Schneider Electric, the market leader in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, inaugurated the BipBop electrification project in the village of Pitti Gare, in the coastal region of Cameroon. The 200 villagers and several representatives of various organisations involved in the programme were present at the event.
The solution used for the village of Pitti Gare, which is not connected to the national electricity network, rural electrification system using solar power – Villasol – which supplies electricity off-grid to the cassava milling machine and will eventually supply the school and clinic, as well as providing a domestic battery charging service for the people of the village.
According to Jean-Marc Darboux, President of Schneider Electric International: “Africa is capable of unrivalled technological progress. Some Africans have never owned telephone landlines but today own two mobile phones. Similarly, every new town, every new district should benefit from the latest Smart Grid technologies. And every rural village should have access to renewable off-grid energy without having to wait for conventional solutions to be provided.”
The presence of many of Cameroon’s ministers and officials was symbolic, demonstrating the country’s political ambition to develop access to energy.
According to the French Development Agency (AFD), 95% of people living in rural areas in Cameroon do not have access to electricity, even though more than 45% of Cameroon’s population live in rural areas.
The BipBop programme aims to develop access to a reliable, affordable and clean energy supply for the people at the base of the pyramid, by combining training in energy sector trades, investments in local SMEs and technological solutions suited to the people’s needs and resources. This approach will provide a clear improvement in the health and education sectors, meaning that BipBop is helping to reduce the rural exodus and is working towards sustainable development for local communities and enterprises.