News 2014

END YEAR NEWS

“Electrification” of the first villages is under way. Within a month or so, they will have access to electricity, cable television and Internet. A little more than a week ago, we ordered the equipment for the next two villages. The plan calls for “electrification” of six villages during 2015. We are going full speed ahead. All 92 villages in this phase of the project will be finished and more than 121 000 families will have access to electricity, cable television, Internet and a brighter future! And not only that, more than 10 000 new jobs will be created. In addition there are all other things coming up such as schools, health centres, communication, roads, etc.

During December, we also signed agreement with Glava Energy Center, Glava, Sweden for cooperation concerning testing and development of our solar power stations. We also signed cooperation agreement   with University of ÅS, Faculty for Renewable Research. Both agreements included Bamenda University of Science and Technology, Bamenda, Cameroon and their institute for applied research on renewable energy. First-of-its kind in Africa. (20/12/2014)

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MORNING SAFARI radio program

SunErgy participated on Tuesday, November 18th in the radio program “Morning Safari”. According to the host Mrs. Tabe Enonchong, the program reaches millions of people in Cameroon and around the world, discussing various topics of interest for Cameroon and its people. The program has a huge following, from all layers of society, including politicians, government employees, business people, university professors and more “ordinary people”. During the program people may call in from Cameroon and all over the world for questions and comments.” You may follow the program both on Facebook and Twitter. (14/12/2014)

Cameroon

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SUNERGY in “HALLO CAMEROON” TV program

SunErgy was featured in the television program “Hallo Cameroon” on Tuesday, November 17th. According to the television host Mrs. Nene Shadzeka, “the program is watched by most Cameroonian’s who have access to television.” The show discusses and presents various topics of interest for Cameroon. It is the most popular television show and broadcast live.” You may follow the program on Facebook and Twitter.(14/12/2014)

Cameroon

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GLOBAL WATCH

Dr. Skjorshammer was interviewed on the Global Watch program. Global Watch is a program that discusses about environmental issues and questions. Dr. Skjorshammer was invited to talk about investments in renewable energy, especially related to the activities of SunErgy in Cameroon. The program may be viewed on You Tube.(10/12/2014)

TV programme

Dr. Skjorshammer interviewed by the host of Global Watch, Mr. Charles Ebune

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MEETING WITH CHIEFS

SunErgy and 2 Mites invited the chiefs from the villages where electricity is about to be installed. The purpose of the meeting was to inform and update the chiefs about the progress, to answer questions and discuss chiefs comments and ideas. The meeting was held in the Palace of the Chief of Bokosso, Chief John Benga, and was followed by lunch.(10/12/2014)

Representatives of the chiefs.

Representatives of the chiefs.

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NEW JOBS CREATION

“The new job creation related to the project is estimated to reach more than 10 000,” according to Mr. Haugen, Chairman of Board of Directors of 2 Mites. “The nr of new jobs created is related to the entrepreneurship training, employment in SunErgy and with the subcontracts. Approximately 10 000 new jobs will be created due to the project itself and our entrepreneurship training. Approximately 500 jobs will be related to SunErgy Cameroon and its activities, while 500 new jobs will be created by our subcontractors.” Mr. Haugen continues, “it does not take much fantasy to understand the great change this will create for the people in the villages.” (5/11/2014)

Wife and husband, one of many who get help from 2 Mites to start their own business. The couple operates a small hotel and a restaurant in one of the villages.

Wife and husband, one of many who get help from 2 Mites to start their own business. The couple operates a small hotel and a restaurant in one of the villages.

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BUILDING OF THE SOLAR POWER PLANT HAS STARTED

The building has started in the village of Bokosso, which is the first village. “We are very excited,” Mr. Mike Fohba, Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon and responsible for the success of the project. In addition to building in Bokosso, we are also building a solar power plant at our HQ in Ombe, which will make us energy wise self-sufficient. This summer and fall, we have been training people to work in the project. The good thing with this project, is  not only that it gives electricity, Internet and CableTV, but it also provides a large number of jobs for local people. The enthusiasm in the project is fabulous!” (05/11/2014)

Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon Mr. Mike Fohba in front of the testing station.

Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon Mr. Mike Fohba in front of the testing station.

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LAST OF FOUR CONTAINERS SHIPPED FOR HALF PRICE

Finally, the last of four containers was shipped from Estonia to Cameroon. This time it was all the electrical equipment needed for the village of Bokosso. “We bought all the electrical equipment, both for house wiring and the building of the grid, in Estonia” Dr. Skjørshammer says and continues “it was a huge saving. We sourced the materials in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia ending up buying in Estonia. The price in Estonia was half of that in Sweden, which was the second cheapest country. It is important to save money without sacrificing quality. Believe it or not, they all offered the same products. The containers are on the way arriving Cameroon on December 20th” (04/11/2014)

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FULL CONTAINER

“The last container to Cameroon was packed. In addition to the electrical equipment there are also two cars, which we bought cheap in Estonia. It was a challenge to get everything into the container, but finally we were able to close the doors.” (04/11/2014)

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THE TRUCK AND FORKLIFT HAVE ARRIVED

Finally, the truck and the forklift arrived in Cameroon and is put to work. The truck will be used to transport various equipment and machinery to the villages in connection with installing electricity. “The truck represents a sizeable savings for us” Dr. Skjørshammer says. “Initially, we were thinking that we would hire transporters to move equipment to the villages, which we also tried a couple of times. However, it turned out to be very complicated, either because the cars being offered were in a very poor condition and the price was too steep. So we got our own car, hired our own driver. It works perfectly!” (26/09/2014)

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NEW AGREEMENTS FOR SUNERGY

During December, we also signed agreement with Glava Energy Center, Glava, Sweden for cooperation concerning testing and development of our solar power stations. We also signed cooperation agreement   with University of ÅS, Faculty for Renewable Research. Both agreements included Bamenda University of Science and Technology, Bamenda, Cameroon and their institute for applied research on renewable energy. First-of-its kind in Africa. (26/09/2014)

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THE TRUCK AND FORKLIFT HAVE ARRIVED

Finally, the truck and the forklift arrived in Cameroon and is put to work. The truck will be used to transport various equipment and machinery to the villages in connection with installing electricity. “The truck represents a sizeable savings for us” Dr. Skjørshammer says. “Initially, we were thinking that we would hire transporters to move equipment to the villages, which we also tried a couple of times. However, it turned out to be very complicated, either because the cars being offered were in a very poor condition and the price was too steep. So we got our own car, hired our own driver. It works perfectly!” (26/09/2014)

The truck and the forklift arriving to Cameroon

The truck and the forklift arriving to Cameroon

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DRIVER HIRED

Mr. Nestor has been hired as driver of the truck. His first assignment was to pick up the truck in the harbour in Douala and drive it to the SunErgy premises in Ombe. “Mr. Nestor has a long experience and extensive experience from operating a truck,” Dr. Skjørshammer says. “Driving and operating a truck in the environment we work is not just driving a truck. The roads are rough; during raining season not much more than a river bed. It requires skills and experience. It is not for the fainthearted!” (25/09/2014)

Mr. Nestor

Mr. Nestor

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A MOTORCYCLE MAKES IT EASIER

The roads are pretty bad during raining season, making it hard of the ware and tear of the cars. I order to avoid this and to make moving around easier for our local representative in the villages, we bought a motorbike. “With this I can easily travel to the various villages doing my work” says Mr. Dave, who is SunErgy field representative. “Actually when I am going alone, nothing beats the bike. It takes me wherever and whenever I need to go. It is the perfect solution!” (25/09/2014)

Mr. Dave on the SunErgy motorbike.

Mr. Dave on the SunErgy motorbike.

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NEXT SHIPMENT TO CAMEROON

The shipment of three containers are scheduled to arrive Cameroon end September, beginning of October. They will bring all what is needed for electrification of the first villages: batteries, panels and the solar power station itself. “We are fully prepared and ready to go”, Dr. Skjørshammer says. “As soon as the containers arrive, we will start the building and installment of electricity. Tentative plan is that we will switch on electricity in time for Christmas.” (25/09/2014)

Final preparation on the solar power station before leaving to Cameroon together with batteries and solar panels

Final preparation on the solar power station before leaving to Cameroon together with batteries and solar panels

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MICRO LOANS UPDATE

2Mites has been supporting twenty-two entrepreneurs with loans and now is payback time! “I am pleased to inform that all people are keeping their payback schedule,” says Mr. Wendel. “The first payback date for all twenty-two was June 15th. All paid! Actually, they were standing with their money in their hands ready to pay when the 2Mites team showed up to collect the money.

15th of July was the second payback date. It was just a repetition of June 15th. All twenty-two stood ready to pay when the 2Mites team came around to collect the money. This shows not only the capability, but equally importantly the willingness to pay back the loans. It is inspiring and a great stimulus to increase the “loan certificate activity.” (22/07/2014)

Chief Ndifongo Jacob Njimba from the village of Bomana in his store together with Dr. Skjørshammer

Chief Ndifongo Jacob Njimba from the village of Bomana in his store together with Dr. Skjørshammer

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THE NORWEGIAN MINISTER OF CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT

The Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft visited the SunErgy stand at the Nairobi Conference. “We were very pleased with Tine Sundtoft- Minister of Climate and Environment- visiting us at the Nairobi Conference”, Mr. Haugen said. “We also had the pleasure of having lunch with the Minister at the Norwegian Embassy during her visit in Nairobi when participating in the Conference. We just have to commend the Norwegian government for their support. It is fantastic!” (22/07/2014)

Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Suntoft together with Dr. Skjørshammer

Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Suntoft together with Dr. Skjørshammer

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NAIROBI CONFERENCE

“Our participation in the Nairobi Conference was a success. The interest was just terrific. It was far beyond our expectations. We talked with representatives from Africa, Asia and Latin-America, including the General Secretary of United Nations Ban Ki-Moon. Many invited us to come to their country”, says Dr. Skjørshammer, concluding “the opportunities are huge. However, it is important that we concentrate and focus now on Cameroon, successfully completing the 92 villages in the project!” (22/07/2014)

photo 1

he General Secretary of United Nations greeting SunErgy and 2 Mites when passing by

he General Secretary of United Nations greeting SunErgy and 2 Mites when passing by

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VISIT FROM CAMEROON

Managing Director of SunErgy Cameroon- Mike Fohba and Chief Electrical Engineer John Ngam, visited Norway and Sweden while participating in the building and testing of the first solar power station; getting ready for shipment to Cameroon. “We had a fantastic two weeks in Scandinavia. This is heaven on earth”, said Mr. Fohba. “It all went fine and we are looking forward to receiving the container for installment in the village of Bokosso with many more to follow. The SunErgy project is fantastic. I am just happy to be part of this, proving my people with this fantastic opportunity.” (22/07/2014)

Mr. John Ngam (Chief Electrical Engineer), Mr. Knut-Arne Wendel (2Mites AS), Mr. Mike Fohba (Managing Director SunErgy Cameroon)

Mr. John Ngam (Chief Electrical Engineer), Mr. Knut-Arne Wendel (2Mites AS), Mr. Mike Fohba (Managing Director SunErgy Cameroon)

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BUILDING AND TESTING OF A SOLAR CONTAINER

The first solar power station was finished and tested on the first week of July with great success. It all works as planned. No hick-ups of any kind. The container, together with the panels are now on its way to Cameroon. Planned installation is planned in September/October. (21/07/2014)

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TRUCK AND FORKLIFT TO CAMEROON

SunErgy just shipped a truck and a forklift to Cameroon from Sweden. “We were lucky to get the truck and forklift for a good price in Sweden through Mr. Håkon Blom, who runs a shop selling used heavy equipment machinery” Dr. Skjørshammer says. “Mr. Blom was very kind to us. In addition to selling us the truck, he also “threw in” seven spare tires and will be responsible for shipping the truck, which will be used or transporting various equipment into the field from our workshop in Ombe. When making a trial transport of a container to the village of Bokosso, we quickly understood that we need to have an access to our own equipment, not relying on others. This is a “first”. Soon we shall ship additional equipment as need arises and it becomes available for a good price.” (10/06/2014)

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LICENSE TO PRODUCE, TRANSPORT AND SELL ELECTRICITY

May 28th marks an important event in the history of SunErgy! This is the day we signed the official agreement with the Republic of Cameroon to produce, transport and sell electricity to the 92 villages in the region. “To be sure”, Dr. Skjørshammer states, “we had a more  general agreement with the Republic of Cameroon through the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy to provide electricity to the 92 villages in the region. This agreement is more specific, describing in detail the duties, rights and privileges of all parties involved through the Electricity Sector Regulator Agency (ARSEL). We truly appreciate the cooperation with the government of Cameroon, at least as expressed by the Prime Minister H.E. Philemon Yang and the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, The Hon Basile Atangana Kouna. (03/06/2014)

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22 ENTREPRENEURS

During his last visit to Cameroon Dr. Skjørshammer visited the 22 entrepreneurs who are being financed by SunErgy and 2 Mites. “We are very happy and satisfied to see their progress and discuss their business. All entrepreneurs are doing fine and have started to pay back on their loans according to their loan agreements. All those 22 entrepreneurs participated in the last Entrepreneurship Training Seminar. In addition to the importance of seeing these businesses blooming, is the symbolic value by people seeing and experiencing the dawn of a new day. It is just fantastic!” (03/06/2014)

icture showing one of the participants with a kasawa-machine she financed through 2 Mites to start her business grinding kasawa for the farmers in the region to sell in the market

Picture showing one of the participants with a kasawa-machine she financed through 2 Mites to start her business grinding kasawa for the farmers in the region to sell in the market

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WORLD CUP SOCCER

SunErgy and 2 Mites will show all Worlds Cup Soccer matches on a wide screen in Bokosso for free for all to watch. According to Dr. Skjørshammer “it is estimated that between 300 – 400 persons will watch the games. We have put up a wide screen at the school, broadcasting satellite pictures.” Chief Benga of Bokosso says, “this is a big event and a first. There will be hundreds of people watching different matches. We expect record numbers when Cameroon plays. In addition to watching the matches people will have the opportunity to buy food and refreshments and visit with friends. This is just great. We are grateful to SunErgy for giving us the opportunity to be part of this world event. History is being made!”  (02/06/2014)

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OPENING OF A NEW OFFICE IN BOKOSSO

On May 21 we opened our new office in the village of Bokosso. The office will serve as “the hub” for the nearby villages. The office is open every day and is the place for people to arrange SunErgy and 2 Mites business matters- such as paying bills and saving money.

More than 200 people attended the opening ceremony with the District Officer of the region Mr. Salomon Sombe- being the guest of honor, cutting the ribbon.

On the program, in addition to several greetings, was a song performed by the Bokosso Village Women’s Choir and Dr. Kinni. After the ceremony all people were served  lunch and refreshments. The children were treated with candy and soft drinks!  A truly enjoyable day for all! (02/06/2014)

The picture shows the District Officer H.E. Salomon Sombe cutting a ribbon, opening the office.

The picture shows the District Officer H.E. Salomon Sombe cutting a ribbon, opening the office.

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INVITATION TO VISIT CAMEROON

The Republic of Cameroon, through His Excellency the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Head of Government, has extended their invitation for a official Norwegian delegation to visit Cameroon. According to the Prime Ministers Office, the purpose of the visit will be to discuss business opportunities and various projects. (18/03/2014)

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VISIT TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF CAMEROON

While in Cameroon SunErgy was invited to visit the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cameroon, His Excellency Mr. Philemon Yang. “The Prime Minister has from the very beginning taken a keen interest in our work” according to Dr. Skjørshammer. “We meet with him from time to time to report on the progress, but equally important to get the Prime Ministers suggestions and advice, which has proven very inspirational and helpful, while giving added credibility and value to the activity of Sunergy and 2 Mites”. (18/03/2014)

Prime minister of Cameroon

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FIRST LOANS GRANTED

The first loans have been grated to 27 people participating in the last entrepreneurship seminar. The money will be used both to start new and expand already existing businesses. The businesses supported includes activities such as pig farming, chicken farming, fish farming, food stores, hairdressing, cold stores, vegetable farming, etc. “This is yet another milestone achievement”, says Dr. Skjørshammer, continuing “the project is moving nicely forward, not least to the many who sign up for the loan certificates offered by Mr. Wendel.” (17/03/2014)

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ANOTHER FIRST CONTAINER

The picture shows the arrival of a container to our workshop. This container is to be fitted as an office and placed in the village of Bokosso, which is the first village to have electricity. The Bokosso office is planned opened week 17 and will serve as a service center for the nearby villages for both Sunergy and 2 Mites. (17/03/2014)

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SIGNING THE AGREEMENT FOR BOKOSSO VILLAGE

Friday, February 21st will remain and is important date in the history of 2 Mites and SunErgy- signing of the agreement with the equipment supplier to the solar power plant in the village of Bokosso. Bokosso is the first village to have a solar power plant installed and to it will be followed in Mundongo, Boviongo and Mueli. This year six villages will have access to electricity. By the end of 2018 all 92 villages, and more than 600 000 people in this project, will have electricity, cable television and internet access. The enclosed picture is taken at the signing of the agreement, showing (left to right) Professor Dr. Fongot  Kinni (2 Mites liaison in Cameroon), Mr. Knut-Arne Wendel (2 Mites), Dr. Stein Skjørshammer ( 2 Mites), Mr. Jørgen Mandt Pettersen (equipment supplier). Mr. Ole Hallvard Haugen (one of the founders and member of the 2 Mites Board of Directors) was unable to attend due to other engagements, said before the signing ceremony: “Signing of this agreement signifies an important step for the project. All pieces are now in place and we are ready to start the installations. This is a great day and a mile stone, not only for the company, but for all people who stands to benefit from the project”. (26/02/2014)

Signing agreement with ELTEK 21.02.2014

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VISITOR FROM CAMEROON

Professor Dr.  Kinni Fongot from Cameroon visited Norway on February 19 -21. During his stay in Norway, he met with various partners of the SunErgy Project, including GIEK, Norwegian African Business Association  and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Professor Kinni arrived to Norway after being three weeks  as a guest lecturer on “African Culture and Business” at Helsinki  School of Economics .

“This was my first visit to Norway”; Professor Kinni said, “I hope to be back soon. I have been part of the solar project from the start and will continue to be a part of it for as long as I live. This is truly an important project, not only for Cameroon, but it can and should be replicated all over Africa. Its importance is not only and foremost related to electricity, cable television and Internet. The true importance is its organization by offering poor people an opportunity to escape poverty, enabling them to take responsibility for their own lives”. (26/02/2014)

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SUNERGY HAS BEEN INVITED BY UNITED NATIONS TO PARTICIPATE IN SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION EXPO

SunErgy has been invited as one of  20 global scale companies, to participate in the United Nations Environment Assembly on Environment and Energy Climate Action Sustainable Innovation Exhibition in Nairobi, June 23 – 24, 2014.  The reason given for the invitation was “We came across SunErgy whilst researching off grid renewable energy projects in Africa, and saw the work you are doing in Cameroon. We look for companies of varying sizes and skill sets, in UNEP we are always very keen to invite new companies that have a fresh approach. We were also very interested to see that you incorporate local development into the way you conduct your projects and of course social CSR what is central to sustainable development.” We are flattered and honored, and looking forward to participate. We are flattered and honored, and looking forward to participate.

Those who want to learn more about the conference can find more information on conference homepage here

A video from 2013 exhibition is also available on YouTube here

(29.01.2014)

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FIRST CONTAINER HAS ARRIVED!

First container has arrived to Cameroon! The container contains two cars, office furniture, tools and equipment for the workshop. The picture shows the Land Rover being unloaded. (29.01.2014)

The picture shows the District Officer H.E. Salomon Sombe cutting a ribbon, opening the office.

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