27 March 2019

Rwanda: President Gnassingbé Commends BBOXX on 'Rural Home' Project

Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, yesterday, commended BBOXX on their vision of 'Tomorrow's Rural Home 2025' located in Bugesera District.

He made the comments while visiting the house that captures the aspirations of a rural family that wants affordable utilities to improve their quality of life.

President Gnassingbé, who was in the country to attend the Africa CEO Forum, commended the initiative as "unbelievable" and a "solid solution" to off-grid areas.

The President witnessed first hand one of BBOXX's innovations towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7.

Gnassingbé was accompanied by Rwanda's Minister for Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete, the Mayor of Bugesera District, Richard Mutabazi, the Head of the Energy Division in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Robert Nyamvumba, among others. The home is equipped with solar-powered electricity and other utilities necessary to give people in off-grid areas an on-grid experience.

Other products and services include a pay-as-you-go solar energy system for households and micro businesses, affordable internet service bundled with internet-enabled devices, LPG gas stove and canisters and biogas, all available on a pay-as-you-go basis.

It also has rainwater harvesting and water purifiers so that the beneficiaries have water to use at home and to irrigate a vegetable garden.

A model to duplicate

Speaking to The New Times after the visit, Gatete applauded BBOXX for their vision behind Tomorrow's Rural Home model saying it would be duplicated in rural parts, where on-grid electricity is yet to be rolled out.

"The model is very important because it is integrated. You have light, a TV set, internet, biogas, and irrigation from the same provider, which is cheaper than getting each independently.

He added: "Most importantly, it is smart, comprehensive and highly integrated. That is why the model is a unique off-grid solution. It is only from BBOXX that we are seeing this kind of model," the minister said.

Gatete said that the model should not only be for poor people since ordinary people can combine it with on-grid electricity."We hereby encourage BBOXX to see how they can duplicate this solution in other parts of the country. We want effective off-grid solutions that solve people's problems."

Next generation utility

According to Justus Mucyo, the BBOXX Rwanda Managing Director, the solutions will be rolled out in different parts of the country as part of efforts to make BBOXX a next generation utility.

"We are really proud to be benefiting from the Global Innovation Centre in Kigali. It allows us to be very fast in interacting with these technologies and accelerating the push to be a reliable and trustworthy next generation utility," Mucyo said.

"We have accessed and gone to the doorsteps of most underserved customers in rural areas. The reality is that those rural customers want a lifestyle that all of us in urban areas have.

"To do that we have to be innovative and use technology to bring services and solutions to them," Mucyo said, adding that BBOXX was working with different partners to make this a reality.

BBOXX has connected over 75,000 customers to off-grid electricity.

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