French energy company EDF and UK solar utility BBOXX have signed a deal to bring off-grid electricity to West African country Togo.

The deal was signed in the Togo capital Lomé in the presence of the President of the Togolese Republic, Faure Gnassignabé, and will form part of a government initiative to supply over 500,000 households with solar home systems by 2030.

BBOXX designs, manufactures, distributes and finances plug & play solar systems to improve access to energy across Africa and the developing world. It has been operating in Togo since 2017 and has supplied electricity to 26,000 people.

The company has opened 20 shops and directly employs around 100 people. The BBOXX solar home systems include solar panels supplied with batteries to store electricity and payable with mobile money. The systems allow customers to power domestic appliances, such as TVs, radios, fans and mobile telephone chargers.

Under the terms of the new agreement, EDF will hold a 50 per cent stake in BBOXX Togo and will supply investment to speed up deployment of the solar home systems, plus technical know-how to improve battery performance.

EDF and BBOXX are aiming for a market share of 35 per cent in Togo by 2024 and are also planning to work together in other African countries.

Mansoor Hamayun, co-founder of BBOXX, said the EDF deal “symbolises the first stepping stone in a strong strategic partnership. It will see us work together to bring smart and sustainable energy solutions and other vital utilities and value-added services to the underserved.”

Valerie Levkov, EDF’s senior vice-president for Africa and the Middle East added that the pact marks a new stage of development for EDF’s off-grid activities in Africa and added that the partnership “fits in with the EDF strategy CAP 2030, whose main purpose is to triple our activities outside Europe”.