Energy Generation, new lighting solution for Africa

Promote and support the African youth to realize their projects in the field of energy and electrification are the main ambitions of the Energy Generation Association. To accompany these youth through their approach, it offers two actions: a competition leading to training.A part of this training will be held at Woelab and the other in the Energy Academy which will start in January, 2017.

Energy Generation is an association that works towards finding solutions to electricity problems in Africa. It organizes the first edition of the Africa Energy Generation Prize, a Pan-African competition of low-cost energy-production and inventions open to candidates from Africa. Enrolment will take place from 10 June to 15 August on: Thus, everyone can contribute to developing the energy sector in Africa. At the origin of this project? Astria Fataki, 26, graduated with a Master of Public Management at Science Po. « In 2013, with other students, we created a first association: ‘lighting billion lives Franc’e.It was a branch of a larger Indian organization specialized in decentralized rural stations in Francophone Africa. We conducted five micro-power stations in Congo Brazzaville. At the end of it, we realized that the  projects were based on subsidies, hence, not a permanent solution. We moved the reflection towards a model based on entrepreneurship and more specifically, that of young people, « said Astria Fataki. Since January 2016, we changed the name to  » Energy Generation  » «  adds  the president of this association. Today,  » Energy Generation  » conducts two main actions: the organization of the competition « Energy Generation Prize » and the creation of the Energy Academy, an entrepreneurship training center. To enter the contest, you must have a functional model of the project. Candidates will upload an online two-minute video to introduce themselves, then another three minutes video of their project. « If they fail to finalize their model, they may specify it in their video and the jury will assess whether it is acceptable or not  » says the president of the association. Among the ten young candidates selected, aged between 15 and 25, there will be three winners who will receive a financial prize ,undetermined yet .

The light produced by youth

Astria Fataki is convinced that African youth has the potential to solve the problem of access to electricity. All this, in one generation, hence the name of  ‘Energy Generation’. « We decided to organize a competition to identify innovative examples of energy generation just as Sierra Leone who built a wind turbine with spare parts found in his village or this young Kenyan who ,electrified his entire village with spare parts « claims the young woman … All these initiatives are interesting but often poorly framed. Indeed, despite  the news generated by the media, they usually never receive support to help them develop their invention to be widely used.

Training youth

« The training we wish to propose will be divided into two phases. The first, which will begin in September 2016, will be accelerated and will involve the development of an idea and the design of a functional prototype in just four months. It will be held in the Woelab, our partner, a maker in Lome, Togo. He is known to have built the first 3D printer, from recycled e-waste « adds Astria Fataki. This first part will help young people develop their project by providing more design and to solve technical issues. The Woelab is also to ensure that their invention meet the  standards, in terms of electricity. The second phase of training will continue from January 2017  over eight months at the Energy Academy, in Lome. Thus, young project leaders benefit from entrepreneurship training to reflect on how they can commercialize their product. « The idea is to make projects easier to implement across Africa with the available elements on site to prevent expensive hardware imports, maintenance issues … » said  the president of  » Energy Generation « . While the finishing touches are being added to the project, the list of  the winners will be released on 22 August.

By Darine Habchi

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