Côte d’Ivoire
Energy

Electrification of the Women’s Cooperative in Donvagne, Ivory Coast

A project led by Schneider Electric to support access to electricity and develop production activities in the locality of Donvagne, in the north of the Ivory Coast.

An initiative of Schneider Electric

Overview of the project

Schneider Electric and the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD –  l’Institut européen de coopération et de développement)  support the Solar Mama project in the Ivory Coast and are partnering with the French Development Agency (AFD – Agence Française de Developpement) to deploy a model for access to electricity and the development of production activities.

In Donvagne, the project has enabled the distribution of around one hundred solar kits and portable lamps to the most disadvantaged households, but above all, it has equipped the women’s cooperative with a mill, mixer and refrigerators powered by a 25 kWp solar mini-grid in order to accelerate economic development.

Women account for 67% of the workforce in the agricultural sector and alone provide 60 to 80% of food production, so female entrepreneurship in rural areas deserves to be supported.

In addition to providing equipment, the NGO IECD is deploying a support program for the cooperative and approximately twenty village entrepreneurs, in order to ensure the sustainability of the facilities and maximize the impact on entrepreneurship.

Objective

To support access to electricity and develop production activities in the locality of Donvagne, in the north of the Ivory Coast.

Level of progress

Ongoing research

Quantitative results

The main activities of the cooperative being the cultivation of maize, cassava and the sale of cashew nuts, Schneider Electric has committed to provide:

  • A kneader: To knead locally produced shea butter, cassava and maize.
  • A mill: To shell the cashew nuts as the gross sale does not add value and is detrimental to the derived benefits available to the population.

In fact, once shelled, cashew nuts can be sold more expensively, can be transformed into paste for cooking,  and can open up new prospects, such as the sale of almonds and roasted cashews or cashew apple juice.

  • Refrigerators: To enable the four large neighboring villages to avoid loss of production in the event of a supply chain break or  too low demand in relation to the production level. One hundred solar lanterns and 100 Schneider Electric Solar Home Systems destined for the most needy people.

In total, the equipment installed is the following: a 25 km solar microgrid system based on VillaSmart, photovoltaics (PV) fixed on the roof of the electrified cooperative, a refrigerating cabinet, a mixer, a mill, a PC computer, 100 Mobiya solar-powered lamps and 100 Solar Home Systems.

Qualitative results

To carry out this project, Schneider Electric and its Foundation, under the aegis of the France Foundation, have mobilized the entire ecosystem of Donvagne and numerous partners:

  • Donvagne Youth Association chaired by Mr. KRA KOUASSI;
  • Women’s Cooperative under the responsibility of Mrs. BADOU;
  • Mutual Development association led by Mr. KOUMAN and Mr. BOKO HENRI;
  • Solar Mama Mrs. KRA AFFAOUA and the Kartieca Association;
  • European Institue for Cooperation and Development (IECD);
  • Ivorian start-up LifiLED; and
  • Schneider Electric teams in Africa.

Together, they implemented a process to develop both material and pedagogical needs. Access to energy is indispensable for the empowerment of vulnerable rural populations. By providing electrical and production equipment adapted to women entrepreneurs in rural Ivorian villages and by accompanying them in their entrepreneurial projects, the partners will enable them to develop activities for processing agricultural products.

Financing

Funding by Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France (France Foundation) and Agence Française de Developpement/ French Development Agency (AFD).

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About
the organisation

Schneider Electric

website
Aurélie Jardin
Director of Partnerships and Public Relations
aurelie.jardin@se.com

French industrial group focused on energy management and automation.

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Other partners / supporters

IECD, a French NGO will place supply and installation orders with various suppliers and subcontractors.