FEATURED: Off-grid communities set to benefit from solar powered rural homes

Providing affordable utilities to off-grid communities in Rwanda is the next priority for BBOXX as it transitions from  a solar company to a next-generation utility provider that seeks to enable a rural customer to live a healthier, wealthier and more productive life. The development was announced at the launch of Tomorrow’s Rural Home, a vision of a rural home in 2025, powered by BBOXX and select partners. The launch was part of the Unlocking Solar Conference that was held in Kigali recently. This new venture will use technology to distribute electricity, gas and other life-changing services to the most remote areas in Rwanda. The basic services will be made affordable to rural households using pay-as-you-go (PAYG) technology.

Located in Nyamata district, the house was showcased to investors, Government officials, partners and guests in a bid to create an integrated solution for rural areas that are affected by lack of access to energy utilities. It is equipped with all essential domestic equipment including, among others, cooking bio-gas, internet and solar irrigation pumps. The house captures the aspiration of off-grid communities, who want affordable utilities to improve their quality of life. Smart, sustainable, local building materials and design are combined with BBOXX’s products and services to bring the on-grid experience in an off-grid setting. It also uses a smart technology management platform which monitors and solves problems of affordability, awareness, distribution & quality assurance.

Officials from BBOXX noted that off-grid technology shouldn’t be a temporary solution but a more affordable and sustainable solution for rural areas. In his remarks, Mansoor Hamayun, the Chief Executive Officer said that off-grid energy captures the ambitions of rural households who need affordable utilities to improve the quality of their lives.

“It is unacceptable that access to basic needs such as reliable electricity, cooking gas, and internet is difficult for many rural households and businesses across the developing world. Our vision is to deliver a whole range of these vital utilities to those without them. ” Hamayun said.

He further added that the home is a reflection of their strategy to broaden from being a provider of solar home systems to a multi-utility company transforming the lives of underserved households in the developing world. He believes such a transition can deliver an unrecognizable improvement in the quality of life for rural households by 2025. Patrick Gaincko, one of the guests at the launch said that the project has the potential to transform the lives of people in rural areas, underscoring that Rwanda is a country which has enormous investment opportunities. His counterpart Ruud Decks from Netherland appreciated the environmental friendly model of the house as well as the flexible payment model that will help beneficiaries to live an affordable and healthy lifestyle.

Robert Nyamvumba, the Energy Division Manager at Ministry of Infrastructure, who was also the Guest of Honor acknowledged BBOXX’s contribution to the development of the country, saying their services have brought significant changes to the progress of the country.

Nyamvumba said that the government will keep on attracting more investors to invest in projects that impact the lives of people. BBOXX has so far connected 50,000 households to electricity through its off-grid solar project.

Together with its partners; Water Access Rwanda, Axiom, Earth Enable, Sun Culture and Home Biogas, they maintain that such a positive change is vital for the wellbeing of the rural customer. The rural home also encompasses all aspects of living in a rural household; from a mosquito repellent gauze placed over windows to a virtual reality smartphone app to access agricultural advice.

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