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    HomeEcosystem NewsCameroonian Cleantech Startup upOwa Acquired by EDF to Boost Affordable Solar Solutions

    Cameroonian Cleantech Startup upOwa Acquired by EDF to Boost Affordable Solar Solutions

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    In a strategic move to bolster its presence in the Cameroonian energy sector, Electricité de France (EDF) has announced its acquisition of a majority stake in upOwa, a Cameroonian startup specializing in affordable solar kits. The undisclosed investment was revealed on Monday, February 19, during a press conference in Yaoundé, marking a significant step forward for EDF in its commitment to low-carbon solutions.

    Olivier Fesquet, General Manager of EDF’s Cameroonian subsidiary, emphasized the importance of the Cameroon market, stating, “The Cameroon market is of great interest to EDF, where we are positioning ourselves as a privileged partner in the electricity sector to contribute to the development of power production. This new investment enhances our already strong commitment, bringing us closer to the goal of providing low-carbon solutions to all populations.”

    While the exact details of the transaction remain undisclosed, the move aligns seamlessly with EDF’s overarching strategy to accelerate the development of low-carbon solutions in Cameroon. Low-carbon energy, with minimal greenhouse gas emissions, is recognized as vital for environmental sustainability and plays a pivotal role in addressing current environmental challenges.

    Through this investment, EDF aims to leverage its expertise as a committed energy provider in low-carbon solutions to expedite the deployment of upOwa’s innovative offerings. These include solutions in refrigeration, decarbonized cooking, and wifi internet access, particularly targeting rural areas where access to electricity remains a challenge.

    The collaboration also holds the shared objective of supporting the expansion and sustainability of upOwa, which seeks to provide off-grid energy to over a million people in Cameroon within the next five years. Currently, the electrification rate in Cameroon stands at around 71%, with significant disparities between urban and rural areas, where it is approximately 40%, according to the Ministry of Energy.

    Loic Descamps, CEO of upOwa, expressed confidence in the alliance, stating, “This collaboration promises to significantly strengthen our ability to meet the growing energy needs in Cameroon and actively promote the adoption of renewable energies in the region. We are confident that this fruitful alliance will pave the way for innovative and sustainable initiatives to positively impact the local energy sector.”

    Founded in 2014 by Kilien De Renty and Caroline Frontigny, upOwa has been a key player in providing clean and sustainable electricity access to rural households at an affordable cost. With over 60,000 installations completed, the company claims that 300,000 people already have access to solutions enabling them to illuminate their homes, recharge mobile phones, and watch television.

    In 2020, EDF and upOwa collaborated with the ambitious goal of commercializing 300 solar systems in Cameroon, reflecting their shared commitment to expanding renewable energy solutions. The partnership signifies a significant milestone in the journey towards a sustainable and accessible energy landscape in Cameroon.

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