Orange announced a partnership with energy group ENGIE to collaborate on improving electricity supply in rural Africa, as well as a joint effort to better optimise power supply for its telecoms infrastructure in the region.
Orange, which has presence in 19 countries across Africa and the Middle East, said in a statement it is “keen to take part in such a major challenge to expand the electricity grid in Africa”, and will work with ENGIE, also a French company, to trial a range of domestic power supply solutions for rural populations.
Orange said the solutions, which could include solar kits and small scale local electricity networks, could then be billed via its Orange Money service.
“An estimated 69 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa and 90 per cent of the rural population in the same region have no access to the electricity grid,” said the partners, citing a 2014 BearingPoint study.
The partnership will also expand to addressing Orange’s power supply of its own technical infrastructure in Africa, with ENGIE set to provide its expertise to improve Orange’s telecoms towers efficiency.
Orange said it wants to pursue “its stable and secure power supply program, reduce its energy footprint and contain costs despite rapidly growing energy requirements”.