The Antenna Foundation is committed to reduce energy poverty by offering innovative and affordable renewable energy solutions to families who have no access to electricity.
Rural areas in many regions have absolutely no access to an electricity grid. Even if a grid is operational, power cuts are frequent, meaning that residents do not have a reliable energy supply. Kerosene generators cause problems in domestic settings and also create obstacles for professional and entrepreneurial activities.
A World Bank survey has found that the lack of access to electricity in Africa is one of the most serious inhibitors of growth for businesses of all sizes. It is particularly harmful for small firms and impedes local job creation.
The Antenna Foundation is developing technological solutions, with an appropriate business model, to create local incomes and jobs from solar energy.
ACCESS TO ENERGY
DISTRIBUTION OF SOLAR KITS (CAMEROON AND MALI)
To meet domestic needs for access to energy, we have established an inclusive distribution system, based on existing cooperatives and using Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology.
The solar kits distributed can be used for charging of mobile phones and lighting, up to three lamps.
We are working with women’s cooperatives in Mali and cacao producers in Cameroon.
SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES IN AGRICULTURE
To meet the needs of rural cooperatives in a sustainable way, we are working to deliver accessible solar technologies for agricultural equipment, such as mills, grinding and hulling machines, refrigerators etc. This involves technical work to adapt the equipment to solar energy and to Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology.
ENERGY STORAGE AND SOLAR PLANTS
To avoid the use of batteries which cause pollution and involve the use of rare minerals, we are currently engaged in a major applied research project on batteries made with salt. We have also equipped a range of infrastructure in rural areas in Cameroon with solar energy plants to provide energy autonomy.
AGRICULTURE: A SOURCE OF EMPLOYMENT
Youth unemployment will probably be one of the greatest challenges for Africa over the next 30 years.
Our close links to the world of agriculture and to technology have provided the basis for more holistic projects which aim to stimulate the creation of jobs for young people in rural areas and create value through short supply chains.
CLEVER CHICKEN IN CAMEROON
The Clever Chicken project aims to establish environmentally-friendly poultry rearing. The chickens benefit from high welfare standards and healthy local feed and are not treated with antibiotics. They come from robust local breeds.
The programme covers sales and transport and includes young poultry breeders in a decentralised poultry rearing model.
CACAO JUICE IN CAMEROON
Realising that the cacao juice extracted when the beans are harvested is currently wasted, we decided to create value from it. A major logistics exercise plus specific infrastructure is required to pasteurise the juice before it goes bad or ferments. This project does not require any additional effort by the cacao producers but enables them to obtain an income at a fixed price to offset the constant fluctuations in the price of the beans on the world market.