TOGO – Bboxx, a Pay as you go solar provider, and the Government of Togo, represented by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation, have announced the first ever Memorandum of Understanding) to sell smartphones in Togo on “Pay-As-You-Go” basis.

The MoU will improve digital inclusion and the delivery of digital public services through deployment of smartphones in Togo.

The programme will follow three phases with the rollout of handsets expected in 2022, as part of the “Togo Smartphone” initiative.

Phase 1 will focus on delivering sophisticated market research, capturing important insights regarding customer preferences and requirements, including data plans and hardware.

Phase 2 will see smartphones made available, on salary deduction or “Pay-As-You-Go” basis, to civil servants and public sector workers to incentivise the transition to digital public service delivery.

Phase 3 will see smartphones made available to the Togolese public via affordable financing options like “Pay-As-You-Go”.

Signed in the Togolese capital, Lomé, between Honourable Minister Cina Lawson and Bboxx Managing Director of the Capital Division, Laurent Van Houcke, the MoU follows the Government of Togo’s prioritisation of making the digital economy a lever to accelerate development of priority sectors.

Under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation, the country has more than doubled mobile broadband access over the last five years, introduced competition into the telecommunications sector and attracted significant private investment. A new Strategy ‘Togo Digital 2025’ is currently being implemented to drive these ambitions further.

“Increasing adoption of high-quality smartphones is paramount for reaching the goals we have set for Togolese financial inclusion and delivery of digital services to the public,” Honourable Minister of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation, Cina Lawson said.

“We also believe they have an important role to play in increasing the productivity of our public sector workers, who have delivered so much even through the recent trials of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bboxx is the ideal partner and with their support we look forward to making smartphones more affordable and available all over our country.”

The announcement also complements the Government of Togo’s emphasis on digital public service delivery, including the Novissi digital cash transfer program which has received global acclaim.

Novissi’s success is enabled by the rapid take up of mobile services in Togo, which has more than tripled in recent years, alongside an exponential growth in internet penetration.

The MoU also continues Bboxx’s track record in Togo since first entering the market in 2017. In 2018, Bboxx and EDF entered a partnership, a joint venture, with EDF holding a 50% stake in Bboxx’s Togo operations, operating under the brand “Bboxx avec EDF” in Togo.

“We are delighted to see a deepening of our partnership with the Togolese Government to make smartphones available to the country by leveraging our brand, unique distribution network and growing customer base of over 55,000 households,” Bboxx CEO, Mansoor Hamayun said.

“This landmark MOU signals our commitment to transform lives and unlock potential and we are excited to leverage our scalable technology and decentralised network to help the Togolese Government accelerate access to the digital economy.”

To date in Togo, Bboxx EDF has positively impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people through provision of access to solar energy, through a partnership with the Government of Togo under the flagship ‘CIZO’ Initiative.

Bboxx avec EDF solar home systems are provided on a Pay-As-You-Go basis using mobile money, and supported through an innovative digital subsidy, the ‘CIZO Cheque’.