INTPOW Member SunErgy has embarked on a project to provide electricity to some 350 000 people in 92 villages in Mbonge Sub Division of the Southwest Region in Cameroon.
Managing Director Stein Skjørshammer, made the revelation during an audience with the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang recently. SunErgy is a company in the business of providing off-grid communities in emerging markets with solar power electricity. It is currently active in West Africa, building and operating solar power plants. The outfit’s onslaught to bring electricity to some 92 villages that are still groping in the dark is the main substance of a protocol agreement it signed with the Cameroon Government in May 2012.
In addition to electricity, SunErgy also offers cable television and internet, thereby giving the people access to the rest of the world. It is estimated that more than 121 000 families in the 92 villages will have access to electricity, cable television and internet by the time SunErgy goes the whole gamut of the project.
Officials say SunErgy Cameroon will generate approximately 10 000 jobs, while 500 new jobs will be created by the company’s subcontractors. In addition, the company plans to hire 500 employees themselves. Many other advantages, experts indicate, will trickle down to the local communities when the company shoulders its social corporate responsibility. The villages will benefit from the construction of schools, health centres, roads and other social amenities.
Observers hold that SunErgy’s contract to produce electricity and sell it to the local people at cheaper rates, is a pro-poor endeavour that will change lives in the villages.
Cameroon’s rural world still gropes in the dark. According to official statistics, only 1 000 out of the 11 000 villages in Cameroon have access to electricity. The situation is a byword of a macro picture in Sub Saharan Africa where only 32 percent of the population has access to electricity.
While lauding SunErgy officials for the initiative, the Prime Minister said it was in tandem with President Biya’s 2035 vision, tailored to let Cameroon triumph over underdevelopment and stand tall as an emerging country.