Togo Posts

Connecting Builders: Switzerland meets Togo

Posted Thursday 27 August 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Recently we connected the two early adopters Kurt Baumann, who built a Sol4 with his school-class in Switzerland and Boris Awume from Togo, whom we portrayed earlier. Boris currently works in Switzerland but he’s going to start building in Togo at the beginning of September. We used the opportunity to get the two early adopters together.

Early adopter Kurt Baumann, handicraft teacher, explaining Boris Awume from Togo his next steps.

After some coffee we dove right in: Kurt took us to the school building where he now stores the Sol4 during the summer holidays. Kurt suspended the whole mirror-rows straight from the sealing: "That way they take up less space and we keep them out of reach from our students."

When not in use, Kurt disassembles the Sol4 and suspends the whole mirror-rows to savely store them.
Boris taking a pic of a mirror row to send to his prep-team in Togo.

We took one mirror row out into the sunlight to have a closer look at the individual pieces Boris will need to fabricate in Togo. These are notably all straight and simple metal pieces that only need cutting and welding. They also looked at the upward reflector and the custom tools we outline in our construction guides:

Kurt and Boris examining the upward reflector.
Kurt explaining the handling of the curstom mirror calibration tools.

I really liked the fact that we built our own tools to complete the machine. These tools are quick to build and effective for the job, and I felt revived in the age-old art of toolmaking.

Kurt Baumann, Teacher at Schulzentrum Kreuzfeld 4, Langenthal, Switzerland

Early adopters Boris Awume from Togo, Kurt Baumann, handicraft teacher and Urs Riggenbach from the team.

Stay tuned for the next update from our early adopters! Want to get involved? Check out how to join our early adopter team here:

Boris Awume, Entrepreneur from Togo

Posted Friday 7 August 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Boris Awume is our most recent early adopter. He is an entrepreneurially-minded Togolese working in Switzerland but excited to make new things possible in his homecountry. Starting at the end of this month, Boris and his team are going to build the Sol4 model to test it’s merits in Lomé, Togo.

Boris Awume testing out the reflecting of sunlight with a mirror.

Last week I met Boris personally when he came to visit me on my farm to have a first-hand look at some of the Sol4 components.

My aim has always been to enable income-generating activities. In the villages there is not much to do apart from agriculture. Though work is hard and we’re growing a lot of foods like yam, cassava, maize, rice, and cafe and cacao, we’re not able to afford much and develop our communities well. When I found out about I immediately though, here I can drive a lot of new activity.

Boris Awume, Togo

A few years back Boris invested in a small transportation business. "After the colonialists left they had first built and then again destroyed parts of a railway system. The bad transportation infrastructure is not only affecting our country but making it difficult for things to get to land-locked neighbors like Burkina Faso. As an entrepreneur I try to both improve my country and create new business opportunities."

Boris left his country during political unrest and found refuge in Switzerland. He currently works and pursues an education in the IT sector. Last week Boris came to visit me at my farm not far from where he lives, and I got to show him some parts of the Sol4 design he’s planning to build in Togo.

I’m not going there to ’try something’, I’m going there to see what’s possible.

Boris Awume, Togo

Two days after our meeting I heard back from Boris that his local partner in Lomé already scouted all the materials needed and that the cost expectations for the mirrors are even lower than those we experienced in Haiti.

As early adopter Boris has access to the construction guides that include the expected budget for different countries, material list and the fabrication steps. Especially the material list helps Boris and his local partner now to get materials organized and line everything up before Boris gets to Lomé at the end of the month. Stay tuned.

Jeunes Verts Togo

Posted Wednesday 22 April 2015 by Eva Wissenz.

The Jeunes Verts Togo are a youth association created in December 2009 with currently more than 500 members (students, youths, and women from the villages).

Esso-kl’nam Pedessi, Project Leader, is enthusiastic about our solar project: "We love the idea of free construction guides and it would be so great to provide an efficient solar equipment at lower prices to vulnerable and poor populations."

With his team, they work for a general awareness on the relationship of young people and women, and their environment, the need to act for actual preservation and protection of this fragile environment, the duty to protect the environment against any kind of abuse of the international financial and political sphere. It seeks to take concrete action towards disadvantaged groups, for greater awareness of them and to be better for these populations so that they can more easily participate in efforts to protect the environment. The Young Greens - Togo seek to spread awareness in the public on major social, ecological and environmental issues, to promote inter and intra-generational equity, strengthen the capacity of various segments of the population in decision-making for sustainable development.

The association puts also the emphasis on alternatives such as permaculture, organic farming and they seek to develop and democratize renewable energy alternatives and new technologies. Additionally and with a beautiful coherence, the Young Greens Togo seek to work together with communities to preserve their land and their sociocultural fabrics; the organization opposes any form of land grabbing for commercial purposes, and intends to take action against such practices to protect sovereignty. The Young Greens also oppose any move to grab traditional ancestral knowledge by the mechanisms of patenting.

Taking place annually since 2010, they have organized the Film Festival on Climate project (film screenings, exhibition of works of art, a football tournament, green party, sanitation efforts, tree planting, community training schools…).
They are also involved in the Women Buissiness Green, a project to support women financially in their income-generating activities.

A bit more about the environment situation in Togo :
In Togo, the environmental sector has to deal with the difficult socio-political context and economic stresses that have affected the country during the past two decades. Accentuated by energy, global food prices and the financial crisis, Togo’s profound social and environmental impacts are marked by the worsening world hunger, the pressure on natural resources and dwindling investments in the management of natural resources in the country.

The series of consequent floods to climate change experienced by Togo since 2007 has been revealing notorious shortcomings in the control and prevention of risks and disasters related to the environment. The state of play on the environment and natural resources on the continental scale shows undeniably that environmental degradation is increasing and is manifested today by factors such as disturbance of ecosystems, exhaustion natural resources, soil erosion and coastal zone, loss of biodiversity, contamination of food chains, pollution of the atmosphere, water and soil, degradation of the living environment, recurrent flooding in cities. The problems of global order, such as greenhouse gas emissions and its corollaries are the risks of climate change, the thrust of desertification etc. also major factors wellness discount. This critical situation inevitably leads to poor social conditions and generally to unmet needs and human rights of the population.

To contact Jeunes Verts-Togo
Esso-kl’nam Pedessi
essoklnam (at)




Get in touch

Send us an email to

Please enter the Security Code shown in image: