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Carbotech - Burkina Faso

Artistes-Eclairs – Innovative Photovoltaic Products’ Distribution Channel in Burkina Faso

Contract: 2016.02
Photovoltaics

Artistes-Eclairs – Innovative Photovoltaic Products’ Distribution Channel in Burkina Faso

Project Type :

Establishment of Market Structures

Technology :

Photovoltaics

Country :

Burkina Faso

Project Status :

Completed

Project Start :

July 2016

End of Project :

December 2018

Partner :

Carbotech AG, Zurich, www.carbotech.ch, Flora Conte, Fredy Dinkel

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© Carbotech

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© Carbotech

Swiss Contribution

Carbotech has been active at the international level since 1987, through technical training, projects related to the creation of “green” micro-businesses in developing countries, as well as in other social and technical projects. In managing and coordinating this project, Carbotech has created the link between Burkina Faso and Switzerland, and the technical-commercial and artistic aspects, too.

Description

By training theatre artists in solar technologies and marketing, then integrating them into the solar products and services sales sectors, the synergy between art and technology opens up an innovative distribution channel for PV products to all population segments. These sales, integrated into a broad and cohesive people network, must make it possible to develop a free market for high quality photovoltaic articles. The REPIC funding concerns activities related to organization, guidance related to technology, environmental impact and entrepreneurship.

Results

In 2017, the “Lightning Artists” project met the challenge of the first theatre tour in Burkina Faso powered solely by solar energy. 14 theatrical performances took place in the capital city of Ouagadougou, as well as in the suburb and in rural villages. Actions to promote quality photovoltaic products have been carried out in 14 selected localities. In addition to the photovoltaic training and marketing by 16 artists, seven people have learned to use and sell certified Lighting Africa’s certified items. Around 150 photovoltaic products (kits, chargers and lamps) have been sold to families and retailers; thus providing electricity at night to more than 1,000 people, while avoiding diesel generator use and approximately five tons of disposable batteries.

Impact

The “Lightning Artists” project had a significant impact on the visibility of quality photovoltaic products, both in city and rural areas. Sales of these products have been boosted by theatrical performances and various marketing actions; both of which attest to the commitments of local actors and businesses. Earning buyers’ trust in photovoltaics and selling in large quantities requires more time than the project’s duration, which is possible since street merchants (travelling salesmen) continue their product sales.

Documentation

The final report “Canal de distribution innovant de produits photovoltaïques au Burkina Faso” is available at: www.repic.ch. See the project’s video at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxD3VG9AuH8.