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In our ImpactStories we regularly tell you what people can do with electricity in their community. We talked to our customers and wrote down their stories.

Die Bagayokos sind seit Generationen Schmiede

Noumoukossa Bagayoko is a blacksmith in Dalakana. His son Soumaila (26) sits next to him during the interview. Unlike his father, he went to school and supports his father in business matters. “How did you get the idea to become a blacksmith?” is our first question:

Noumoukossa Bagayoko

"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. It's passed down from generation to generation. Here it is like this: There are different families who have been doing certain jobs like welder, blacksmith, potter, singer etc. for centuries: It's something that is handed down to you in your cradle and you are respected for it."

Noumoukossa Bagayoko

Each generation has a different way of working and uses different tools. Noumoukossa has been working with the same tools for almost 40 years. It’s financially impossible for him to buy newer machines at the moment. But he hopes to change that in the future. But there is another problem: When we did the interview in October 2019, there was no electricity provider in Dalakana. This means that even with the latest equipment, Noumoukossa would not be able to do anything because there is no electricity to run it. The perspective is missing.

The electricity provided by Africa GreenTec is meant to facilitate Noumoukossa’s work in the future

"Therefore I am very much looking forward to the electricity from Africa GreenTec. Then I could forge with less effort, could process more orders and earn more. I will definitely take the electricity; even if I don't know yet when I will be able to afford electric machines".

Noumoukossa Bagayoko

The cost of materials is also rising. Metal used to be quite cheap. His father used to pay 20 cents per kilo, while 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.

Plans for the future

That is why it is all the more important for Noumoukossa and his son to get electricity. They would like to advance their company, which has existed for generations. Develop it further. They realize that there is competition that may already have electricity. Without electricity they can’t keep up. Their vision is to expand in the next 5 to 10 years. They want to buy several electric-powered devices and produce more. Africa GreenTec now offers them the chance to do so.

Noumoukossa Bagayoko
Noumoukossa Bagayoko

"I just don't want to stagnate. I am not blind. I see what friends in Djoliba can do with electricity. I want to do that too. I'm 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 accept orders because I lack electricity. I want that to change."

Noumoukossa Bagayoko

In fact, some of the villagers go to neighboring villages to have certain things made. For the future, the Bagayokos wish that they can meet the demand in the village and provide this service on a permanent basis.

Furthermore, he does not want him and his 5 employees (who work depending on when they are needed) to fall ill. Currently he runs many of his machines with coal. Noumoukossa is aware that the smoke and fumes produced are harmful to health. In addition, the neighbours sometimes complain, because the smoke comes through the windows of the small workshop to them.

Noumoukossa is happy with his life. He came to Dalakana 20 years ago and has built his life independently. He has fought his way through and has built up his own customer base for a long time. He can feed his large family, even if it is difficult sometimes.

Noumoukossa Bagayoko

Electricity creates perspectives

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 use his know-how and potential in the best way possible and be more productive, but the prerequisites for his vision were not there before. Africa GreenTec wants to support people like Noumoukossa in living their visions and thus enable them to achieve more self-determination and growth.

Since December 2018, one of our solar containers has been supplying the village Dalakana with sustainable electricity. The interview was recorded shortly before. How the electricity of Africa GreenTec has influenced the work of Noumoukossa and his son, you can hopefully read soon in a new blog article.

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