DRC: USAID grants $1.5 million for electrification via solar kits

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DRC: Usaid grants $1.5m for electrification via solar kits © Usaid

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing $1.5 million in funding to the French company Baobab+. The funds are intended for electrification via solar home systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Baobab+ is receiving support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the development of its activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The U.S. financial institution is providing a $1.5 million grant to be used for the electrification of households via solar home systems. This is a boost for the French company that launched on the DRC market of solar home systems in 2021.

And in this vast Central African country, the challenge of electrification is great. With a population estimated at 107 million by the World Bank, the DRC has an electricity access rate of only 9% according to Power Africa, one of the lowest on the African continent. And in rural areas, 95% of people still do not have access to electricity. Among the solutions favored in this context of energy poverty are off-grid solar systems, particularly solar home systems.

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Baobab+ distributes its equipment through a pay-as-you-go system that helps reduce the financial barriers to accessing electricity in rural areas. The company began operations in the DRC in the provinces of Kinshasa, Kwilu, and Kwango. The grant from USAID is “crucial to our development, it has allowed us to launch our activities in the DRC more quickly and on a larger scale,” says Alexandre Coster, Baobab+’s co-founder, president and CEO.

USAID provided the funding through its Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program, which aims to finance innovation “to address the world’s most intractable development problems. Baobab+, which benefits from this initiative, has already provided access to electricity via its solar home systems to 1.5 million people mainly in Madagascar, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and the DRC.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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