Renewable energy in rural areas



Over 100,000 households connected to electricity in Côte d'Ivoire

ZECI is a joint venture which, since the end of 2016, has been selling solar kits in the Côte d'Ivoire to supply electrical energy to households in the areas least served by the national electricity networks. These kits are sold in the form of a lease contract with monthly prepayments over 36 months by mobile money.

These individual kits include solar panels backed by batteries to store electricity. Thanks to these kits, customers can light up and power a set of low-consumption household appliances such as a television, radio, fan or even a mobile phone charger. Using a renewable energy source such as solar energy is ecologically essential and allows the replacement of candles, paraffin and kerosene.

Societe Generale, through its Grow with Africa initiative, is committed to supporting energy inclusion, including in unconnected rural areas. It is in this context that Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking, Société Générale Côte d'Ivoire (SGCI) through the Structured Financing platform for Sub-Saharan Africa (SFG AFS), and Crédit Agricole CIB (CACIB) arranged a transaction of 18 million euros in favor of Neot Côte d'Ivoire (NeotCI) in order to finance in the form of securitization the repurchase of receivables arising from the marketing of solar kits by ZECI. The loan is fully funded by SGCI, and is guaranteed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for 1/3 of the financing and from CACIB for another 1/3.

Neot CI is a financing vehicle owned by NEoT Off-Grid Africa, a platform dedicated to investment in off-grid projects in Africa, majority owned by the Meridiam infrastructure fund and managed by NEoT Capital. It will buy back the solar kit contracts already distributed by ZECI and finance the new contracts as and when they are signed.

This project provides access to electricity to more than 100,000 households in rural areas of Côte d'Ivoire and thereby improves their living conditions. Finally, with the use of mobile payments for the prepayment of kits, the project also promotes financial inclusion in rural areas ; as such the signature of an agreement between Neot CI and YUP Côte d´Ivoire is pending.