Senegalese inventor is empowering communities through solar power

Dubbed as Senegal’s “Mr. Sun”, Abdoulaye Touré has been designing solar powered ovens since the 1990s and is now taking his solar powered dreams across Africa.

As a former teacher, Abdoulaye Touré designed first prototype solar-powered oven in 1990, launching it to the consumer market two years later. Unlike other conventional companies that sell only a finished product, Touré travels to local communities where he transfers the technological skill to the community. As a result, Touré empowers thousands of communities by enabling them to produce their own solar-powered ovens.

Before joining Senegal’s Education department, Touré created these solar-powered ovens alongside his work as elementary principal. Today however he travels the entire Senegal and larger African region, spreading this innovative technology through community visits and television appearances.

The ovens themselves has seen tremendous improvement and now reaches temperatures of up to 200 degrees, which is almost double the 110 degrees Touré’s first oven reached. These ovens costs roughly a quarter of a conventional electrical oven at about 86,2 dollars (or 50 000 CFA francs) and are are designed to concentrate sunlight within an aluminium box. Touré further adds that the ovens have a lifetime of up to 10 years if looked after carefully.

Touré’s work has also not gone unnoticed and received the first prize for innovation by the Senegalese president in 1998, the CIPEA prize (International Center for the Creation of Enterprise in Africa) in 1999 and the first prize at the Tambacoumba Techno-Fair (East of Senegal) in 2001.

Prototype sun-ovens by Abdoulaye Touré in Senegal