19 March 2013 – The BipBop electrification project for the village of Pitti Gare, in the coastal region of Cameroon has been undertaken by Schneider Electric. Pitti Gare is not connected to the national electricity network. As a result of the project solar power is being used to supply electricity off-grid to the village’s cassava milling machine and will eventually supply its school and clinic. There will be 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.”
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 an 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.