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A Review of Baobab+ Solar Kits

Company Profile

Baobab+ is a subsidiary of the French company based in Paris, France, Baobab MFI Network, a financial services company focused on financial inclusion in Africa and China. Baobab+ is available in Senegal, Ivory Coast, DRC and Mali and Madagascar.

Baobab+ was launched in Nigeria in March 2020 and now operates in six African countries with up to 550 employees. In Nigeria, it is currently available in three states: Lagos, Ogun & Oyo. Baobab+ Nigeria says it aims to equip over 1 million households and Businesses with solar home systems and productive use appliances within five years.

Baobab+ says it has sold solar kits to more than 1.5 million beneficiaries particularly in rural areas. It also says that in addition to this primary vocation, the Baobab Group’s subsidiary offers digital devices for educational and professional purposes, reaching more than 110,000 households or 400,000 beneficiaries.

The baobab+ Biolite SolarHome 500
The Biolite SolarHome 500

Baobab+ does not make or distribute its own systems. Instead, it distributes the Biolite Home Systems, Biolite 620 Solar Home System and Biolite 5000 Solar Home System with TV.

Biolite SolarHome 500 With TV

The Biolite SolarHome 500 incorporates a 50W solar panel, an LED television and 115Wh control box. The system can be scaled to up to 100W with the addition of an extra solar panel. It comes ready for add-on lights and appliances. A 50W system can power multiple cell phones, light bulbs, and a laptop exclusively.

Biolite 620 Solar Home System

The Biolite 620 is essentially a lightning kit and a phone charger. It can light multiple rooms via three hanging lights (including one motion-activated light). The Control Box houses an in-built FM radio and MP3 player and two USB ports to charge mobile phones and other devices. The system’s 20Wh battery is recharged by a 6W solar panel. Unlike the SolarHome 500, it cannot be scaled.

Like most solar-home-systems, include the MTN Lumos, Baobab+ leverages its financial services and uses a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology that breaks down the cost barrier and allows the customer to make daily, weekly or monthly payments according to his cash flow along the way to gaining ownership. This technology, allows remote control of the product (via a SIM card or an integrated code system) and to activate it, or deactivate it according to the payments.

These products are not designed with the urban user, with average power consumption reaching up to 2kWh, in mind, except as lanterns. They are still relatively small systems. For urban users in Lagos and throughout Nigeria, SolarKobo can recommend and design solar-battery-inverter systems that can be procured with the help of an initial down-payment and a post-installation plan that can be spread over a period reaching up to twelve months.


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