15 new Village Micro Entrepreneurs (VME) received from August 5 to 7, 2015, training on access to solar energy at Songhai Centre in Porto Novo. The initiative is from SNV, the Dutch development organization, in partnership with the mobile telephone network MTN, the Benin Rural Electrification and Energy Control Agency (ABERME) and Songhai Centre. It is part of the regional project “Power out of Poverty partnership”.

The project aims at making available modern solar kits to people who lack access to conventional electricity network and promoting local entrepreneurship in the solar energy sector. To this effect, it was designed a multifunctional solar cart that will help identified micro entrepreneurs recharge, at a determined cost, the mobile phones of their customers and promote solar kits together with their MTN products. These kits, made up of pico solar lamps, panels and batteries, will allow people light their homes and charge their mobile phones on site. The cart is sold only to micro entrepreneurs, MTN business partners in the project intervention areas.

In 2014, 100 VME were trained throughout the country to access solar energy. The 15 new people trained come from the regions of Atacora (6), Borgou (2), Ouémé/Plateau (4) and Collines (3). As the first batch, they received knowledge on energy and solar system. But specifically, the training has focused on the use and maintenance of the cart which is equipped with a solar system including a solar panel composed of a 130wc poly-crystallin, a 150Ah lead acid battery, a 30A 12V / 24V charge controller, a 400w voltage converter, a 32 electrical outlets for recharging and a 3W LED control lamp.

The training is provided by two technicians from Songhai in Porto Novo. In the first half of October 2015, there will be a capacity-building for some VME formerly trained.


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