AFRICA – Pan-African company Baobab+, has just raised US$11.7 million from Norwegian fund Norfund to finance electrification and digitalization in several African countries.

The fundraising will allow the company to develop its markets and expand its network.

The sum will also allow Baobab+ to expand its activities in the southern part of Africa with the main objective of serving one million households over the next five years.

The funding will also facilitate the company’s development in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.

The targeted areas are those with little or no access to electricity and digital technology.

Already present in four countries, Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Madagascar, Baobab+ has equipped 220,000 households and served more than 1,200,000 beneficiaries over the past five years.

Despite the Covid-19 crisis, as of August 2021, Baobab+ has experienced sustained annual growth of 60% in its business and this has supported the decision of donor Norfund to invest US$11.7 million in equity in the leading distributor of solar home systems in West Africa and Madagascar.

Society-oriented services

Baobab+ offers two complementary services: access to electricity and digital technology through the distribution of solar energy, as well as Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) payment support from smartphones.

The company is the first to offer this type of payment facility for smartphones in West Africa and Madagascar.

To achieve this, the company is supported by its parent company, the Baobab microfinance group, a major player in access to financial inclusion in Africa, in partnership with the Samsung group for the installation of a remote digital system to secure the services offered and with various start-ups located in the localities where the company is established.

“Africa will experience an unprecedented demographic explosion in the next ten years. Baobab+ wants to take part in this future revolution, by electrifying and digitizing the rural world in Africa,” said Alexandre Costner, Head of Baobab+.

Investment in solar energy close to the needs of the population is growing rapidly and moreover, the results of Baobab+ seem to confirm this.

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