25 Nov 2020

DRC: EIF OGEF Lends $4m to Bboxx for Electrification Via Solar Home Systems

25 Nov 2020  by Jean Marie Takouleu   

UK company Bboxx obtains a $4 million loan from the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund of the Energy Inclusion Facility (EIF OGEF). The funding will enable the company to distribute solar home systems in at least three provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Bboxx is expanding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The solar home systems provider is obtaining funding from the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund of the Energy Inclusion Facility (EIF OGEF). The $4 million loan is for electrification via solar home systems in the DRC, in line with Bboxx’s commitment to the authorities a few months ago to electrify 10 million people in the coming years.

The solar home systems supplier will use the funds for its operations in the provinces of Kivu, Ituri and Tshopo. The new loan from EIF OGEF is a second financing to Bboxx for its activities in Africa. In May 2019, the London (UK) based company secured $8 million for its development in Rwanda.

The new loan will strengthen its market share in the DRC, the largest country on the African continent (with a surface area of 2,345 million km², editor’s note) where the rate of access to electricity is only 19% according to the World Bank’s 2018 report. Beyond the difficult access to rural areas, the Central African country represents a strong potential for suppliers of decentralised solar systems.

“We have significant and proven operations in the DRC, having signed an important Memorandum of Understanding with the DRC government earlier this year. As we embark on the next phase of our ambitious growth path, we look forward to making good use of these funds by helping to transform even more lives and unlocking potential through access to clean energy,” promises Mansoor Hamayun, Bboxx’s CEO and co-founder.

For the record, the OGEF EIF is a $100 million blended debt fund that provides primarily secured financing to support the growth of innovative companies in the off-grid energy sector. Managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP), the fund draws on the Energy Inclusion Facility (EIF), a debt financing facility for small-scale electricity access projects, capitalized by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other development finance institutions as well as commercial investors.

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