News 2013

Symposium on Entrepreneurship

On November 28th SunErgy initiated a seminar on Entrepreneurship together with Bamenda University of Science and Technology at their campus in Bamenda. More than 150 persons attended the seminar. “This seminar was arranged in connection with the doctoral defense of Christian Toggenburger from Switzerland”, Dr. Skjørshammer tells. “Dr. Toggenburger was one of my students from Estonia, who chose to defend his dissertation at Bamenda University of Science and Technology and he did so with great success. For further reading please click http://www.bamendauniversity.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=152:bust-symposium-on-entrepreneurship&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=56.

(08.12.2013)

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Toggenburger Institute for Renewable Energy research

On November 27th the foundation was laid at Bamenda University of Science and Technology for the Toggenburger Institute for Renewable Energy by Dr. Toggenburger, named “Father of the Institute”. According to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development Professor Gwanfogbe Mathew Basung, “the institute will work on applied research related renewable energy, beginning with solar. It will also offer a Bachelor  in Engineering. This is something we have been wanting for a long time. With the help of Dr. Toggenburger is will become a reality”. For further reading please click http://www.bamendauniversity.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=153:foundation-stone-laid-for-the-science-and-technology-centre-of-bust&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=56

(08.12.2013)

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First container has left to Cameroon

First container has left to Cameroon! The container contains two cars, office furniture, tools and equipment for the workshop. The picture shows the two cars being shipped.  The is moving from project phase into a operating phase where things are beginning to happen in the field. First village out is Bokosso, where the grid is being finished and installing  electricity in the homes and business are going on full speed. (01.10.2013)

Container

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Busy at work

The people in Bokosso and those visiting or just  traveling through can not avoid seeing the increased activity. The last this weeK (Week 39) the site was finished and prepared to receive the solar power plant. Installation of electricity in the homes ere started. Within a couple of weeks the grid-work will start. “Things are moving forward nicely”, says Country Manager of SunErgy Cameroon, Mr. Emmanuel Nkom, “we are busy at work, hoping to soon provide the people in Bokosso with electricity, Internet and CableTV. Getting closer every day!”

(01.10.2013)

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People signing up

The first deposit account was opened in 2 Mites last week. It was the chief himself, Chief Benga John who was the first to open an account in 2 Mites. Congratulations to him!

“People are signing up with 2 Mites”, says Mr. Knut-Arne Wendel. Mr. Wendel continues, this makes us very happy. Almost people in the Bokosso village have followed the example of Chief Benga John. The rest is to follow within a short time. Soon the people will have lights and see their long-awaited dreams come through!” (01.10.2013)

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SunErgy in Norwegian news

The following is an excerpt of an article from Drammens Tidende, Drammen, Norway about SunErgy and its sister company 2 Mites and their activity in Cameroon, written by journalist Lars Johnsen, published 24.09.2013

SunErgy Drammens Tidende

(30.09.2013)

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Increased activity

The people of Bokosso have experienced  increased activity the past few weeks, which has included working on the solar power site, the signing up for electricity and the wiring of their homes. (30.09.2013)

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Building the site

Last week the work started on building the site for the solar power plant in Bokosso. Within a couple of weeks the site shall be ready for the installation the solar power plant. Mr. Mike Fohba, Project Manager of SunErgy  can inform “that all is going according to plan. We are using as many local people as possible in order to put local people to work enabling them to earn some additional money. We are also looking to the future, working on the Bokosso will provide training for participating in building the next plants”. (30.09.2013)

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Signing up for electricity

Week 37 was “signing up for electricity, cableTv and Internet week” in Bokosso. “The good news is that all people signed up”, according to Country Manager of Sunergy Mr. Emmanuel Nkom, who continues “and why not? All people, all around the world want and need this. Nobody wants to live in darkness, not knowing what is going on in the worlds. This week was “electric” in Bokosso. People could not sign up fast enough. A fantastic week for the people and for SunErgy. More power to you!”

(30.09.2013)

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Household wiring

Household wiring of Bokosso has also started with Chief Electrical Engineer of SunErgy, Mr. John Ngam in charge.

“This is the biggest job I ever had,” says Mr. Ngam and continues “and the most important. It is fantastic to be part of this. We are about to start wiring of 160 homes, plus local businesses and industry. We have worked hard to get where we are today, but we made it and soon the people can switch on the light and enjoy light, television and Internet. That people in this remote part of the world is nothing less than a miracle. I am blessed for being part of it!” (22.09.2013)

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Selection of newspaper articles about SunErgy activities

newspaper article 1 newspaper article 2 newspaper article 3

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SunErgy featured in one of the main Norwegian newspapers

for full article open  SunErgy article in Finansavisen

screen-shot-2013-09-11-at-10-13-31-pm

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Seeing the light

Three families in Bokosso “saw the light” on Friday and Saturday, 23 and 24th of August, when SunErgy installed electricity into their homes. Soon many more are to follow. The idea was to let the people in Bokosso see what electricity would look like; light, cable television, radio, charging of mobile phones, Internet access, etc. These are things we take for granted and can not live without. However, soon it will be a reality, not only for the people in Bokosso, but for all people in the Mbonge Subregion. Another purpose was to test the equipment, which will be used to make sure that it is good quality to affordable price. Conclusion of the two day testing was that it looks good and promising. Soon all can “see the light”. (22.09.2013)

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Site and grid preparation

The work on site and grid preparation is going on in Bokosso. Next week, work will start on the site followed by building the grid and making the necessary preparation to install the solar park. “It has taken some time to get where we are,” says Dr. Skjørshammer, Managing Director of SunErgy “but we are getting closer and closer. Soon light will be for all to have.”

Wiring houses

The work on wiring the various homes is planned starting in a week time.  “The main reason  for wiring the three first homes, was for the people to see what their home would like and let them know what they will pay for,” says Project Manager of SunErgy, Mr. Mike Fohba, who is managing, the project.  “One thing is to read the offer on a piece of paper, quite another is to see it with your own two eyes. We want to be completely transparent and for all to see what they get and pay for.”

People signing up

“People are signing up for electricity, Internet and Cable television” according to Mr. Emmanuel Nkom, Country Manager of SunErgy Cameroon. “The next couple of weeks will be crucial. Then will find out exactly how many. However, it looks promising. We have not met anyone who said they did not want electricity.”(02.09.2013)

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Entrepreneurship seminar follow up

The follow-up on the Entrepreneurship seminar is going according to plan. Two “follow-up visits” have been arranged at the villages participating in the seminar. Responsible for the follow-up is Mr. Mike Fohba and Mrs., Mariana Kesam. “People are working hard on their business plans” Mr. Fohba says and adds “however, we shall not forget that this is a new thing for the participants. They need some time and help. But I am sure that several new businesses will be started. One additional good thing, is that all planned start-ups will improve life in the community. It is obvious that people love their communities and has a strong desire to contribute to a brighter future”. Next visit by the team is planned for first week in July. (23.06.2013)

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New HQ for Sunergy

The work with the SunErgy HQ in Ombe is planned finished by the end of June. “Both SunErgy and 2 Mites plan to move in by the end of this months”, says Dr. Skjorshammer and adds “this will give both companies a state-of-the-art offices. We have actually already started by taking one office in use. We needed a place to work and cleaned out one office for all to share while waiting for the rest to be finished.” (23.06.2013)

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“Hello Cameroon” TV program

SunErgy participated in the television program “Hello Cameroon” on June 3rd. The program is broadcasted not only nationwide, but also globally. According to representatives for CRTV (Cameroon National Television) the program is watched by “the Cameroon diaspora all around the world”. “The truth of this statement is truly being verified by all the emails received after the program”  Dr. Skjorshammer informs. “Not only have I received a large number of emails, but many have been visiting our home page and some have even called on the phone, congratulating SunErgy and Cameroon with a most interesting and needed project. People have also contacted us from other African countries asking if they could have a similar project; requests which we have politely denied due to the need for concentration and focus on what we are already doing”.

Dr. Kinni and Barrister Halle participated in the program in addition to Dr. Skjorshammer. “For those, who do not know, Dr. Kinni, was the person who brought us to Cameroon” Dr. Skjorshammer informs, “Barrister Halle is our legal adviser. They have both made great contributions to the project and will hopefully continue to do so.” (23.06.2013)

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Morning Safari radio program

On June 3rd, SunErgy participated in “Morning Safari”, which is a popular radio-program with a nationwide following in Cameroon. “This is an early morning program where people are invited to call in and ask questions”, says Dr. Skjorshammer. “Almost all Cameroonian’s who have access to a radio listen to the program. Many people called, asking all kinds of questions, not least when  and if they could have a similar project. It was great fun and most inspiring. This time, I was also joined by Dr. Kinni and Barrister Halle. If I could not answer, they could. We have gotten a lot of publicity in Cameroon. It is obvious that this is a most welcome project and that many more would like to see the project in their village.” (21.06.2013)

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Ceremony

During a ceremony on May 1st in Buea, Cameroon, the chiefs of the Bomboko Area honored  John Sullivan and Stein Skjørshammer with  membership into the Bomboko community by dressing them in traditional Bomboko costumes and presenting them before an audience of more than 100 persons, all from the Bomboko Area. “This was a great surprise and an honor I never expected”, said Sullivan, who spoke on behalf of the two during the ceremony. “The theory has it that we all (black, white, yellow, red) originate from Africa. Africa is our roots. Now, I can claim, not only having my roots in Africa,  I am an African and I immensely proud of it!  Dr. Skjørshammer and I belong to the Bomboko-clan!” (12.05.2013)

Stein Skjorshammer

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Entrepreneurship seminar

SunErgy will arrange together with the nine villages participating in the Entrepreneurship Seminar “Market days”, planned from August 2 – 4th. During these days, the participants from the seminar will exhibit their business ideas. In addition will be soccer tournament from boys and girls and a beauty pageant. “Preparation are well on its way and we are all looking forward to three wonderful days, filled of excitement and inspiration”, the chief of Bokosso tells, Chief Benga John.

Chief Benga John

Chief Benga John

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Entrepreneurship seminar was a great success

More than ninety persons from the Bomboko area in Cameroon participated in a Entrepreneurship Seminar from April 21 to May 1. “It was a fantastic experience to spend twelve days with the participants, listening to their ideas and assisting them in writing their business plans” says Dr. Skjørshammer. “I am more than confident that this will truly impact he area, enabling people to escape poverty. The business ideas ranged from farming, food store, hairdressing, pharmacy, training, various building companies, etc. It was just great. Now, the follow-up starts with one representative from SunErgy for the next four months visiting each of the nine villages for half a day twice a month to work with the entrepreneurs. The whole thing will conclude with “market days” in August when all the nine villages will get together for three days for exhibition of their business ideas and various social activities. We are very pleased and thankful to NORAD who partially sponsored the seminar with NOK 200.000.” (12.05.2013)

Cameroon

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Brukermøtet

SunErgy participated at Brukermøtet, arranged by Veiledingskontoret, Norfund and Norad April 18th with almost one hundred persons  present, representing various companies and NGOs attending. SunErgy was used as a case at the seminar informing  about the project and its activities related to financing  and building its network. Among those  participating in the “SunErgy Session” was representatives from Eltek, Norfund, GIEK – Garanti-instituttet for Eksportkreditt,  EksportKreditt, marchFirst and the investor milieu.”We are honored to be asked to participate in the seminar and share our knowledge and experience regarding financing” said Mr. Haugen, Chairman of  SunErgy Board of Directors. (12.05.2013)

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Next Entrepreneurship seminar is coming up!

Next visit to Cameroon is set for April 19th with the agenda of arranging the Entrepreneurship seminar. According to Dr. Skjørshammer more that 100 persons have signed up for the seminar, which will last for twelve days. “It will be a fantastic experience for us to live together during these days, sharing hopes and dreams. The result from our last seminar was the creation of more than 700 new jobs, which is quite extraordinary. If one makes the calculation that 8 persons in Cameroon live from the salary of one persons, then 5.600 persons benefitted  from the seminar. This time the participants are from “the eleven villages along the road”, which are the next villages to be “electrified”. I hope that the results will be no less than at the last seminar. It is fantastic that we have this opportunity to enable people to escape poverty and thus improve their lives.” (15.04.2013)

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2 Mites and SunErgy office is almost ready

The renovation and building of the SunErgy office is going according to plan and will be ready within  a couple of weeks. “We have finished building the fence and are busy remodeling the office”, Dr. Skjørshammer says and continues “in addition, we will soon finish the work on the mechanical workshop just in time to receive the container with machinery and equipment. In the workshop, we will build and equip the turnkey solar power station, build the mounting racks for the solar panels and all other mechanical work needed to be done”. (20.03.2013)

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Container to be shipped to Cameroon

During April the SunErgy will ship a container with various machinery and equipment to Cameroon. Included in the container are two jeeps, one Land Rover and Lada Niva, which both will be used when working in the fields. In addition will be office furniture, machinery and equipment for the mechanical workshop, computers to our local partner and many other things needed. “We bought everything in Estonia since it is far cheaper, probably half price compared to Norway”, Dr. Skjørshammer says ” it is also cheaper to ship the container from Estonia. We saved a lot of money!” The container will leave Estonia in mid April. (20.03.2013)

Container

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Next Entrepreneurship seminar coming up soon

Next Entrepreneurship seminar is planned for April 23rd – May 3rd. Approximately 100 persons from the next villages we plan to build the solar power stations are invited to participate. According to Dr. Skjørshammer, the seminar received NOK 200 000 from Norad for covering of expenses. “We truly appreciate the support, both financial and otherwise from Norad. They are a source of great inspiration. After the seminar we plan to publish a brief report together with pictures”. (17.03.2013)

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Sunergy is recognized by Norwegian Ministry of International Development

On Thursday, February 14th SunErgy was invited to the Norwegian Minister of International Development Mr. Heikki Holmås to give an orientation about the SunErgy project in Cameroon. The Minister expressed great interest in the project making a number of positive remarks. Furthermore, the Minister acknowledged that through this project  people will have access not only to electricity, but also the opportunity to escape poverty. He promised continued support to SunErgy AS. (17.02.2013)

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Increased attention to Sunergy

In a report published by the Norwegian School of Management BI, SunErgy is used as an example of Norwegian companies entering Africa. The report was discussed at a conference sponsored by Norfund, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Employers Confederation (NHO) held in Oslo in February, gathering more than 200 Norwegian business and political leaders. “We feel very privileged and honored being one of six companies described with whole page in this fifty-six page report”, says Mr. Ole Hallvard Haugen, Chairman of SunErgy Board of Directors and continues “who had ever thought when we started SunErgy that we would be mentioned alongside one of the worlds largest oil companies, like Statoil.” (17.02.2013)

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SunErgy to build new HQ in Cameroon

On Thursday, January 24th SunErgy gained access to its new HQ in Cameroon. The new HQ consists of some 250 square meters of office space, 850 square meter of warehouse and workshop on 4.000 square meter of land in OMBE Industrial Park outside Buea. Immediately after gaining the access, SunErgy Cameroon started to build the fence around the property. Ombe Industrial Park is one of three industrial parks in Cameroon, owned and operated by the government. “We were lucky to secure this property with its strategic location, with immediate access to the main road, water, electricity, Internet”, says Managing Director of SunErgy Dr. Stein Skjorshammer. “The rental price was just fantastic. This will be our HQ for a long time. Immediately after having built the fence we will start updating the buildings. All-together SunErgy plan to spend NOK 200.000 on upgrading the property”.(03.02.2013)

Fence buildin 2

fence-building

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SunErgy has secured 150 000 m2 of land to build its first 44 solar power stations

SunErgy has secured 150 000 m2 of land to build its first 44 solar power stations in Cameroon. According to the Managing Director of SunErgy Dr Stein Skjørshammer 44 villages have signed up for the project.  “The land available to us is enough to triple the capacity to a total production of 198 MWh per day or 72 GWh per year, making SunErgy one of the largest suppliers of electricity in Cameroon. However, first phase calls for the production of 66 MWh per day or 24 GWh per year. All land is  officially registered in the Land registry of Cameroon. We are very satisfied with the progress of the project and looking forward to building the first three solar power plants in 2013, starting this Spring”.(16.01.2013)

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Preparation works have started

SunErgy finished preparing the sites and the roads for the first nine villages in the project in January. “All site preparation is ready and we are prepared to start building”, says Managing Director of SunErgy Dr. Stein Skjørshammer. “The first plants are planned being built in 2013”. (15.01.2013)

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