“Solar Cooking KoZon is doing terrific work”, “Thank you for offering this webinar” and “Great webinar”. Just a few comments at the end of the Solar Cookers International (SCI) webinar and Solar Cooking KoZon, on August 30th. It was indeed a success. More than 60 participants from all parts of the world (including India, South Africa, Iran, Mexico, USA and Bolivia) participated in the webinar and asked a lot of questions. Using a PowerPoint presentation, we showed two successful companies in integrated solar cooking (ISC) one in Uganda and one in Mali.
Seminar via the internet
For those who are unfamiliar with the term webinar: this is a seminar on the internet. That means that anyone with a computer and good internet connection can take part. However, participants must register in advance so that they can be logged in at the beginning of the webinar.
The webinar was fully prepared by SCI’s Caitlyn Hughes and our board member and coordinator East Africa, Alewijn van Asperen. Thanks to their good preparation, it went well. Using a PowerPoint presentation, Caitlyn explained the webinar and then Lucretia Gijssen, our chairman, explained the origins of Solar Cooking KoZon and the reason we’ve chosen a more business-oriented approach. That approach has led to two successful companies in integrated solar cooking, in Uganda and Mali.
Solar Connect Association (SCA) in Uganda
Theo Sinke, our project coordinator in Uganda, gave an overview of the history and development of the Solar Connect Association (SCA) company in Uganda. The director of that company is Kawesa Mukasa. The collaboration of Solar Cooking Netherlands, (SCN) and Mukasa dates back to 2007. Initially, it was a project to promote solar cooking in Uganda, but in 2009 a start was made with a business approach. Successfully. In 2015, with support from Wild Geese and SCN, a beautiful production and sales center was opened in southwest Uganda in Biharwe, near Mbarara. With a headquarters in Kampala and a new outlet, in Gulu in the north, SCA can spread knowledge about ISC and the cooking appliances in a wide area. And there are plans for more outlets.
Togo Tilé in Mali
Lucretia Gijssen then gave an overview of the company Togo Tile in Ségou in Mali. The initiator and director of Togo Tilé is Seydou Coulibaly. He started promoting ISC in 2013. In 2014, KoZon decided to support him in setting up an ISC company. This support lasted two years and during that time the company expanded into a fully fledged company, with 12 sales outlets and 30 employees spread over Mali. With support from a Malinees government project and Solar Cooking KoZon, Togo Tilé could start this year with the construction of a large production and sales center in Ségou. The director is 34 years old and all employees are between 18 and 34, of whom 60% are women. In addition, 80 young people will receive training at Togo Tilé this year and then receive a two-month trial period. The best young people will get a job at Togo Tilé. For Mali, with a lot of youth unemployment, this is a wonderful example of youth inclusion in the work proces.
Lots of questions
After the two presentations, time was reserved for answering the questions asked via chat. There were so many questions that Lucretia and Alewijn could not answer all of them in the available time. But everyone who has asked a question will receive an email reply and we’ll publish the questions and answers on this website soon. You can download the PowerPoint presentation now. The interest in the subject among people and organizations involved in integrated solar cooking, is apparent from this chat:
“Thank you for offering this seminar. The topic is on all of our minds as we try to move forward in the promotion and acceptance of solar cooking.”