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#ImpactStory Noumoukossa Bagayoko – Perspective Through Electricity

August 05, 2020


The Bagayokos Have Been Blacksmiths for Generations

Noumoukossa Bagayoko is a blacksmith in Dalakana, Mali. His son Soumaila (26) is sitting next to him during the interview. He, unlike his father, has attended school and supports his father in business matters. "What gave you the idea to become a blacksmith?" is our first question:
Oh, my father was a blacksmith, my father's father was a blacksmith and so I became one. Everything I know, my father taught me. These things are passed on from generation to generation. That’s the way it is here: there are different families who have been doing certain jobs like welder, blacksmith, potter, singer etc. for hundreds of years: It's something you're born into and you're respected for it.
Noumoukossa Bagayoko

Electricity From Africa GreenTec Will Make Noumoukossa's Work Easier in the Future

Each generation has a different way of working and uses different equipment. Noumoukossa has been working with the same equipment for almost 40 years. For him, it is not financially possible to buy newer equipment for forging at the moment. However, he hopes to be able to change this in the future.

Rising material costs are also an issue. Metal used to be quite cheap. His father used to pay 20 cents per kilo, whereas Noumoukossa now pays 1.50 euros for a kilo. With the additional transport costs for the metal, the business is sometimes not worthwhile for him and he makes losses.

I am very much looking forward to the electricity from Africa GreenTec. Then I can forge with less effort, can work on more orders and earn more. I will definitely take the electricity; even though I don't know yet when I will be able to afford the electrical equipment.

Plans for the Future

That is why it is all the more important for Noumoukossa and his son to get electricity. They want to move their company, which has existed for generations, forward. To develop it further. They realise that there is competition that may already have electricity. Without electricity, they cannot compete. Their vision is to expand in the next 5 to 10 years. They want to buy several electric devices and produce more. Africa GreenTec now offers them the chance to do so.

I just don't want to stand still. I am not blind. I see what friends in Djoliba can do with electricity. I want to do that too. I am good at what I do. If I had the opportunity to use electricity, I could do so much more and support my people. Sometimes I can't take orders because I don't have electricity. I want that to change.

In fact, some of the villagers travel to neighbouring villages to have certain things made there. For the future, the Bagayokos would like to be able to meet the demand for orders in the village and provide this service on a permanent basis.

He also does not want him and his 5 employees (who work as needed) to fall ill. Currently, he runs many of his devices on coal. Noumoukossa is aware that the smoke and fumes produced are harmful to health. In addition, the neighbours sometimes complain that the smoke is coming through the windows of the small workshop towards them.

Noumoukossa is content with his life. He came to Dalakana 20 years ago and has built up his own life. He has fought his way through and built up his own customer base. He is able to feed his large family, even if it is difficult at times.

Electricity Creates Prospects

Like many other people, he wants more perspectives for his life. He has a clear idea of what he wants for his future: electricity so that he can make the best use of his know-how and potential and be more productive, but the prerequisite for his vision has not been available until now. Africa GreenTec wants to support people like Noumoukossa to live their visions and thus empower them to become more self-determined and to grow.

Since December 2018, one of our Solartainers has been supplying the village of Dalakana with sustainable electricity. The interview was recorded shortly before.