Orange will expand its solar power offering in Africa, bringing a cost effective, reliable energy source to thousands of people across the continent

Orange is expanding its plan to bring solar energy to a swathe of countries across the African continent. Following successful implementation of the sustainable energy initiative in The Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar, Orange will now widen its remit to include Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, Guinea and The Ivory Coast. 

“Orange wants to be much more than a telecoms operator in Africa. We want to be a provider of essential services for our customers. The development of solutions that allow as many people as possible to access everyday essentials such as sustainable energy is a strong message in this direction,” Bruno Mettling, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, told journalists at the Africa CEO Forum in The Ivory Coast.

“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,” he added. 

More than 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity at home, a statistic that is stunting development across the continent, particularly in telecommunications markets. In a recent interview with Total Telecom, Bruno Mettling said that in many African markets, customers pay more for the electricity they use to charge their phone, than the mobile phone tariff itself. Providing a clean, sustainable and cost-effective energy source for its African customers is therefore a key priority for Orange. 

Orange is rolling out thousands of Orange Energie kits across the continent. Comprised of a solar panel, battery and numerous accessories, the kits can generate enough power to light a house, charge a family’s mobile phones and power a television or radio. 

Subscription to the service starts at $15 per month in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Orange hopes to roll out 12,000 Energie Kits by the end of the first quarter of 2018 across the continent.