Rural Energy Fund
International business telecoms group, Orange, has announced its intentions of expanding its scope of business and will be piloting a number of energy projects in Africa.

Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa (MEA), revealed the development, which includes rural electrification projects, last week during the company’s 4thannual strategy and activity update presented to the media and analysts in London, UK.

The French telecoms corporation stated that as at November 2016, it will be launching its rural electrification programme that will provide affordable solutions, either to individual customers or to collectives who are not currently served by traditional electricity grid.

Rural electrification projects coverage

The pilot scheme will be implemented in select parts of Africa's regions including Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Senegal.

Orange will be providing solar kits or micro-grids to rural communities, with the project planned to run for six months.

The equipment will be wholly subsidised by the group, whilst customers will be able to pay via the Orange Money platform.

Orange to launch smart metering trial for Tunisia

Another project that the telecoms company announced it will be venturing into, is the launch of its smart metering pilot project in Tunisia.

For this venture, the firm will partner with the Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas (STEG).

The pilot is due to run for six months with 100 smart meters installed in residential premises in Tunisia with up to an envisaged four million smart meters when the solution is rolled out commercially across the country, the company stated.

Orange is offering its ‘smart metering as a service’ by building a smart metering infrastructure that connects and manages in a secure and reliable manner, millions of smart meters to help utility companies reduce the cost of reading meters and the risk of fraud or billing errors, the company explained in a statement.

Mettling added: “We are investing for the long term and plan to continue playing a major role in the digital transformation of the region, from providing infrastructure and access to communications services through to developing new models that will help the region grow.”