Schneider Electric's BipBop access to energy program five times recognized at the “Africa Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development”

By Schneider Electric SA

RUEIL-MALMAISON, France, December 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Schneider Electric ( announces that five projects in its BipBop (1) access to energy program have been chosen to participate in the “Africa Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development” taking place in Paris on 4 and 5 December 2013. This forum was initiated by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prompted by the Deputy Minister responsible for Development, Pascal Canfin, in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD).


Photo: (Mohammed Saad, President Africa, Schneider Electric)

The “Africa Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development” aims to highlight innovative concrete examples and practical solutions on a national or local scale, in such varied fields as health, the environment, agriculture and food safety, education and new technology. In addition to the entrepreneurial nature and economic viability of these innovations, their contributions to sustainable development and their social and environmental dimensions will be recognized. The event follows on from the Development and international solidarity forums, closed on March 1st 2012 by the French President. It is evidence of France's support, via the AFD Group, for the promotion of innovative sustainable development in Africa.

Five projects developed by Schneider Electric in the context of BipBop, its access to energy program, were selected from the 100 projects presented:

- “Energy and Microfinance” project in Cameroon – Sponsored by the PAMIGA (Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa) association, in collaboration with Schneider Electric and the MIFED in Cameroon, this project consists of offering micro-credit solutions in rural and urban areas to finance the purchase of solar solutions. Such schemes can boost the economic development of individual tradesmen and small businesses. Schneider Electric provides solutions which meet the needs identified by microfinance institutions (MFIs) and entrusts its local partners Sorepco and Instrumelec to ensure respectively their distribution and installation, thus guaranteeing a qualitative service down to the end of the chain. The customers of these MFIs are offered two types of credit: “light” credits which offer low-energy solar lighting systems; and “energy” credits, designed to provide solar solutions suitable for the needs of an income-generating activity. This project has also been initiated in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

- The decentralized rural electrification project at Abu Monkar in Egypt - This Schneider Electric project, in partnership with Instrumelec, paved the way for development of the first solar power plant built in the Egyptian province of New Valley. The solar power plant at Abu Monkar, built more than 75 miles from the nearest grid, delivers 108 kWh/day, enough to meet all the village's basic needs (school, mosque, homes, etc.). Schneider Electric also trains the residents of Abu Monkar to ensure optimal operation and maintenance of the power plant.

- « Pay-as-you-go » Solar Energy project in Nigeria – This project developed by TXTlite Nigeria LTD is sponsored by the Schneider Electric Energy Access Fund (SEEA) which provides equity injection or debt financing to local companies, to help them reach viability. Txtlite's generation assets consist of “home power stations” and centralized management, control and billing infrastructure. Txtlite's Power Box includes solar panels and a battery with built-in security chip against tampering and theft. It is a small portable kit for self-installation, which is available through the existing cellular sales channels. It provides electricity to off-grid population at the same price as kerosene cost. Regarding the second asset, Txtlite integrates to the MNO's (Mobile Network Operator) billing systems and can easily integrate to mobile money, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) or premium SMS.

- BrightBox project in Kenya –Schneider Electric across it's Energy Access Fund (SEEA) sponsored One Degree Solar (ODS), which designs and manufactures micro-solar products for low-income households and small businesses across Africa. BrightBox is a micro-solar home system that powers up to 4 light bulbs and radios, phones, and virtually any USB-charged device.

- Decentralized Rural Electrification of Pitti-Gare in Cameroon – Schneider Electric implemented in Pitti-Gare village, Villasol, it's solar-powered micro off-grid facility solution for decentralized rural electrification. This standardized solution consists in photovoltaic panels, a battery bank and a battery charging station that enable a communal recharge system. The facility supplies domestic, entrepreneurial and community needs such as schools, health centres, water supply, public lightings for around 100 households, without connection to the national grid. This project allows 300 people to access a clean energy.

“The strength of the BipBop program relies on the combination between the R&D capabilities of Schneider Electric and the engagement of our local employees who all know perfectly their own countries' problematic and ecosystems. Answering the rural energy challenge is key both for the continent's economical development and for the people who directly benefit from light, from a better agriculture, education or healthcare. It is an exciting challenge and I think all our employees who made these five BipBop projects happen can be very honored and proud to see their efforts recognized by the French government”, states Mohammed Saad, President of Schneider Electric in Africa.

In the context of the Forum, René Pierrot Ekoé, Sustainable Development Engineer at Schneider Electric Cameroon and sponsor of the “Energy and Microfinance” project, was selected with 20 other project sponsors to speak on 5 December 2013 and share the Group's ideas on best practice.

(1) Acronym for Business and Innovation for the People at the Base Of the Pyramid

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Schneider Electric SA.

About Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric ( offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities and Infrastructure, Industries and Machine Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centers & Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group's 140,000 plus employees achieved sales of 24 billion euros in 2012, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy.