MTN Cameroon and the Rural Electrification Agency signed a partnership contract on 2 June 2022 in Yaoundé, with a view to connecting localities in rural areas of Cameroon to mobile phone and Internet services.
This project is itself backed by the project to electrify 1,000 localities in rural areas using solar energy, which the government, through the REA, has been conducting for several years, in partnership with the Chinese Huawei.
In concrete terms, we learn, it is for the REA to provide MTN with solar energy (solar panels and batteries) to enable the power supply of telecom infrastructure to be installed in rural areas by the mobile phone company in Cameroon.
“This collaboration with the Rural Electrification Agency will enable MTN to accelerate the digital and financial inclusion of populations often forgotten because of isolation,” says Stephen Blewett, Managing Director of MTN Cameroon.
This partnership also helps the multinational, which has set itself the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by using solar energy instead of generators to power its equipment.
According to REA’s Director General, Ousmanou Moussa, this partnership, which is part of the fight to reduce the digital divide in the country, will make it easier for people in the targeted rural areas to pay for electricity meter recharges via MTN’s Mobile Money service, as well as allowing the development of related income-generating activities.
Prior to the signing of this agreement, this collaboration was tested on two sites, namely in Mariemberg, in the department of Sanaga Maritime, Littoral region. To date, AER has already deployed solar systems in 350 localities. It is in the localities not covered by the network that this agreement will progressively materialise to extend to the 10 regions of Cameroon.