BBOXX Rwanda, Kenya, and DRC
On October 30, 2020, February 8, 2021 and February 12, 2021, MIGA issued guarantees totaling US$43.1 million to cover (i) equity and quasi-equity/shareholder loan investments by AIIF 3 Clean Energy (AIIF 3), a Mauritius incorporated holding company managed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) of South Africa, through Beyond Energy Investments Limited, into BBOXX Capital Rwanda Ltd (BBOXX Rwanda) in Rwanda, BBOXX Capital Kenya Ltd (BBOXX Kenya) in Kenya and BBOXX Capital RDC S.A.R.L.U (BBOXX DRC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and (ii) a non-shareholder loan by the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI-OGEF LP), a Mauritius incorporated private debt fund managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners, into BBOXX DRC. The guarantees to AIIF 3 and FEI OGEF LP will have a term of 10 years and 5 years, respectively, and will provide coverage against the risks of Expropriation, Transfer Restriction and Currency Inconvertibility, and War and Civil Disturbance. MIGA will share a first loss layer with the IDA Private Sector Window MIGA Guarantee Facility for MIGA’s exposure to DRC and Rwanda under the project.
BBOXX Capital Limited (BBOXX) of the United Kingdom is a vertically integrated off-grid solar company that provides solar home systems (including a solar PV panel, printed circuit board battery) and , compatible appliances (e.g. TV, radio, torch, shaver, refrigerator, satellite TV), and various consumer services to peri-urban and rural customers on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis, utilizing mobile-money technology as the payment processing mechanism. BBOXX operates through its subsidiaries including BBOXX Rwanda, BBOXX Kenya and BBOXX DRC. BBOXX aims to expand its PAYG business model by introducing a clean cooking solution which uses bottled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and small gas burners for domestic clean cooking. Overtime, BBOXX may also, on a limited scale and subject to further testing, offer additional services such as individual water storage tanks, wireless internet services, or other consumer services to its customers. The MIGA-covered projects will initially include the investments relating to the standalone off-grid solar home systems and LPG services across Rwanda, Kenya, and DRC. In the future, MIGA may expand the scope of cover of the project to also include the additional services following a satisfactory review, in compliance with MIGA’s existing policies and procedures.
The projects are categorized as Category B according to MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability (2013) The projects are expected to have limited site-specific environmental and social (E&S) impacts and risks. These impacts and risks can be avoided or mitigated by adhering to recognized Performance Standards (PSs), procedures, Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) guidelines, and design criteria. Key E&S risks associated with this investment include: (i) corporate EHS management structure and systems; (ii) labor and working conditions including adequate occupational health and safety (OHS) and operational hazards related to transportation (at the community and worker level), installation and maintenance of the SHS kits and LPG cylinders; (iii) waste management (including e-waste); (iv) contractor management; (v) community health and safety along the transportation routes; and (vi) life, fire and safety and emergency response especially related to LPG cylinder transportation. The Environmental and Social Review Summary is available here .
Access to electricity remains low across sub-Saharan Africa with some 600 million people living without electricity on the continent. The project supports the national electrification targets of Rwanda, Kenya, and DRC where grid electrification in various regions is either unavailable, unreliable, or cost-prohibitive. In this context, off-grid solar power generation solutions such as those provided by BBOXX enable household electrification using an environmentally and economically sustainable technology. The primary development impact of the project will be increased access to and reliability of electricity among underserved populations. BBOXX’s expansion into LPG delivery will support cleaner cooking initiatives with the potential for environmental and health benefits. Additionally, technicians will be employed and trained by the project enterprises (throughout the duration of the MIGA guarantee period and beyond) to carry out installations and maintenance of the BBOXX products, thereby providing skilled employment opportunities in the host countries. Support for the project is consistent with MIGA’s strategic emphasis on low-income and fragile and conflict-affected countries and projects with climate benefits.