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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awards Baobab+ $1.5 million to expand in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), providing access to energy to enable access to financing

West Africa

1 USAID/DIV (https://bit.ly/3MnYG6V), USAID’s open innovation program, recently awarded a grant to Baobab+ (www.BAOBABPlus.com), the leading distributor of solar home systems in West Africa and Madagascar.

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2 Empowering millions of lives with solar energy…

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3 In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the need for access to energy is enormous, with an estimated 9 percent having access to electricity.

4 Many of the 11 million households without electricity rely on expensive and polluting small diesel generators, as well as charcoal and wood.

5 These standard power sources deplete the forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and often require long-distance travel to obtain supplies, a burden that often falls on women and children.

6 Solar energy is an exceptional opportunity for rural households that do not have access to electricity.

7 Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology breaks the cost barrier, allowing the customer to make daily, weekly or monthly payments according to their cash flow to activate their product on the way to obtaining the property.

8 Since its launch in 2021, Baobab+ is currently in the Kinshasa, Kwilu and Kikwit areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and will soon enter Kwango.

9 Baobab+ is located in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Madagascar, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has equipped 250,000 households serving more than 1.5 million beneficiaries in the last six years.

10 …Access to finance and digital!

11 A large proportion of the population in sub-Saharan Africa also lacks access to credit (74% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 80% in Senegal) due to a lack of collateral or credit history to obtain loans.

12 To increase access to finance in sub-Saharan Africa, Baobab+, in partnership with its microfinance parent company, the Baobab Group, complements its energy business by offering nanoloans to clients with a successful track record of repaying their loans for solar products.

13 DIV is also supporting this pilot nanoloan project in Senegal to help reach the bottom of the pyramid; this offer will also be available later in other countries.

14 For Baobab+, access to energy is also a springboard to enable all African households to participate in the digital revolution.

15 In Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali and Madagascar, Baobab+ has pioneered the launch of a PAYG smartphone offer.

16 In association with local startups, Baobab+ offers additional content that meets the needs of its customers, such as e-education, health or small business activity management.

17 To date, Baobab+ has equipped more than 110,000 homes with digital solutions.

18 The pan-African group has proven its strength after the Covid-19 pandemic crisis: in 2021, Baobab+ saw sustained business growth of more than 42% per year.

19 Alexandre Coster, Co-Founder and CEO of Baobab+: “We sincerely thank DIV for their support.

20 This grant was key in our development.

21 It allowed us to expand in the DRC and get started faster.”

22 This press release is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

23 The contents are the responsibility of Baobab+ and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.”

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