If Africa is to take full advantage of renewable energy, it is essential that local companies not only take ownership of the technologies but, above all, develop innovations and make them widely available. In Cameroon, this is the path chosen by the start-up RECAM.
RRECAM (Royal Renewable Energy Cameroon) is a start-up that has decided to popularize the production and use of biogas in Cameroon. Biogas is the gas produced by the fermentation of organic matter (food waste, agricultural waste, animal excrement…) in the absence of oxygen. This reaction is also called methanization: it occurs spontaneously (in rice fields, marshes, landfills containing waste…). It can also be artificially induced in biodigesters. Biogas can be used as cooking gas for cooking or for electricity generation.
Mainly active in rural areas, the start-up began to develop in stages. In her early days, she focused on educating the public about the benefits of renewable energy, and then began training. Today it specializes in the construction of fixed and mobile bio-digesters. It also manufactures locally the equipment necessary for the construction of bio-digesters: equipment for purifying the gas, dehydrators, desulfurizers…
RECAM is especially notable for the promising innovations it carries: portable bio-digesters and biogas storage balloons.
Recently, this young company started selling organic fertilizer (compost), a co-product of methanization, which it offers at affordable prices.
Every year, more than 600,000 Africans die from air pollution caused by the use of wood or charcoal for cooking.
The start-up RECAM wants to give women and children the opportunity to use a clean and affordable energy source. The aim is to enable households to improve their living conditions. It also saves time because in rural areas, women no longer need to fetch wood for cooking.
At the same time, the company is engaged in the fight against unemployment. It provided work for 500 young people (men and women) in 3 regions (Central, North-West and Adamawa), whom it had previously trained.
The company was founded by Boma Mohamad Chi, a young Cameroonian who wants to combine the fight against rural poverty with the preservation of the environment. It is an active member of an international community of biogas experts.
RECAM works in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Energy and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. She is supported in her work by the association Royal Renewable Energy (RRE) which has about twenty members: environmentalists, engineers, veterinarians, agronomists, and anthropologists.
By simplifying access to clean energy, the project is helping to tackle energy shortages, deforestation and climate change, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve indoor air quality.
In terms of its development plans, RECAM wants to train more people in the construction of bio-digesters and in the material manufacturing made in Cameroon. Its ambition is also to increase its capacity to produce biogas equipment, establish sales outlets in Cameroon and establish itself internationally. 2018 is already busy with the opening of shops in 3 cities (Yaoundé, Bamenda and Ngaoundere) and the placing on the market of its main innovations.
To achieve these objectives, the company needs technical assistance to strengthen its expertise. And, of course, it seeks financing to support and accelerate its development plans.
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