A committed multi-service operator, Orange has signed a strategic partnership with the startup Koolboks to provide freezing and refrigeration solutions in 12 African countries. The solution will be distributed through the Orange Energies offer which was launched five years ago with the ambition of facilitating access to energy through digital solutions.
On a continent where 600 million Africans do not have access to electricity, this partnership aims to make essential services accessible to as many people as possible.
Koolboks offers both professionals and individuals refrigerators and freezers that are equipped with solar panels and batteries ensuring up to three days of total autonomy. The solar equipment also includes LED bulbs and USB ports, which make it possible to charge various electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
This new product will provide families with lighting, and will enable them to generate additional income by opening small businesses (such as local shops or hairdressers). By enabling greater autonomy, the service will ultimately contribute to the development of local communities.
Koolboks solar freezers will be first marketed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and soon in the 11 other countries where Orange Energies is deployed. Thanks to its digital platform, Orange Smart Energies, Orange Energies allows households not otherwise connected to the electricity grid to acquire solar-energy solutions on a pay-as-you-go basis. Thanks to a split payment system, thousands of families will be able to use Orange Money over their mobile phones to pay for the service and become owners of solar installations and the equipment connected to them. They can then use this to provide lighting, to conserve food and development commercial activities.
Through this partnership, Orange will become the first telco operator to sign an agreement of this scale contributing to the development of income-generating activities (AGR) in rural areas through clean electrification solutions. Such solutions are aligned with the seventh goal of the United Nations Sustainable Development objectives.
Nat-Sy Missamou, Senior Vice President Africa and Middle East at Orange Energies, said, “Since 2018, Orange Energies has been a partner for all energy producers. Alongside solar power producers, national electricity operators and minigrid managers, we are deploying our pay-as-you-go platform, Orange Smart Energies, to make clean and affordable energy accessible to as many people as possible. This partnership marks our entry into a new phase in which our ambition, after giving access to essential services, is to allow families to take control of the development of their communities. This partnership marks the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.”
Ayoola Dominic, founder and CEO of Koolboks, said, “Koolboks is proud to partner with Orange to distribute our solar freezers. This product was designed to meet a need, and allow small traders, families to store food and have light in off-grid areas. With this partnership, we will be able to offer this luxury in many countries and regions simultaneously.”
Orange Energies is now present in 12 countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone and plans to launch its activities in two new countries by 2024.