Orange, a French multinational telecommunications provider, has signed an agreement with startup Koolboks to introduce solar-powered freezers and refrigerators in 11 African markets, beginning with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to the company, in a continent plagued by power outages and shortages, the solution intends to improve access to key services for millions of individuals who are not connected to an electricity grid.
According to the cooperation agreement, the solution will be supplied on a pay-as-you-go basis through the Orange Energies offer and its digital platform Orange Smart Africa; a split payment method using mobile money.
Koolbots’ freezers and refrigerators will include multiple components such as solar panels, batteries with three-day autonomy, LED lighting, and USB ports for charging various electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
According to Nat-Sy Missamou, senior vice president Africa and Middle East at Orange Energies, the company is committed to making clean and inexpensive energy available to as many people as possible through its pay-as-you-go platform.
“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,” Missamou said in a statement.
Following the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the solar solution will be gradually implemented in Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Orange also intends to enter two more markets in the coming year.
“Koolboks is proud to partner with Orange to distribute our solar freezers,” stated Ayoola Dominic, founder and CEO of Koolboks. ”This invention was created to fill a void by enabling small traders and families to store food and have light in off-grid places.”