Updated: March 6, 2021
In today’s 21st century, electricity supply remains a severe problem in most African countries. It is estimated that some 600 million people still live without electricity while those who have access to it can’t meet up with bills or suffer frequent outages.
Witnessing first-hand the effects of frequent power cuts as he went through school in Cameroon and even after he established Bonga Juice Bar, Cameroonian entrepreneur, Bongajum Lesley Ndzi, took it up upon himself to proffer a solution to the electricity crisis in Africa as a whole.
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Having realized that he could convert the mechanical energy generated while pedaling into electricity, Bongajum embarked upon actualizing his idea, and has today created the Bonga Power Bike.
It is a bike that converts mechanical energy generated when pedaling into electrical energy and stores it in a battery. The stored energy, he says, can then be used for lighting homes, charging phones, powering fans, and energy-saving television among other things.
He told me on phone from “when I was at the gym I remembered that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transferred or converted from one form to another that is when I decided to put in a team and we got to work.”
According to him, the good news is you stay fit while generating electricity.
“As you start pedaling the bike, you exert human energy on the flywheel. This flywheel turns an electric motor and it is in that electric motor that you have coils, and as the coils are turning, it produces electricity through electromagnetism.”
“That electricity produced is stored in a battery, from where it can now be used for many things. It is direct current that you can convert into alternating currents, like the one we use in our houses or you can use the direct current directly to charge phones and other electrical appliances,” he told Africanews.
With Africa’s population on a constant raise and an even more increase in the demand for electricity, Bongajum Lesley says he wants to develop the project in large scale so as to light up rural Africa providing electricity to communities, schools, and hospitals.
Since its creation, the Bonga Power Bike has won several awards including the NEXT GEN in the Franchising Global Competition, the GAIA AgTech Innovation Challenge, and the 2019 African Youth Energy Innovation award.