France’s Orange distributes solar panel kits in Africa

Orange AfricaOrange SA said it would distribute solar panel kits in certain African countries, in a move to potentially gain customers in emerging economies amidst a price war with low-cost rivals in its home markets

Orange will partner with the UK-based renewable energy company BBOXX to distribute solar panel kits, which consist of a solar panel, a battery and other accessories such as LED lights and phone chargers.

The company has been locked in a telecom price war with low-cost player Iliad in its home market and has been looking at alternate revenue streams with its venture into lending last year in October.

The telecom major said it would launch the service in Burkina Faso, and expects to expand the service to Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire by the football world cup in June.

Africa, which has a population of about 1.2bn, faces severe energy deficits and frequent power outages. Countries have been looking to beef up their production through solar energy projects.

“We think first and foremost of children who will be able to do their homework in the evening, but also of professionals who will gain in efficiency thanks to more readily available energy,” Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, said.

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