Somewhere in a remote village of Ivory Coast, a child is bidding farewell to having to rush through his homework before nightfall or rely on the light of a candlestick, thanks to this man: Evariste Akoumian…
…a young vibrant Ivorian IT professional who witnessed firsthand the hardships of students in the non-electrified areas of his homeland and came up with a ‘brilliant’ idea…the Solarpak!
A chargeable schoolbag equipped with a small solar panel, a chargeable battery, a USB port and a LED pocket light.
The rest is self-explanatory. As long as there is daylight, the solar panel charges the battery, giving it autonomy of 5 hours when fully charged. All the child needs to do is plug in the light…and voila!
Though getting great reviews, the journey to making this start-up a profitable business remains long. After pouring millions of CFA Francs into the business from his own pocket,
Evariste Akoumian is looking for investors to set up a Solarpak factory in Ivory Coast.
For now, he has no choice but to get all the parts from China and assemble them in his homeland. His dream is to take care of the textile component in-house which would drive down the cost of production and allow him to hire more young people and women.
In the meantime, his journey to shine a light over an African child continues as he donates more and more Solarpaks to those who can’t afford them.
Right Your Legacy, Evariste Akoumian!
Les Observateurs, France 24 http://observers.france24.com/fr/20160906-cote-ivoire-cartable-solaire-ivoirien-solarpak-invention-ecole-enfants