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MTN to supply solar energy to rural sites in Cameroon

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MTN Cameroon has signed a collaboration framework agreement with the Rural Electrification Agency (AER) to supply its rural mobile sites with solar energy.

According to the telco, this framework agreement specifies the terms and conditions under which the AER provides it with energy produced by its solar power plants.

The energy is intended to power MTN Cameroon's network infrastructure in rural areas, particularly the relay stations, the mobile operator added.

The implementation of the agreement is already ongoing at pilot sites in the West and Littoral regions, with the deployment set to be extended to all ten regions of the country in the coming months.

"This agreement with MTN Cameroon provides us with more resources to achieve this goal and enables us to engage with economic stakeholders who are still hesitating," said AER's general manager, Moussa Ousmanou, in a statement.

MTN Cameroon CEO Stephen Blewett added: "Under the Project Zero, MTN seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. This partnership with AER puts us on the right path to preserve our environment."

"It is also an opportunity to reduce certain inequalities. People living in rural areas, often excluded from the benefits of modernity, will have access to all telephony, high speed Internet and Mobile Money services."

Cameroonian mobile market

MTN is Cameroon's biggest mobile operator, and had 10.6 million subscribers at the end of 2021 according to statistics from market research company Omdia. Orange Cameroon is close behind with about 9.9 million subscribers and Nexttell had about 7.5 million users in 2021. Newest entrant Camtel is by far the smallest operator with just 522,000 mobile users.

Therefore this deal is in line with the Cameroonian telecommunication ministry's transformation objective, which includes initiatives to accelerate citizens' participation in the digital economy in a cost-effective way.

Even though mobile penetration in Cameroon is fairly high, at almost 79%, data from DataReportal shows that Cameroon's Internet penetration rate stood at 36.5% of the total population at the start of 2022. Internet users increased by 10.6% between 2021 and 2022.

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*Top image is of the Cameroonian flag. (Source: Africa continent photo created by Allexxandar - www.freepik.com)

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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