Solar power for everyone: a dream that turns into reality for millions of people in Africa!
Because today the technology is available and doesn't reach the people in need... We develop innovative sustainable solutions to power up off-the-grid communities and we bring them to developing countries in West and Central Africa.
We believe sustainably home-produced clean energy empowers isolated people worldwide to get a grip on their future.
upOwa focuses on community capacity building and training through a strong distribution network in order to offer energy access for all. The huge potential of social and economic change drives us to lead a sustainable business.
upOwa empowers local off-the-grid West and Central African communities through access to electricity. Thanks to technology improvements, innovative distribution channels and tailored financing options, we can reach the most remote communities.
By 2018, we hope to light up 15000+ individuals in Cameroon.
Kilien de RENTY
CEO & co-Founder
Business developer, market analyst and former technology transfer officer at CEA Tech. He has received a M.Eng in “Energy systems and associated markets” from Grenoble IT (France) before studying International Finance, Project Management and Business Administration in the US.
Specialized in management of development projects and social businesses in Africa, Raphaël worked in various sectors such as access to basic social services, green energies, water and sanitation, NGOs staff trainings, or human rights defense and advocacy for civilian rights in war time. In France, but also in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Chad and others West and Central African countries, he collaborated with actors such as ‘base of pyramid’ beneficiaries, local institutions and traditional chiefs, companies, governments and media, internationals agencies and NGOs.nHe holds a licence diploma in History and a Master’s degree in International Public Law from Aix-Marseille University and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Lyon University. To enhance his skills of leadership and project management, Raphaël took courses at Bioforce Instituten
Software Engineering Manager
Passionate about software development and computer graphics, Rodrigue studied electrical engineering before developing his passion for software engineering at the African Institute of Computer Science in Cameroon. This engineer of computer work has developed applications on many plat-forms before specializing in webapps. His expertise in graphics computer gives to his applications a good ergonomy and an unrivaled usability. Rodrigue thinks everyone should have access to energy. This is why he decided to develop applications that will affect the field of renewable energy.
After 4 years of work-linked training as a specialist of automatic systems, Loïc went back to school at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) - where he enrolled in a master’s degree in micro-technology. Through this program, he specializes in applied optics and feeds his passion for PV systems. From Switzerland, Loïc actively collaborates with R&D teams in Cameroon and in France for the conception and development of the next version of our PAYG solar home systems.
Quality Engineer & Intervention
Vanessa has graduated from the High Institute of the Sahel at University of Maroua. She is an amazing engineer specialized in renewable energy and her passion for sustainable energy management drove her to upOwa. Vanessa joined our technical team and is now in charge of improving, installing and maintaining our solar home systems.
As upOwa scales up, we desperately needed an office manager in Cameroon. Rosine is a young Cameroonian who has dedicated 6 years of her life to volonteer in diverse organiza-tions while she kept working as a project manager. Two years ago she enrolled in a Masters’ degree at ESSEC of Douala (Cameroun) in Management, Analysis and Evaluation of Projects, and expect to graduate in July 2016. She joined upOwa as our office manager in Bafoussam.
Intern in Marketing
Holder of a Bachelor's degree in Communication of organizations from the University of Douala and a professional Master's degree in Communication management from the ESSEC, Josiane previously worked at Necta Academy where her main mission was definition of strategies and communication tools. She joined upOwa’s team as Marketing assistant within the Commercial department.
Intern in Call center
With a diploma in Marketing, Larissa gained her commercial and marketing skills within companies such as MTN and Canal +.
Passionate about new technologies, she joined upOwa’s team as Call center operator to be the intermediary between the company and prospective customers.
CMO & co-Founder
Private sector development analyst specialized in access to electricity (Doing Business report covering Africa and Latin America at the World Bank). Previously she worked on energy policy at the French Embassy in Washington, DC. She has received a M.Eng in Energy and Science from Supélec (France).
Determined to make an effective contribution towards Africa’s development, Gregoire worked on the set-up of an executive education program in Morocco and led strategic studies on energy access policy in East and West Africa for French public agencies. Gregoire holds a Master’s degree from Ecole des Mines de Paris and strengthened his knowledge of international relations and energy policy at MIT.
Customer & Commercial Manager
Gezabelle is our customer and commercial manager. She graduated from the IUT of Douala and holds a professional license in communication,nnegotiation and sales. At upOwa, she ensures business development andncustomers relations since september 2015. For her :« upOwa does a wonderful job because there are many who hoped to have light in their homes and have it today thanks to upOwa ».
Passionate engineer in energy engineering, Sophie graduated from 2iE Institute in Burkina Faso. Determined to see her work improving living conditions of rural populations, she joined our technical team as an technician and is now in charge of improving, installing and maintaining our solar home systems.
Vocational Training & Communication officer
Passionate about sustainable development and energy-related social issues, Colas holds a transdiscplinary master’s degree at SciencesPo Grenoble and Grenoble Institute of Technology. Colas is in charge of upOwa’s professional training program, the "Up'Academy".
Yvon will soon graduate from the African Institute of Computer Science as an engineer, specialized in Systems and Networks. Nevertheless, he is also passionate about mobile and web software devel-opment. That is why he joined upOwa and is now in charge of Android development for mobile appli-cations, a crucial tool to achieve rural electrification.
Intern in Quality
Dynamic student in mechanical engineering at EPFL, Tshahé is finishing her Master with upOwa. She is interested in professional experience in Africa and determined to improve the living conditions in rural areas so she naturally joined upOwa’s team. She is responsible for improving transmission of information within the team, as well as improving and maintaining solar systems.
Maxime worked on multiple industrial R&D projects worldwide in solar cell and module manufacturing, before concentrating his efforts on the development and distribution of pay-as-you-go solar products in off-grid Tanzania, as the Technical Manager of EGG-Energy. He holds a MEng in Materials Engineering from Insa de Lyon and a PhD in Engineering from the Australian National University.
Electronic Engineer & Energy System Designer
His experience in the field of energy and electrical clearances allow Jean-Pierre to respond to many needs both in training and in the design of energy systems. Jean-Pierre offers his expertise to NGOs for their rural electrification missions in West Af-rica and Madagascar. Designer of energy systems, he is particularly interested in topics such as economic empowerment, education, environment, health, the fight against poverty as well as science and technology.
Guy is currently in the last year of his Master’s degree specialized in energy engineering at ENSET of Douala, in Cameroun. Before that, he worked several years as an electronic engineer for various missions in the fields of rural electrification or electronic security. Through his experiences and thanks to his passion for renewable energy, Guy gathered the set of skills and the knowledge required to be upOwa’s technical manager.
Freddy is an electrical engineer from the Bandjoun Institut of Technology in Cameroon. Along his studies and since he graduated, he gathered various experiences in the field of electrical production and distribution, including from solar energy. As an technician in upOwa’s technical team, Freddy is in charge of improving, installing and maintaining our solar home systems.
Intern in Software Development
Jeroen grew a passion for renewable energies and electrical storage systems during his bachelor of electronical and computer engineering at KU Leuven in Belgium. To pursue his interests he started a master within the EIT KIC InnoEnergy program, focusing on intelligent energy networks and electrical systems at KTH Stockholm. Jeroen now finishes his master at INP Grenoble, specializing in energy storage. He joined upOwa's technical team to program micro-controllers and improve upOwa’s technology.
Marcel MELLE BALEBATA
Call center Manager
A graduate in Business and Operational marketing from the Institute Superior Siantou in Yaounde, Marcel has gained a wide experience in the areas of e-consultancy, telesales and sales support on the Cameroonian and French market. He joined the upOwa team with the ambition to be the most efficient link between customers, prospects and the company.
Abraham studied Sofware development at the African Institute of Computer Sciences in Yaoundé. During his training, he gained skills in analysis and design of computer systems. He also learned programming languages such as Java, C++ and Python. Abraham has a keen interest in renewable energy thus he was glad to join upOwa’s team of developers.
Administration and Finance Manager
Holding two master's degrees, one in Financial Management and the other in Accounting Finance from ESSEC in Douala and UCAC-ICY in Yaoundé, Olivier deals with the accounting, taxation, HR and management control. Olivier is passionate about management sciences and organize training seminars and lectures to professionals. Olivier joins upOwa’s team in November 2016 as Administration and Finance Manager.
Marc Daumas is a Professor at the University of Perpignan in PROMES laboratory that operates the 10,000-sun solar furnace in Odeillo and rekindles Themis solar power plant in Targassonne. His first achievements were in Mathematics and in Computer Science but he is now mostly involved in broad nationwide initiatives. He was for example detailed for two years to the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research in Paris to work on the Crédit d’Impôt Recherche (CIR), a $ 6 billion fiscal incentive to support research and development in the French industry. More recently, he was detailed for 3 years at the Embassy of France in Washington DC, where he was the Scientific Attaché in charge of Information and Communication Technology.
Pierre De La Salle
Pierre De La salle
Pierre de la Salle
Computer scientist, developer of new products at Bull Sems then at Hewlett Pacard in Grenoble ; founder of two startups in Silicon Valley, the first financed and ac-companied by Kleiner Perkins and the second by Compuware. Creation of Blue Eye Video in Grenoble from an invention of INRIA Montbonnot. Retired, Grenoble Angels member, advisor for various startups with a preference for innovative, use-ful projects, which enrich society. Involved in an association for the care of the mentally handicapped.
Yves is Professor at Grenoble Institute of Technology. Being trained as an electrical engineer, he was awarded a PhD on the numerical simulation, models and methods for electromagnetic field computation in 1991. He was formerly at the heading the "modeling and CAD in electromagnetism" team. In 2007 he became deputy director of the Grenoble electrical engineering research laboratory. He had headed the Carnot Institute "Energies of the future" which gathers all research activities on the Grenoble region in the field of new technologies of energy for 7 years since 2007. He is currently heading the Grenoble INP Ense3 engineering school, which trains high-level engineers able to take up the challenges associated with energy, water, and sustainable development. He has published more than 60 papers in scientific journals and 110 communications in conferences
upOwa & vous
Where to find us
We are currently located on the sunny side of West Cameroon.
upOwa allows outlying societies to access to modern energy hence to telecommunications. Our solar system charges cell phones and above all brings light to the darkest off-the-grid villages.
Access to electricity translates into tremendous daily life improvements such as fostering education. With upOwa devices, light becomes available at night and children have more time to study after school for instance.
Using kerosene and candles for lightning produces toxic fumes that lead to accidental fires and respiratory health issues. upOwa solar kits thus reduce health hazards for the ones who have to keep being active at night.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" "Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will." Nelson Mandela