Rural Togo deploys solar smart street lighting

Rural Togo deploys solar smart street lighting

The government of the African republic of Togo has awarded a €45m contract for the supply and installation of 50,000 connected solar streetlights in several thousand non-electrified rural villages.


The contract, funded by the General Directorate of the French Treasury, is part of a larger project, Cizo (“switch on the light” in Mina language), which aims to electrify 500,000 rural households.


Universal access to electricity


A pillar of Togo’s national development plan (NDP) deployed by the Togolese presidency, Cizo aims to speed up the modernisation of the country, including ensuring universal access to electricity by 2030.


Under the agreement – a private-public partnership – French solar-powered lighting products company Sunna Design will complete the installation in over 24 months and then provide maintenance of the ecosystem for 12 years.


“This partnership reflects the head of state’s will to make energy accessible to rural populations using sustainable solutions,” said Mila Aziable, minister delegate to the president for energy and mines.


“Having Sunna Design by our side and benefitting from its expertise in the field of solar lighting shows the importance of renewable energies in our national development policies and sets the tone of the large-scale electrification project Cizo.”

Sunna Design’s project notably plans for:

  • solar lighting roll-out in priority areas, identified and investigated beforehand via a census study of rural infrastructures, ensuring a measurable economic and social impact of each lighting point on people
  • use of iSSL+ solutions, all-in-one connected streetlights with batteries designed to resist high temperatures, produced by Sunna Design at its industrial site in the Bordeaux region
  • operation and maintenance services for 12 years, including participation and strengthening of an ecosystem of local operators, promoting local employment
  • provision of a transparent platform for monitoring implementation and detailed performance of the solar solutions, accessible to public authorities, private and financial partners.

The Togolese Agency for Rural Electrification and Renewable Energies (AT2ER), promoter of the project, said it was able to validate Sunna Design’s technical lead, robust equipment, and track record in Sub-Saharan Africa rural areas, and finalise the project including performance and guarantee commitments over time.

“This partnership reflects the head of state’s will to make energy accessible to rural populations using sustainable solutions”

Sunna Design solutions can also integrate an ecosystem of IoT applications, powered by the clean energy provided by its intelligent solar batteries.


As an extension to a pilot project, which has been operational since 2020, Sunna Design plans to offer internet access to additional targeted villages through its solar streetlights.


“This project will combine decentralised energy and broadband connectivity to provide both public lighting and internet access to the populations,” said Cina Lawson, Togolese minister of digital economy and technological innovation.


“Thus, it complements our vision towards accelerating the convergence between energy and digital technology, which we will initiate by deploying optical fibre on the electric network.”

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