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Solar brings positive energy to Bar Bobofils

Written by Lily Zhou on 14 February 2020

Last month I wrote about my visit to our solar partner upOwa in Cameroon. Their solar home systems literally empower people. Even people in remote places get access to clean energy. Today I’ll take you to one of these places. Travel along to Sa’a and get to know the Bobofils family.

One bumpy ride

This is not how I imagined rural Cameroon. Everywhere there are pink buildings, people sitting on colorful chairs, and wonderful smells of street food stalls. After an hour and a half on a bumpy road, we arrive in Sa’a, a village north of the capital. Our first stop? Bar Bobofils, named after the owner’s father.

More entertainment -> more people -> more sales

As of today, the bar has been around for 23 years, run by two brothers who started out with an upOwa lighting system. Today there’s a television system too. The television brings lots of entertainment, which brings in more people. And more people bring in more income, especially during sports events, making Bar Bobofils the place to be.

Pictured: the main square with Bar Bobofils  

An easier way to charge your phone

Father Bobofils’ house is a five-minute walk from the bar. Bobo has just returned from the cocoa fields. Despite being 67, he still hasn’t retired. He gives us a tour while his six grandchildren shyly smile and wave. Bobo shows us how he now charges his phone from the convenience of his home. Thanks to his solar system he doesn’t have to walk for an hour like he used to. He seems proud and grateful. 

Going with the flow

In the village, we are greeted with kindness and enthusiasm. People are relaxed, living day-to-day. They simply go with the flow. Because most people are farmers, their income tends to fluctuate. With such uncertainty, you don’t simply purchase a solar-home-system in one go. That’s why customers can purchase energy when it suits them. Using their mobile phones, people can pay for an activation code that enables the system. What a great deal!

Want to invest in upOwa yourself?

Check out the project page and contribute to clean energy in Africa.