Burkina Faso

How sunshine harvests jobs in Burkina Faso

July 2019

Great news: Our distributor in Burkina Faso BETA Sarl was selected to be part of a results-based financing project to successfully continue recruiting local sales agents and spread clean and affordable light! 

Boureima Tanga Kabre and Issaka Dahani of BETA Sarl, have been Little Sun’s partners in Burkina Faso since 2014. So far, they have helped distribute over 17.000 solar lamps and 3.000 chargers, while also training more than 250 solar sales agents. In Burkina Faso, the need for clean energy is immense, as only 3% of the population in rural areas have access to the electrical grid, affecting social life, work, education, and much more. However, Burkina Faso has great solar potential with approximately 3000-3500 hours of sunshine per year that can produce clean and affordable energy for Burkinabé. 

‘Having access to energy and making study time longer has an impact on people. It benefits the whole country because children can study more. Thanks to the solar lamps, school children have been able to achieve good grades, which has allowed them to get scholarships and go to even better schools.’– Issaka Dahani

Just a few weeks ago, BETA Sarl has been selected as one of four companies to be part of a Results-Based-Financing (RBF) project led by the Canadian NGO CoWater. The project is located in Boucle du Mohoun, a remote, low-income region where becoming an entrepreneur can be challenging. Therefore, CoWater is awarding subsidies to companies building their sales networks there, with stronger support and encouragement to female entrepreneurs.

Little Sun already has a couple of partners in the area, but in the past few weeks, things have been really busy. Issaka undertook training new sales agents who immediately started working at local markets or special events, presenting and selling the products, while informing about the benefits of renewables.

‘Since I became a distributor of Little Sun solar products, my life is more fulfilled, I meet very different people and I’m happy to have such a positive impact on my clients’ – Liliane Tagnan, a sales agent in Bobo-Dioulasso region

Being one of the receivers of the subsidy is a real incentive for BETA Sarl and for the sales agents. Within two weeks, Issaka recruited a dozen new sales agents (teachers, employees and heads of Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs), microfinance institutions). They sold around 300 lamps, including 70 chargers, and some of the sales agents have already re-stocked. Another 400 products are now placed on credit. Even though for some customers a solar product can cost as much as their monthly salary, the products are seen as a great investment to save money in the long term. In the region, it is estimated that five years of using a solar lamp instead of toxic kerosene lamps or candles can save around 250 US dollars, equal to roughly 4-5 months local salary.

 

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