French Telecom Giant Orange is Investing in Solar Power for Kenyans

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VENTURES AFRICA – Mobile phone operator, Orange Kenya, has signed a deal with Greenlight Planet to provide solar lighting to homes in Kenya. The targeted beneficiaries include the population based in areas that have inadequate electricity supply.

Orange Kenya intends to launch a product bundle that includes a mobile handset coupled with a Sun King solar lamp for a reduced price. This will aid Kenyans charge and use their mobile phones without a source of power.

The solar lamps coupled with a mobile phone will cost KES 3,899($42.7) for the Sun King mobile, KES 4,699($51) for the Sun King Pro II and KES 8,799 ($96) for the Sun King Home. Stand-alone solar devices that are not bundled with Orange mobile devices will go for KES 2,900($31.7) for the Sun King Mobile, KES 3,700($40) for the Sun King Pro II and KES 7,800 ($85) for the Sun King Home.

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In a report by Business analysis website, CIO EAST AFRICA, Anish Thakkar, CEO, Greenlight Planet explained that “Access to adequate, clean lighting is now as fundamental as access to water and other essential amenities, as it enables parents to provide for their children by extending their working hours after dark, and children can do their homework without straining their eyes or harming their lungs with fumes from lanterns that utilize petroleum or solid fuels.” He also added that Close to 1.5 billion people lack access to grid-based lighting, forcing people to walk several kilometres to purchase fuels for cooking and light and also charge their mobile phones for a fee. It is therefore an exciting event launching this partnership with Orange Telkom Kenya.

Vincent Lobry, CEO, Orange Kenya explained the relevance of this merger. “As mobile phones are fast becoming a necessity for most Kenyan households, access to reliable means of energy is imperative for communication, mobile banking and maintaining business interests.”

CIO EAST AFRICA disclosed that about 73 per cent of Kenyans live within 1-kilometre (0.6 miles) distance of a power transformer, yet only 18 per cent are connected to the grid. At its most basic level, Africa’s energy poverty means there is often no electricity to power lights to study or to work at night.

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