Monday, 26 September 2011

Charles Pepinster joined BBOXX as Director of Environmental and Social Balance

BBOXX partners used to work with Mr Pepinster, a former employee of the BelgianTechnical Cooperation in Rwanda working in the Rural Energy Sector, when running e.quinox at Imperial College. Mr Pepinster is joining BBOXX as the Director of Environmental and Social Belance to help us boost our social responsibility image and minimise the impact of our operations on the environment.
Mr Pepinster first task will be to develop a business plan to launch a lead recycling plan in Rwanda to efficiently recycle the lead batteries in the East African community in a profitable manner. BBOXX is spreading a large number of lead-acid batteries which are essential for the operation its off-grid solar systems. Lead batteries are very toxic to the environment if improperly disposed but are 95% recyclable if collected and treated correctly. The price of lead has tripled since 2007 and is expected to increase in the coming years which makes lead recycling a very attractive opportunity for investors on top of giving a strong social image. 
Mr Pepinster will be in Kigali until December and will also help manage BBOXX's operations in the region.

Mr Pepinster in rural Rwanda carrying out socio-economic surveys which were crucial to the proper product development and pricing structure of our solar solutions in East Africa.

BBOXX Congo launches its active distribution and marketing strategies

BBOXX Congo launched its radio and TV ads to notify the population of its creation and of the products offered in Goma. Most people in Congo have very little knowledge about solar technology and BBOXX Congo is working hard to explain and spread the benefits and limitations of its solar kits and of solar energy in general.
Sales have picked up rapidly and many people are coming to BBOXX Congo shop to enquire about the functionality and the prices for its products. BBOXX Congo has already signed its first distribution contract and its technicians are actively training the distributor’s salesmen. BBOXX Congo hopes to expand its distribution network by promoting its attractive distribution model which involves technical training, marketing material and financial mechanisms to help people open a BBOXX shop in the Kivu region. 

BBOXX Congo staffs setting up a display shelf at one of their distributors.

BBOXX partner, Mr van Goethem, at the back of BBOXX Congo pickup marketing our solar kits in Goma.

BBOXX Congo shop full of products and ready for action.

Arrival of BBOXX Congo container in Goma

After two weeks of negotiations with Congolese customs, BBOXX Congo’s container finally arrived at our shop after travelling 10,000 km by boat and then 2,000 km by truck. There was no damages and BBOXX Congo partners carefully managed the offloading in our warehouse in Goma.

Container offloading.

BBOXX Congo warehouse.

BBOXX Congo meets BBOXX Rwanda

BBOXX Rwanda’s partners, Mr Mucyo and Mr Udahemuka, came to Goma to meet BBOXX Congo’ staffs and partners and most importantly to share their past experience in distributing and marketing BBOXX solar products in Rwanda. BBOXX Rwanda and BBOXX Congo hope to collaborate in the future to manage effectively the supply of BBOXX products in the region and also share their experience and strengths to optimise BBOXX’s operations in East Africa. 

BBOXX Rwanda partners with BBOXX Congo staffs

BBOXX Rwanda partners, Mr Mucyo and Mr Udahemuka, meeting with BBOXX partners, Mr Van Houcke and Mr Van Goethem, in Goma

Saturday, 3 September 2011

San Francisco Conference Report

BBOXX participated in the recent IEEE sections congress from the 19th to the 22nd of August 2011, showcasing their work to help electrify developing countries with their off-grid solar systems.

BBOXX partner Chris Baker-Brian was invited in his capacity as a member of the IEEE Ad-Hoc Committee on Humanitarian Activities to present a case study on BBOXX's work in Rwanda, Congo and Pakistan and the importance of both rural electrification and the voluenteers required to implement charitable projects in such countries.

The presentation highlighted the importance of not only technical solutions to tackling such humanitarian challenges, but also the social, financial and cultural challenges that form an equally important part of trying to electrify some of the worlds poorest communities.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

BBOXX Video: Learn more about what we do!

Get to know more about BBOXX, our background and what we do by clicking on the video below:

Monday, 15 August 2011

BBOXX RD Congo office ready and their staffs are eagerly waiting for the container to arrive

BBOXX RD Congo's container is in Kampala and should reach Goma by the end of the week. After the tricky business of clearing it at customs, their impatient customers and distributors will finally be able to come to their modern office to buy their stock and start spreading BBOXX solar kits and accessories across the North Kivu.
BBOXX RD Congo office getting ready for the container.