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#VillageStory Gouméra – A Magnificent Metamorphosis: From a Village to a Small Town

April 20, 2021


The countries of Senegal and Mauritania are not far from Gouméra, which is why the city has developed into a melting pot of different cultures

Gouméra is located north of the regional capital Kayes. Due to its location in eastern Mali, it is not far from Senegal and Mauritania. Thanks to lively trade with neighboring countries and a pronounced diaspora – people whose roots are in Africa but who currently live in other countries, such as France or Germany – Gouméra has good financial conditions compared to other villages we have visited in Mali. This has allowed the former village to develop into a small town with a lot of potential. 

The community has its own village treasury, which is used to organize the administration. The Sonnike people who live in Gouméra are very enterprising and the traders in particular benefit from the through traffic. 

The size and location of Gouméra were perfect for setting up a regional warehouse and office for Africa GreenTec, from which we can now supply five other villages with materials and dispatch technicians.


Solar Energy Beats Diesel Generators

As in many other villages in Mali, the electrification of Gouméra was already planned before the turn of the millennium. Together with the government, the former operator implemented an approx. 9-kilometer-long power grid 10 years ago. However, the power supply with diesel generators was never finally implemented. Before we were able to set up our solar container in the north of the city, there were long negotiations about the exact location. The residents had previously only known loud, smelly diesel generators and feared that our solar container would also generate a lot of noise and disturb the dead in the nearby cemetery. 

Once everything was sorted out, we received an enthusiastic welcome in May 2018. The children had practiced a song especially for Africa GreenTec, which gave our team one of the most emotional experiences of our work to date. We were able to restore the existing power grid and use it as the basis for our own smart meter network.

Cozy Evenings and More Life In the Village Thanks to Electricity

Since then, the small town has changed even more. Gouméra was already very lively before our arrival, with several large mosques, a savings bank and sturdy two- to three-storey houses dominating the southern part of the town. With street lighting and electricity now available for consumption, the positive hustle and bustle on the streets has intensified and people now enjoy the evening hours together. The numerous new buildings in the city also show that the diaspora, motivated by the electrification of the small town, is once again investing more in real estate back home.


Thriving Trade and Fresh Fish

Due to the good financial conditions, most people book our higher electricity tariffs in order to be able to operate private televisions, refrigerators and radios. The main beneficiaries of the productive electricity are the businesses on the thoroughfare and traders who have set up a fresh fish delivery service to Mauritania, for example. We see great potential here for our Cooltainer® in the future, which can further optimize the cold chain.

The Peulh settlement, around which large herds of cattle graze, is also located in the north-west of Goumera. The best cattle in Mali come from this region. This is the reason why there is also a biogas pilot plant next to the Solartainer®, which is powered by the cow dung.