Bboxx Rwanda launches Flexx by Bboxx

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Bboxx Rwanda launches Flexx by Bboxx
Bboxx Rwanda launches Flexx by Bboxx

Africa-Press – Rwanda. Bboxx Rwanda, a next-generation utility, has launched a new entry-level brand, “Flexx by Bboxx”, to provide affordable, reliable, and flexible clean energy solutions to those at the bottom of the energy ladder.

The launch of “Flexx by Bboxx,” the latest addition to Bboxx’s wide range of products, took place on the sidelines of this year’s Sustainable Energy for All Forum.

The new product, dubbed “Isange” aims to power communities living in off-grid areas with access to clean and affordable energy. To emphasize the product’s target niche, it was designed with the rural customer in mind and comes with minimal installation requirements that allow customers to quickly power their homes with multiple lights, and charge their mobile phones and other home appliances like radios.

Speaking at the launch, the Managing Director of Bboxx Rwanda, Justus Mucyo, stressed the urgency with which energy sector players and policymakers have to work together to end energy poverty and advance a just, energy transition in Rwanda.

This, he said, will minimize the negative effects that lack of electricity has on people’s daily lives, including education, income, and health, among others.

““Lack of access to electricity is still a challenge, despite progressive advancements that have been made to-date. Affordability has been a major issue for most rural customers in rural income segments and our innovations have focused on getting the right product-market fit for this group of customers. We believe the launch of “Flexx by Bboxx” is a strong indicator of how we are committed to ending poverty energy, spurring investment, addressing environmental and climate challenges and pushing efforts towards realizing SDG7 and a national clean energy transition.”

In Rwanda, only around 69.80% of households do not have access to electricity, however, the Government of Rwanda, through the National Electrification Strategy, made a bold commitment to achieving universal access to electricity by 2024, of which on-grid will account for 70% and off-grid 30%.

“The opportunities in Rwanda are immense because we are building on a strong foundation of secure business and proactive national policies that have put universal access to electricity at the centre of the agenda,” he noted.

He added that the entrance of “Flexx by Bboxx” will play a crucial role in ensuring that households gain and maintain access to electricity which will help to minimize electricity access gaps.

Q&A with Justus Mucyo
Products to accelerate off-grid access in Rwanda

This year marks the first year that Rwanda has hosted Sustainable Energy for All (Se4All), one of the world’s leading and largest conferences on sustainable energy. It is an initiative that aims to achieve universal access to modern energy by 2030.

On the side-lines of this global conference, Bboxx Rwanda launched “Flexx by Bboxx”, a new entry-level brand, to provide affordable, reliable, and flexible clean energy solutions to off-grid communities in Rwanda.

As part of the launch, Bboxx Rwanda announced one new product that will add value to their existing roster of clean energy solutions: Flexx40, a new entry-level solar home system product. Bboxx aims to power Rwandan communities living in off-grid areas with access to clean and affordable energy. The launch of this product falls in line with Bboxx and Se4Alls’ common global mission; to end energy poverty.

We sat down with Bboxx Rwanda Managing Director Justus Mucyo to learn more about the product and what it means for Rwanda.
Excepts:
Congratulations on the launch, but before we get into the product, please tell us about the problem you are trying to solve and why it is important at this particular time

At Bboxx, the problem we have been trying to solve over the past 14 years is energy poverty. Simply, it is a situation where large numbers of people don’t have access to electricity. The effects of energy poverty are much more far-reaching than we imagine and have effects on many other aspects of the economic growth and development at household, local community, national and global level. Take an example of education, across the world, it is impossible for children without electricity to compete with children who have access to it. When you look at ICT and the knowledge economy which are a priority for our country, households without energy cannot even imagine being part of such new emerging economies. Energy poverty has negative effects on gender equity, climate change, access to healthcare and many other pillars that we as Rwanda and other forward thinking economies value highly.

So why “Flexx” and why now?

Bboxx launched operations in Rwanda more than 8 years ago and has now grown to cover several countries in Africa. We are proud of what we have been able to achieve by electrifying more than two million people around the continent but we are not satisfied. There is still a big segment of low-income earners that don’t have access to electricity. Sub-saharan Africa has most of the world’s population without access to electricity and this percentage has grown from 74 per cent before the pandemic to 77 per cent. We have always served customers at the bottom of the energy pyramid but even at the bottom there are those who are lower than others. It is for those at the very bottom that we have launched Flexx40. That is why we are promoting it under the tagline “Isange muri Bboxx”. We are simply telling the customer that if they have failed to find a system that suits them because of affordability, Flexx40 is the answer.

We are enjoying a unique partnership with the Government of Rwanda though BRD, and REG with support of the World Bank, subsidies have been issued to low-income households, with Flexx40, it presents a good opportunity to speed up electricity access.

How different is Flexx from other Bboxx products?

Flexx40 product is a plug and play light entry-level product. It is designed to be compatible with our energy efficient dimmable lights and a phone charger with the possibility to upgrade to a radio or a torch. It comes with 3 bulbs that can light from 6 PM to 9 PM and have enough power for security light until morning. During the day, it can charge 2 phones. The high setting is equal to lighting 17x candles while the lower setting is equal to lighting 9 candles. The battery is very light and easy to install and customers will be able to install it themselves. It has a phone USB port, LED indicators that show battery capacity, charging status, credit status and a keypad that allows a customer to enter the token number.

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