By Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx
After many years working across the African continent, we have seen the enormity of the solar opportunity grow alongside rapid population expansion. The investment potential is currently estimated at $24bn by a report unveiled recently at the UK’s African Investment Forum.
The Forum saw government representatives, investors and private companies come together in a hive of activity resulting in multiple deals, all with the aim of furthering the development of the African continent.
Recognising that traditional grid infrastructure is not a viable solution in rural and peri-urban areas, it was very encouraging to hear the Democratic Republic of Congo’s ambitious vision to use the latest technology to improve the country’s energy access and to drive economic growth.
In a signing with Eustache Muhanzi Mubembe, DRC’s Minister of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity, we have pledged to bring affordable, reliable and clean electricity to 10 million citizens – the equivalent to 10% of the population – in the DRC by 2024. In turn, we will be helping to improve the country’s electrification rate from 9% to 30% during President Tshisekedi’s tenure.
So how can we create the urgency that will drive more global private-public partnerships and help deliver electricity to the 600 million people living without it across the continent?
Here, I explore the key question: What is the opportunity in real terms?
What drives our mission is the human impact access to electricity will bring. However, we recognise that we cannot move the dial alone. What’s needed is more partnerships with heads of state who are prepared to meet the practical challenges of electrification goals, large utilities who bring scale and global investors who can share new thinking and technologies.
This is how we will create sustainable change, unlock the potential of underserved communities and ensure a successful socio-economic impact on the African continent.