested period.

The company said in a statement: “A new milestone will be reached in the first quarter of 2018 with the distribution of 12,000 ‘Orange Energie’ kits and the launch of the service in four new countries (Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire) for the Football World Cup in June.”

African Utility Week