Promoting access to solar energy for rural communities
Electricity is fundamental for the development of economic activities, and therefore for the reduction of poverty. It is essential for the access to health services, as well as for education, communication and the use of technologies that ease the daily life. It is therefore not surprising to see that “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” is listed among the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Although electrification has been increasing in the last decade, a billion people – mostly concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia – still live without electricity. Rural Mali is one of the world’s parts most underserved by energy connection. In particular, in the region of Mopti, only 24% of the population has access to electricity.
Responding to the call of the local partner Ille-et-Vilaine Mopti Cooperation Unit (CIVM), the Fondation pour les Energies du Monde (FONDEM) started a project to provide electricity to the rural villages of Somadougou and Madiama in the region of Mopti.
In partnership with the Malian Agency of Rural Electrification, which acts as the local advisor on technical and regulatory aspects, CIVM and FONDEM will install mini-solar power plants with a distribution network and prepayment meters that will be managed by the villages.
Mopti-based CIVM will share its expertise with local communities in solar installation maintenance and distribution. CIVM will also facilitate the collection of data for a constant project monitoring and regular assessments that will be conducted by FONDEM together with the partner Department of Ille-et-Vilaine.
Trafigura Foundation joined FONDEM in this project to support the villages of Somadougou and Madiama and the surrounding communities with access to a sustainable source of energy.
Through the valorisation of solar resources, the project will have multiple positive effects on the lives of local communities, from the improvement of the quality of basic social services (health, education, administration, drinking water), to the empowerment of economic activities such as crafts, trade and agriculture.