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Baobab+ Secures US$1.5 Million Grant from USAID to Expand Its Solar Installation in Congo

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French renewable energy company Baobab+ has received funding of $1.5 million from USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV). The funds will be utilized by Baobab+ to expand access to energy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) via solar home systems.

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The DIV is an open innovation program of USAID that tests and scales creative solutions to various global challenges through investment in breakthrough innovations driven by rigorous evidence. 

The need for access to energy in the DRC is enormous, with an estimated 9% having access to electricity. Most of the 11 million households without access to electricity rely on polluting diesel generators, as well as wood and charcoal. These standard power sources are depleting the forests of the country and often require long-distance travel by the people to obtain supplies.

Among the solutions favored in this context of energy poverty are solar home systems, which is an excellent opportunity for households that have no access to electricity. Baobab+ will distribute solar kits to these households with the help of the USAID’s fund.

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The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) technology of Baobab+ breaks down the cost barrier as it allows the customers to make payments on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, according to their cash flow, and activate their product towards gaining ownership.

Alexandre Coster, the Co-founder & CEO of Baobab+, mentioned the grant as a key support in their development in the DRC. This will allow Baobab+ to expand in the country quickly and provide access to clean electricity via solar home systems.

Baobab+ has spread its business in African countries like Côte d’Ivoire, the DRC, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, etc. The French company has equipped 250,000 households serving nearly 1.5 million people in the past six years. It also complements its energy business by offering nano loans to customers with successful repayments of their solar product loans.

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