In today’s Impactstory we would like to introduce you to Nassou Oumar. He operates a well running restaurant in Djoliba (Mali), raises his own livestock and also maintains a chicken farm. Additionally, he runs a small construction shop where he sells essential items for repairs and constructions. He is a true serial entrepreneur who is never short of new ideas to empower his village.

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Nassou Oumar in front of his resturant in Djoliba

More productivity and opportunities through sustainable electricity – Nassou shows the way

We are meeting Nassou for our interview at his restaurant. Even from a distance, we can smell the freshly roasted chicken. Our mouths are watering, especially since we haven’t had lunch yet. Nassou is known throughout Djoliba for his delicious fried chicken, and when we have the chance to try one of the infamous chicken dishes after the interview, we understand why.

Currently, Nassou only uses electricity from Africa GreenTec for his restaurant, which he opened just 4 months before our interview. Ever since he started getting electricity from Africa GreenTec, Nassou’s restaurant has been full of guests, especially in the evenings:

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Nassou Oumar

"It's crazy! My store has become the most popular meeting place in the village and that after only 4 months! But it makes sense, as I have something to offer people. To be able to entertain them, I bought a TV set where my guests can watch soccer matches, for example. Also, I have the music player on every night and people love to sit together in the evening with good Afrobeat music and eat and drink together. And it's not too hot in my store. Due to the fan I recently purchased, my guests at least get a little cool breeze and can escape from the heat outside."

Nassou Oumar

Plus, Nassou can keep his store open longer in the evenings. People can stay despite the darkness because he now has light in his restaurant in the evenings. Because of his restaurant’s attractive features, Nassou can only just cope with the rush of customers. Moreover, word of mouth has spread quickly regarding his roast chicken specialty, and everyone wants to see the new restaurant and its owner for themselves.

With the increased income from his restaurant, Nassou was able to afford hiring more employees and currently employs 6 individuals in his restaurant. He has also created jobs in his village, which is why people are additionally grateful to him and appreciate him.

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The refrigerator is an important asset in Nassou's restaurant

Sustainable agriculture as a second mainstay

His cattle breeding is also going well. Currently he has about 30 cows, 15 sheep, 750 chickens. Since 2010, Nassou has repeatedly taken part in training courses in the field of livestock farming and uses the expertise he has gained to raise his animals in the best possible way. Good treatment of his animals is very important to him. Once a day, he goes to visit his animals in the field and makes sure that his employees treat the animals decently as well. If he sees that one of his employees treats the animals badly, this gives Nassou grounds for an immediate dismissal.

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Bird's eye view on Nassou's field
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Nassou also raises sheep

In addition, he runs an incubator where he breeds his chickens. He currently operates this incubator with his own solar panels, as Africa GreenTec is not yet able to offer electricity 24 hours a day. But this is essential for the incubator, because if the eggs are not irradiated with light around the clock, they will not hatch and Nassou would have a high loss.

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The incubator requires power throughout

In addition to selling chickens and their eggs, he also sells corn – ground corn. Nassou has a mill that he uses to turn the coarse corn into flour. There is a high demand for corn flour and he always finds buyers who buy it from him by the kilo.

"This is what I am proud of! I am active and want to create a good life for me and my family through my work! Furthermore, I want to create an impact in my village and give something back to my community. Without electricity, my ideas cannot be implemented, so electricity is the beginning of everything for me. I want to help the village by starting businesses and creating jobs. In entrepreneurship I experience independence and self-determination myself and that is very important to me - currently I couldn't be better off. 10 years ago I was already in Morocco and wanted to go to Europe. If someone offered me to move to Paris today, I would turn it down - I have everything here!"

Nassou Oumar
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Maize flour is generally used for a lot of cooking in Mali

Prospects for the future

Nassou still has some plans for the future. He would like to buy several freezers for his restaurant to be able to store the chicken meat better and longer. He would also like to increase his livestock breeding. Furthermore, he would like to have a delivery truck to be able to sell his products & goods further away and he would like to have electricity that runs around the clock. We have actually received this feedback from our customers more than once. So we are currently looking at ways to make this happen in the future.

Hopefully Nassou’s impact story has inspired you as much as it has us. Hopefully, you’ll learn more about this ambitious serial entrepreneur in a follow-up blog soon.

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The interview was conducted by Jan Moellmann & Aida Schreiber in October 2019

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