Considering how patriarchal our African society can be, one might breathe a sigh of relief and comfort when they see women taking up the mantra for change and development in the African continent.
Safiatou Nana is a well-established Burkinabe renewable solar engineer and entrepreneur. Over the years, she has focused her academics and work on producing energy in underserved communities through off-grid solar-powered systems.
Safiatou holds a master’s degree in Energy Engineering, Renewable Energy from the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences and has achieved certification in Regulations for Sustainable Development Goal 7, Sustainable Energy For All, from Florence School of Regulation.
Nana was named one of the “5 African innovators to watch in 2019 and beyond” by ONE due to her work on a mobile solar-powered water pumping system.
Burkina Faso is one of the nations that make up the Sahel Region. Therefore, the region is usually subjected to long and excessive periods of drought and shortened rainfalls. Consequently, farming can be a near possible task. Thus, Safiatou Nana’s passion for improving accessibility to water in such a difficult scenario is exhibited in the design and creation of SolarKoodo.
In May 2018, Nana founded SolarKoodo, becoming the chief executive officer of the startup company. The startup is focused on providing renewable energy solutions to rural Burkina Faso with the use of solar energy cells.
SolarKoodo is a moveable solar water pumping system with the possibility to change the traditional way of farming totally. Through her mobile pump technology, users can pull water from boreholes where water tables drop very low. SolarKoodo can also be used to generate electricity. Safiatou Nana is without a doubt providing an alternate solution to female farmers with off-grid solar power. The solar energy powers a pump to suck water from the wells and distribute it accordingly around the crops. This method is said to save farmers time and help to produce more crops.
In prototype testing with farmers, SolarKoodo’s solution halved the time it took to farm the land and increased yield by 400% to 200 kg per day.
This excellent innovation got Safiatou Nana shortlisted for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Nana regularly lends her voice to pan-African conferences and meetings on green energy. She’s also a forerunner of the idea that the independence of a country begins when it has achieved energy independence for all its inhabitants. and the compulsory necessity to find and develop more women leaders.
Safiatou Nana is fervently passionate about the energy sector.