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Congo, DR

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Mobile Power Ltd (‘MOPO’), the pay-per-use battery technology company, is pleased to announce that it has raised €3 million to accelerate the roll out its solar charged hub-based battery rental business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (‘DRC’).
This country, rich in ‘green metals’ like cobalt and copper and home to the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest, has recently joined the East African Community and is experiencing a surge in its startup ecosystem. In 2023, the DRC achieved a notable milestone by securing $62 million in startup funding.
The solar-powered fridge from French start-up Koolboks is already on the market in Kinshasa to help preserve fresh produce, which is often thrown away for lack of storage facilities. The solution is supported by Orange Energy, the platform of French telecommunications company Orange responsible for promoting innovation.
The grant will support the creation of a 3.7MW solar mini-grid that will provide approximately 5,146 connections to underserved communities in the Goma region of the DRC. Nuru’s project aims to electrify three neighborhoods in the Goma region, which were previously experiencing limited access to electricity, with average access rates as low as 3%.
Demand for cobalt, which has tripled since 2010, is expected to reach 222,000 tonnes by 2025. In the pursuit of their interests, multinationals extracting minerals from the DRC have no respect for the rights of peasants, national laws, climate emergency needs or social safeguards.People living in mining areas suffer endemic endemic poverty.
It is inconceivable that the First World would pursue a clean-energy transition with the blood of the Third, by causing immense violence against the people and environment of the Congo. Green for us cannot be red for them. The greatest lesson I have learned through my journeys is that there is perhaps no such thing as “clean cobalt” from the DRC.

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